2020 has brought massive growth to eCommerce, and that’s not expected to slow down as we make our way into the holiday season. However, more eCommerce orders this year also means more customer support calls. But with a little proactive planning, you can handle the increased customer service needs, no problem. Just implement these tips to rock your holiday customer support this year.
Customer Service Tips for the Holiday Rush
Get your game plan
You know the rush is coming, so be proactive and put a plan together. This could mean hiring extra support team members for the season, investing in new customer service tools, forecasting and goal setting around support volumes and response times, and more.
The last thing you want to do is leave customers with long wait times or subpar support because you didn’t prepare ahead of time to handle more calls and tickets.
Be up front
The best step you can take to limit customer support requests is to provide as much information up front as possible.
Take shipping, for example. Customers want to know when their package will ship, when it will arrive, and where it is throughout transit. Simply sending shipping update emails and implementing tracking information can answer those questions for them, without ever having to contact your support team.
Another thing you should have a clear and easy-to-find return policy on your website.
Spend a little time digging into your customer service requests and look for any questions or issues that come up fairly regularly. This is a great way to discover additional FAQ questions to add to your site, or maybe information that’s available but might be too difficult for shoppers to find.
Set proper expectations
The holiday rush has a habit of taking your normal operations and messing things up a bit. Whether order processing slows down because of increased volume, or shipping delays are expected from the carriers, you need to communicate this to your customers ahead of time.
Any changes in process, like cutoff dates for orders to make it in time for the holidays or an extended returns window, should be made clear, big and bold to prevent unmet expectations and to help lessen service calls.
Take care of your team
The holiday season is merry and bright, but it doesn’t always feel that way when you are overloaded with orders or handling irritated customers.
Take a little extra care of your service team during this busy period, since they are taking extra care of your buyers. With everyone working remote right now this can be trickier than usual, but small tokens and appreciation can go a long way.
Automate as much as you can
Exactly what kinds of solutions you need will depend on your business and the strengths of your team, but look for automation opportunities that can help lighten the load. Use an autoresponder when your support team is off or all busy that can help offer answers to common requests.
Get some extra training in
Even if your team has been with you for a while, it never hurts to keep training. The holidays can get stressful and customers can get difficult. Work with your support team on customer empathy practices, how to de-escalate when tempers flare, and how to better communicate upfront to keep situations from escalating as much as possible in the first place.
This is also the time to work on any improvements to your support processes or responses now, so existing issues or roadblocks are fixed before volume increases.
Have a standby plan
No matter how well you prepare, sometimes things just get busier than you expect. Have a plan for what to do or who to contact when extra help is needed, and make sure everyone on your team understands that plan.
Every interaction with your business matters
With so many more consumers shopping online this holiday season, there’s a great opportunity to capture new buyers. And with killer customer service, you are likely to turn those new shoppers into loyal customers.
For more info on eCommerce prep for the holidays, check out our post of top eCommerce strategies for the 2020 holiday season.