by Tom Shackleton
When the Christmas shopping season is in full flow, and your eCommerce support desk is overflowing with tickets, it can be easy to let your level of service drop. But even when your support agents are under pressure, you still need to be able to provide excellent customer service. In fact, offering support that really goes beyond expectations is perhaps more important at Christmas than any other time of year.
When the Christmas shopping season is in full flow, and your eCommerce support desk is overflowing with tickets, it can be easy to let your level of service drop.
But even when your support agents are under pressure, you still need to be able to provide excellent customer service. In fact, offering support that really goes beyond expectations is perhaps more important at Christmas than any other time of year.
When your shoppers are pushed for time and trying to get that Christmas list ticked off, presenting them with an amazing, inspirational experience can turn customers into lifelong brand advocates.
Here are our top six tips for inspirational Christmas eCommerce customer service…
Spread a Little Christmas Cheer
With every area of your business getting in the Christmas spirt, it’s essential that this extends to your support team too.
A great idea is to give each agent a set number of free gifts to hand out per day. Give your agents the freedom to hand out small free products to whoever they choose.
Let them brighten up a frustrated customer’s day, or add some extra shine to a loyal shopper’s experience.
This is something your customers certainly won’t expect when they submit a support ticket, and really goes above and beyond to spread a little Christmas cheer.
Scale Up Your Team
There are no two ways about it, you’ll have to scale up your support team for the Christmas period.
Trying to cope with your existing team will only put strain on your processes, and ultimately might lead to unhappy customers.
There may be extra cost involved, but ensuring that your customers have an inspirational support experience is worth it in the long run, leading to better retention and helping to make you a customer’s first thought next year too.
You should also try to avoid cutting corners by transferring staff from other departments to meet demand. You don’t want staff who don’t have the right level of training and expertise manning your support desk at the busiest time of year.
Set Up or Optimise Your Knowledge Base
A simple yet incredibly effective tool for reducing the strain on your support team at Christmas is a knowledge base.
Making sure that your store has an up to date and comprehensive knowledge base ready to go will allow many customers to find their own answers to queries, letting your support agents focus on the more complex and demanding issues.
Shopify apps like Zendesk come with knowledge base tools, so it’s simply a matter of adding them to your store.
In many cases, customers will be able to find solutions quicker through your knowledge base than through a support agent.
When time is of the essence and visitors are ready to buy, allowing them to find the information they need as soon as possible will ultimately lead to more sales.
Keep On Top of Your Stock
Stock and inventory moves very quickly at Christmas. This means it’s key that your support staff are always up to date on deliveries, lead times and low stock alerts.
In order for your agents to effectively manage orders and customer shipments, they need to know at a moment’s notice:
- When new stock will arrive;
- What the lead times for new stock orders are;
- When items are low in stock;
- If there are any order delivery or fulfilment issues.
Make sure that every one of your customer support agents has this information to hand, and can quickly and accurately update customers on the status of their orders.
Empower Your Service Agents
At Christmas, you’ll have to accept that you can’t have oversight over every support query. Empowering your agents to make decisions and take decisive action is vital.
Give your customer support staff the ability to take action on tickets. The more quickly and decisively you respond to customer support issues, the better experience you’re offering to shoppers.
One of the keys to inspirational customer service at Christmas is offering rapid responses. It’s likely that customers are more ready to buy than at other times of the year, and delays in solving their problems could cause them to simply look elsewhere.
Be Ready for Boxing Day
One thing that’s often overlooked when it comes to Christmas eCommerce customer service is post-Christmas support.
It’s important to remember that many of your orders won’t be opened or used for the first time until December 25th, so make sure you’re ready to cope with an influx of support tickets in the days following Christmas.
Be willing to go above and beyond to replace broken products, help out with technical issues or do whatever else it takes to help your new customers get the most from their new gifts.
Being ready for action on Boxing Day will help you exceed expectations and round out the Christmas period with plenty of happy new customers.
Your Next Steps…
Crafting a truly great, inspirational customer service experience at Christmas can make a huge difference to your store’s ability to retain customers, boost sales and ultimately have your most successful holiday season ever.
Your next steps should be to:
- Allocate some free Christmas gifts for your agents to give away;
- Recruit extra support team resources;
- Set up your store’s knowledge base;
- Train support agents to make quick decisive decisions on cases;
- Prepare your post-Christmas support.
If you’d like to find out more about how Statement can help you get your eCommerce customer support ready for Christmas, just get in touch with our team.