Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now behind us, but there are still plenty of shopping days left until Christmas.
There will always be buyers who end up waiting until the very last minute, either because they’re hopelessly disorganised, or holding their breath for an eleventh hour price drop.
So how can you make sure that your customer service doesn’t slip with the increased traffic through the doors, or to your website?
Here are some handy tips to help you make the most of this festive shopping season.
Anticipate the increase in footfall or website traffic and organise staff and resources accordingly to make sure you’re adequately covered.
There’s nothing worse than going into a packed store that’s heaving with customers and being unable to identify any employees who can assist you.
Having too few assistants available creates unnecessary stress for everybody. This situation alone is likely to generate complaints, and most seriously lead to abandoned purchases!
2. Staff preparation
As well as making sure there are enough workers in the right place and at the right time, having them all singing from the same song sheet is vitally important.
Communicate the absolute necessity of maintaining excellent customer service at all times. Reinforce the basics such as greeting shoppers with a friendly smile, and proactively offering assistance.
But also remember to keep things light hearted, think about running a fun incentive to keep employees motivated, or wearing hilarious Christmas jumpers etc.
3. Product Knowledge
Ensure staff product knowledge is up to date. It’s vital to keep everyone in the loop about which products are currently available, or if they’re out of stock when they’ll be available again.
Nothing is more certain to rub customers up the wrong way than receiving misinformation, even if it’s accidental.
4. Website Readiness
While online retailers may not have the same issues that go with employing customer facing staff, there are still other questions that need answering so you can have the best chance of successful festive trading.
- Is your website optimised to provide a smooth customer experience?
- Can visitors easily find the products they’re looking for or are they obscured by difficult navigation?
- Have all opportunities for up-selling and cross-selling been taken?
- Can visitors check out easily in as few steps as possible?
- Are you able to respond promptly to any customer enquiries? (The industry average for email is somewhere around 36 hours.)
5. Delivery Choices
How you get the product to your customers, and how quickly you can get it to them is vitally important.
Make sure that you have appropriate delivery options in place, such as an urgent shipping option available for those who are keen to get their gifts in good time before Christmas.
Also consider offering a specific delivery guarantee that will give shoppers confidence and peace of mind to buy from you.
6. Returns & Complaints
No matter how well you plan and organise there are bound to be things that go wrong from time to time. Whether it’s because of a mistake on the part of your company, or a misunderstanding by a customer that leads to a complaint.
How an issue is handled can make all the difference between retaining consumer loyalty or trending on Twitter for the wrong reasons.
Review your current resolution process, is it quick, easy and transparent to navigate or are there unnecessary barriers and layers of red tape?
Could you consider offering any additional seasonal flexibility outside your normal policies?
Have you empowered staff to resolve the most common issues in the first instance, minimising the need for escalation?
We’d love to hear your tips and suggestions about best practices for this time of the year, so join in the conversation by posting your comments below.
It just remains for us at Finer Future to wish you all a happy pre-Christmas trading period with an abundance of satisfied customers.