The holiday season is the most lucrative time of year for most businesses. Many begin offering festive sales that tug at the heartstrings – and pursestrings – of every single customer out there. If the unreformed Ebenezer Scrooge were born in these times of digital commerce, he too would be tempted into spending more than he ought and perhaps his story might never be told.
But what lies behind the offers?
The first thing your clients will see are your holiday advertisements and discounts. If your digital marketing game is up to par, you will soon see a rise in the number of visitors to your ecommerce site. It is here that troubles often begin.
While you strive to make your website as user-friendly and as easy-to-navigate as possible, it isn’t always that way for everyone. That’s when you’ll need strong customer support game.
The First Line of Defense
Your customer support personnel are your first line of defense. They will be the ones who are:
- The face and voice of your business
- The front-end problem resolvers
- The people who will escalate issues that can’t be handled directly
- The image control that will defend your brand and products
In short, they are the people you will need to be the most responsive and customer-oriented in all your business staffing. They can make or break your business’ reputation. As the holidays approach and the number of visitors to your website increases, you should have a well-prepared customer support team in place.
Improve Your Customer Support Game Now
That’s right. Now is the best time to start gearing up your customer support team. The holidays are still a few months away, but by then, you should have a well-oiled customer support machine in place. Here’s how you can do it.
Nothing will inculcate a strong culture of wanting to help customers the right way than continuous training. Your staff should know how to respond and what to do in almost every conceivable scenario. Hold regular staff meetings where you discuss the unique situations they may have encountered while manning the trenches.
2. Dedicated Staff
You customer support staff shouldn’t be handling issues raised by clients as a part-time job. Taking care of your customers’ concerns should be their number one – and only – priority. You do not want distracted or overworked staff communicating with your clients.
3. Polite Language
Go through your interactions with your clients and see if you can’t find ways of inserting a few thank you’s. Politeness is crucial, especially since support staff is dealing with an already irate set of customers. A good example of this is the auto-response that goes out to people who leave comments on your pages. Go through these responses and see if you can’t make it a little bit more polite. Go through telephone scripts, email copy, website copy and more to ensure the tone of all correspondence is as it should be.
4. Minimize Response and Process Times
When you take a deep dive into your customer support process, you’ll always find a way to cut down on the time it takes your staff to respond to and solve any issues raised by your clients.
5. More Contact Methods
There really isn’t a good excuse for not using all available contact methods. The old contact form is a start, but if you want to be proactive, add ticket raising software solutions, a customer management system (CSM), or even a toll-free number. Make it as easy as possible for people to talk to your staff. A chat engine that is manned around the clock would do wonders for your customer support, helping people talk to you in real-time.
6. Have a Good Follow-Up Plan
Don’t just cut off all communications once an issue has been resolved. Follow up with a survey or a check-in asking how your response was. Ask your customers what you could have done better and if they have any recommendations. Act on the feedback you receive – don’t ignore it. The customers will tell you a lot about how they want you to interact with them, so listen!
Up Your Customer Support Game Today
As the holiday season approaches and the traffic to your website starts to rise, you will be busy making sure your business runs as smoothly as possible. But, don’t forget about the people who will have to bear the brunt of your customers’ concerns – start improving your customer support system today.