How to Handle Holiday Fuss from Online Customers

'Twas just before Christmas and on every phone, a dissatisfied customer let out a moan...

The holidays are stressful, right? There's so much to do before the big day, and getting the right gift for the people on your list is a daunting task. With everyone out shopping, there are more customers than ever in December, and those customers tend to be under more pressure than usual. This seems inevitable. Is there anything customer service agents can do about it?

Yes, there is. At Brand Embassy we try to make life easier and more enjoyable for customers during the holidays and all year round. So we've put together this list of digital customer service tips to help both agents and customers have happier, and hopefully less stressful, holidays.

Be prepared to scale service

Brands selling any type of product can expect an influx of customers and service queries in the lead-up to the holidays. Be prepared to scale up service over the next few weeks. But scaling doesn't necessarily mean hiring more agents.

 

Digital customer service can help agents work more efficiently, so you can deal with more incoming queries across digital channels with the same number of agents. Customer service agents are more efficient on social media, and brands should be ready, willing, and able to take advantage of the technology. Start with a powerful digital customer service solution that can monitor workflows, then organize your team around specific times and topics.

Key point: The holidays call for more efficiency, not more customer service agents, necessarily. Be sure to have a digital customer service solution that is easy to scale.

Be instantly available with a chatbot

Digital customers are impatient in general, and many expect a response in under an hour. Customers are certainly more impatient during the holidays, when stress levels are high. Fortunately there is a digital customer service tool that offers a perfect solution: chatbots.

 

When human agents can't be available for customers, a chatbot is invaluable. With a chatbot to instantly or even proactively get in touch with anyone who's on your website or communicating via social media, you're always there for your customers, even if you can't solve the most complicated issues instantly.

Key point: A chatbot makes your brand instantly available at all times. This is invaluable during times of high stress for customers, like the holidays.

Be transparent about service issues

Nobody's perfect. Especially during the holiday rush, it can be hard to keep up with the tidal wave of incoming customer queries. And that's okay! But when you can't be available for your customers, it's important to let them know how long they will wait. 

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Facebook has made a point of this with their badges which show how responsive brands are to incoming posts and chats. Follow their lead and first strive to respond quickly, but also make sure to let customers know how long they're going to wait. This is better than pretending you're going to reply to them right away, when you know you can't manage it. Giving customers a clear expectation will help them feel calmer, which is a key element of customer experience.

Key point: Prominently display on your website and social media how long customers can expect to wait for a reply.

Be extra cheerful

Let's be honest, it can be difficult being a customer. That's especially true during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Anything that customer service agents can do to make life a little easier will be much appreciated. 

 

While it's always a great idea for agents to treat customers kindly, customer service agents should be extra cheerful during the holidays. It can start with a personal tone, and it's also important to have the team take a step back and a deep breath, and to really try to empathize with frustrated customers. Trust us, your customers will love you for it.

Key point: Be sure to instruct agents to work with extra empathy during the holidays and to be even kinder than usual.

Customers deserve extraordinary customer service all year round, not just during the holidays. And not just because it's a nice thing to do. When done right, digital customer service leads to more sales conversions and long-term loyalty.

Brand Embassy is a digital customer service platform that can lower the cost of great customer service, and increase revenue. We'd love to show you what we can do for you. Get in touch today to request a demo. And Happy Holidays! 

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