Maintaining customer service during holiday season

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can be a challenging time for businesses. Customers are more likely to contact customer service over queries such as delivery or collection of orders, product availability, etc… For Technical Support teams, however, it may actually mean a drop in the number of inbound calls. But, they also have to manage staff taking holiday and working on a reduced schedule. Sustaining high levels of customer service during this time can actually give businesses the chance to shine. Do well and you’ll build up customer loyalty that will last them throughout the coming year.

With this in mind, here are some useful tips on maintaining high levels of customer service during this holiday season:

Advertise operational times

Businesses must ensure that customers are informed about operational hours during the holiday season. Consider sending out a seasonal email to all customers and including details of opening hours, closed days and the available channels for contacting customer service.

Optimize resource management

Call data from previous years can help forecast the number of calls that can be expected during the holiday season. It can also help when planning resources so you ensure the optimum number of agents available to take calls. For example, if your Support team is expecting a drop in the number of calls, you can plan for a reduced number of working staff and operational hours. Or if you’re expecting a spike in inbound calls, you can hire temp agents in advance or extend working hours.

Go multichannel

Multichannel support through email, web chat and social media, offers more options to customers looking to contacting customer service. It also helps reduce the volume of phone calls. Where possible use automation and ensure an instant response to all queries. This could include automatic email replies or automatic direct messages on social media.

Hire remote customer service staff

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a significant increase of remote workers in many sectors, with customer service being one of the most effected. Despite the initial struggle, what we’re left with is a talent pool that is not restricted by location. So, when looking for new staff to help out over the holiday period, be sure to consider the remote workers out there. Their difference in location and time zone could mean your business is able to offer around the clock customer service.

Use performance dashboards

Performance dashboards are a great way of monitoring call volume and team performance in real time. This also helps to efficiently manage agents and allocate resources to meet demand. When the holiday season is over, you can use the data to analyze call statistics and compare the performance to previous years.

Reduce waiting times

During peak hours, customers may take more time to reach agents. There are a number of telephony features available to reduce waiting times. Interactive Voice Response (IVR), for example, responds to customers when they dial in and routes them to the right team for their query. Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) helps to distribute calls evenly amongst available agents. Other options include offering the opportunity to leave a voicemail, or request a call back when an agent becomes available.

Prepare a contingency plan

Unforeseen circumstances can affect the best of plans. It is essential to have a contingency plan in place for when agents call in sick or they can’t make it to the office. Utilizing an advanced telephony solution enables your agents to be able to work remotely allowing you to have a bank of agents on call should they be required. This is also great if there is a spike in the call volume and you need agents to log in and help out with little notice and for short periods of time.

CloudCall for Customer Service

CloudCall was built with Customer Service Teams in mind. We make charting your road ahead for maximum efficiency pretty straightforward. *takes a bow*

In customer service, there’s huge potential for wasted time: scripts that miss the mark, tones of voice that the customers… don’t get on with, let’s say. Failure to address queries fast enough or in a way that puts you back in the customers’ good books.

But pinning down your perfect strategy can alleviate these issues and integrating your phone system with your CRM could be just the ticket.

With telephony CRM integration for customer service, such as CloudCall, your team will be able to:

  • Conduct actions from one centralized platform
  • Access all the same information they need
  • Greater collection of data
  • More easily provide a personalized experience

Suddenly, as if by magic, solving customer problems is no longer, well, a problem!

The holiday season offers many businesses a window of opportunity to make a great impression on customers. Happy customers means continued loyalty and support for your business throughout the coming year. Optimizing resources, planning efficient processes to deal with customer queries and preparing a contingency plan, will all help to ensure the quality of service customers receive and assist your business in achieving its goal of maintaining high levels of service during the holiday season.

To find out how CloudCall could help you keep your customers happy this holiday season, why not get in touch with a member of our friendly sales team?