Good customer service is always essential. As a small business owner, the service you provide your customers is vital to both sustain you and ensure viability and growth in the long run. It should be a habit, a part of the business culture, and should always be a priority.
There are, however, times when good customer service is even more critical than usual. Times when you’re introducing a new product or service, or when you’re expanding into new sales platforms, and of course, the holidays.
We’ll be looking at why customer service is vital in the holidays and how to ensure that your customer service is at its best during this time.
- Why Good Customer Service Is Important During The Holidays.
- Focus On The Right Channels.
- Meet Staffing Needs.
- Setting Up For Success.
Why Good Customer Service Is Important During The Holidays
The holidays require exceptionally high levels of customer service – Here’s why.
‘Tis The Season To Be Busy
The holidays are by far the busiest time of the year for most businesses. People are on leave, they’re buying presents, they have extra cash, and they’re doing a lot of shopping. If there is ever a test of your customer service, then this is it.
Emotions Can Run High
While the holidays are mostly a joyous time to be shared with loved ones, there is often a great deal of anxiety and stress too. The increased pressure on people to get the perfect gifts, host the perfect party, and other factors like seasonal depression and longer waits in shops can all play a role here.
The holidays are also an excellent opportunity for business owners to capitalize on the increased spending patterns. People are spending a lot of money during this period, and providing dynamic customer service will help you capitalize on that.
It is also a perfect opportunity to dazzle these new customers and turn them into loyal repeat customers after the seasonal peaks.
The holidays are the ideal time to raise your customer service levels, and here’s how to do it.
Focus On The Right Channels
Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar store, an online business, or a bit of both, you have specific channels that you use to communicate with your customers. They could be email, social media, website, live chats, or telephonic, but no matter which channels you use, some will be more effective and busier than others.
The first step is to analyze the traffic on each channel and determine which requires the most attention. Your records from previous holiday seasons and regular parts of the year will help here.
The second step is to ensure that you assign staff to the busy channels to ensure that communication is prompt and efficient. If you’re running a small operation, use the team you have and assign them to focus on the busiest and most important channels.
Meet Staffing Needs
Speaking of staffing, ensuring that you have enough staff to help you during this period is critical. You also need the right staff for the job. Many business owners employ extra temp staff during this period, mainly to assist with in-store customers. Remember, however, that you should also focus on digital communication channels, and there are some excellent staffing solutions for this too.
You also need to have the right staff for the job during the holidays – Not all staff work well under pressure, which can affect their performance. By placing the right staff in the positions that suit them best, you’ll be able to optimize customer service during this highly stressful and busy time of the year.
Setting Up For Success
The key to successful customer service and overall productivity during the holidays is, of course, to have your plans in place beforehand.
Speak to your customers – Let them know your plans for the holidays – What will your trading hours be? Which days will your store be open? Will all the delivery options be available? You also need to set up auto-responses to all your communication channels, including your phone line, to prepare for increased attention.
Many time-consuming activities that affect customer service and pull staff away from dealing effectively with customers can be automated. There are great workflow and communication automation solutions out there for small businesses. If these are in place before the holidays, it will significantly improve your customer service levels.
Fast Payment Systems
The one system that can ruin a customer experience more than any other is the payment system. As such, your payment systems should be optimized for convenience, speed, and efficiency during the holiday season. To ensure this, it is always best to choose a one-stop solution for all your payment processing needs.
Finical offers bespoke payment processing solutions for small and medium businesses. From online payment solutions to state-of-the-art equipment and zero-fee credit card processing options, we will help you to optimize your customer payment experience so that you can focus on providing your customers with the best service possible.
For an obligation-free consultation or just a chat, contact us today.