What Customers Demand This Christmas Shopping Season When It Comes to Service
The competition in the market for Christmas Shopping Season dollars is fierce so businesses of all sizes really have to go the extra mile to increase Christmas sales. Whether a potential customer has dropped into your store or is visiting your business website to do some shopping, the question will always be the same; “Why should they purchase this product or service here instead of somewhere else?”
The answer to this question simply depends on how you treat them. To get a person to do their Christmas shopping at your business, you need to make their shopping experience special. Good customer service is one way you strive to do this as well as rewarding them for choosing your business. Businesses often prepare for the holiday season way ahead of time but when it actually comes to the main event itself, it is a whole different ball game. Christmas Shopping Season is one of the busiest events of the year and the following are some things businesses should be doing when the holiday season begins:
1. Be multichannel this Christmas Shopping Season
Modern consumers want the freedom to shop in-store as well as online, with the ability to access different delivery methods such as buy online, pick up in-store and with different payment options. The same applies to customer service and today, customers don’t want to have to contact you for technical issues. All your resources should be consistent and they should get the answers they want when they want and through the channel they prefer.
2. Take responsibility
Supply chain can be complex, especially when it comes to delivery as it involves multiple partners such as couriers and logistics companies. Businesses should always remember that customers have bought goods from them so they will hold you responsible for getting them delivered in time especially for Christmas. Simply passing their queries onto the delivery companies does not help, and it means that your customer service team has to know exactly what is going on and be able to resolve the issues. Otherwise, at the end of the day, it will simply reflect on your brand and revenues.
3. Monitor social media
At a busy time, it is easy to focus most of your resources on traditional customer service channels such as phone and email. However, failing to exhibit social customer service adequately and responding slowly to queries can allow issues to escalate quickly, and that too on a very public space. This means that a bad experience can lead to a bad review which can be seen by hundreds and thousands of people, thereby, damaging reputation and sales. This is why you need to try and be proactive on social media, especially Facebook and Twitter.
4. Make service fast and seamless
All through the year, customers want you to value their time, and get back to them as soon as possible. This is highly important throughout the holiday season especially on Christmas, as late responses are likely to lead to customer attrition or missed sales. Research indicates that customers expect to receive a response to their email by 2 hours tops, yet the average response time was around 8 hours, which in their minds is unacceptable. On social media, around 70 percent of consumers demand answers within an hour, yet it takes around 31 hours to do so, making it easier for consumers to find alternative options. If you have customers waiting in line, you can play Christmas themed music to keep them entertained.
5. Prepare for the unexpected
Contingency plans are now very common within businesses. You may seem to think that things are going according to plan, but in reality, something does go wrong and may lead to other issues. A shipment of products does not arrive at your facility on time, or one of your delivery partners has problems, weather issues and so many other factors that can potentially upset your plans. So, businesses need to be prepared accordingly when it comes to customer service. Even though they cannot change the weather, what they can do is keep the customers informed and updated rather than being kept in the dark.
Retail sales are likely to grow every year this Christmas, but there are no guarantees that your business will benefit from there. Therefore, you need to ensure that your customer service is up to the task of providing top-notch service while maintaining the holiday spirit.