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Holiday Support Tips for eCommerce Stores

Customer service is both challenging and an immense opportunity. One-time shoppers are turned into loyal returning customers to retailers who deliver high-quality, consistent service.

Set your team up for success this holiday with the following tips:

Rush Preparation

Early preparation can make a significant difference in how well your customer service runs during the holiday season. There is a lot you can do to be ready to handle customer questions.

Busy Period Prediction

Learning when customer service demand for your eCommerce business peaks is an essential part of planning. Look at historical trends of incoming conversion volume by utilizing your help desk reports. When does overall demand increase? What days are there big spikes? What day of the week is the busiest?

Address Possible Problems Now

Even more helpful than predicting the busiest time is addressing possible problems before they occur. To do so, review incoming support questions and identify recurring problems.

Some examples you want to consider are:

·      Make help and FAQs pages easy to fin

·      Ensure product pages have accurate information

·      Address common questions that are not answered on your site

·      Review documentation for any out-of-date information

Refresh Saved Replies

If you have a library of reusable responses your staff or yourself can use, review the most commonly used ones for completeness and accuracy. This allows you to use them confidently without the need to write each one for separately for each customer.

Care for Customers

During the holiday season, like you, customers are also stressed with long to-do lists. This can make them more likely to make mistakes, be short in their dealings, or misunderstand you or your staff. By being helpful and understanding, your customers will remember a great customer experience. Consider the following idea:

·      Accurate expectations should be set. Let the customer know how long they should expect to wait for help by updating your email support page and chat support introduction.

·      Do not forget to say thank you. Always take a moment to let your customers know how much you appreciate them.

·      Rethink your holiday triage processes. While first come, first serve works great the majority of the time, but during rush periods the oldest question is not always the most important.

·      Always be helpful. In some cases, you may be unable to provide goals or needs of a customer. If possible, direct that customer to where they may possibly get help, even if that help is a competitor.

Take Care of You and Your Staff

Those working in customer service during the holiday rush can feel both physically and emotionally exhausted. Consider the following to ensure you and your staff are taken care of:

·      Assignment rotation – Rotating through various support roles reduces chances of burnout. This allows them a mental break, as well as spreading skills across your team members.

·      Out-of-queue time – When scheduling your staff, be sure each team member has some “out of the inbox” time. Not only does this help them regain emotional energy, but they also can spend time improving in other aspects of the job, such as website copy or saved replies.

·      Self-motivation conditions – Create an environment of self-motivation to ensure you and your staff feel supported and recognized. Some ideas are celebrating milestones or sharing great customer feedback.

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