Black Friday is fast approaching (in fact, this year there will be two Black Fridays as Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah fall on the same day – a rarity that won’t happen for another 70,000 years).
With competition for shoppers’ dollars stiffer than ever, is your small business prepared to offer the kind of holiday customer service needed to stand out in the crowd?
Below are some holiday customer service tips to get your business’s customer service in shape for the holidays:
I posted recently about hiring tips for the holidays. If you haven’t already got your team in place, get going!
“Showrooming” – customers coming into your store to touch and try merchandise, then using smartphones to look for lower prices online – is a game-changer for retailers (and not in a good way).
Combat the practice by making sure your retail associates are educated about the products you sell so they can answer all your customers’ questions and basically be more helpful than the Internet.
Make sure your team has the tools they need for smooth selling this holiday season. That means a well-stocked inventory, up-to-date point-of-sale systems and mobile technology like iPads and smartphones.
Mobile tools can shorten wait times if you use software like Square so customers can pay from anywhere in the store (instead of waiting on line). They can also help fight showrooming by allowing clerks to look up product information or check inventory levels.
If you sell online, make sure your customer service team is ready for the holiday overload. Start by testing your website to ensure it can handle heavy traffic and that browsing, shopping and checking out are clear and intuitive. Provide a variety of ways that users can contact your customer service team, from email and phone to live chat.
Speed things along by making sure your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), shipping, returns and other information is current and clear.
If customers can answer their own questions, they won’t need your customer service team.
Holiday customer service can be grueling during the rush, so plan how you will reward and motivate your team.
Setting attainable goals, holding regular meetings to bring up problems or concerns and encouraging employees with rewards and prizes are great ways to keep your holiday customer service reps powering through the toughest times.
This article, provided by Nextiva, is republished through a content distribution agreement. The original can be found here.
Christmas Clerk Photo via Shutterstock
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The time of the holidays is a very busy season. At this time, customer service representatives need to be trained not only in addressing customer concerns but also in dealing with the long list of irate customers. It is true that they should be trained prior to the event. You made some really great tips in here. I just hope businesses use this to get ready for the holidays.
This is also a really good time to get customer feedback — and commit to using it in 2014!
Since the holidays are fast approaching, it is important to provide great customer service. Allowing customers to answer their own questions by automating tier one FAQs will increase customer satisfaction and decrease support costs.