They say the holiday shopping season starts earlier every year — that’s true this time around. Consumers are worried that stores might be lacking inventory, which has already become the global aftermath of the pandemic. By shopping earlier, customers hope to get presents before the problem escalates.
The unstable pandemic situation will also push more consumers online this year. 62% of shoppers declare they’ll look for presents online because they want to keep social distance. More customers shopping online will give you a chance to increase your ecommerce sales. On the other hand, increased traffic will mean more customer inquiries or delivery delays that need to be resolved. The faster you prepare, the more likely you are to be successful.
To help you gear up, we’ve prepared a final list of tips that will let you improve your customer service this holiday season. The better service and experience will translate into higher conversion rates, and more returning customers.
Let’s get to work!
Plan for the unpredictable
Before the holiday rush knocks at your front door, make sure you are capable of handling diverse support questions, know what to do with weird complaints, and have a code of conduct when serious issues appear.
Think about all the problems you’ve experienced personally as a customer and consider if they may affect your clients. Read old support emails and ask your team about the most challenging cases they’ve had to solve. Brainstorm ideas on how to deal with problems and think about what could calm an angry customer down.
Having all that information on hand, prepare a customer service plan or even a handbook with guidelines, responses to popular questions, and links that will help your team solve problems efficiently. Proactively prevent bad reviews and turn abandoned carts into saved sales.
You can also prepare for the high season by training your whole team to be standby support agents. Show your colleagues the ropes before the shopping frenzy starts.
Be where your customers are
There are customers who prefer to solve problems on their own, and those who pick up the phone a second after an error 404 appears on their screen. Some are staunch emailers. Others are live chat lovers and social media enthusiasts.
Consumers may be as different as day and night, but they all expect you to solve their problems efficiently and via their favorite communication channels. Simply put, get to know your audience.
Check the stats concerning customer communication habits. For example, you could use the age distribution of your customers. Data shows that older users prefer calling, and they get upset if such an option is not available. Millennials love chatting and like to reach out to companies via social media, where they spend a massive amount of time. There are also those (over 60% of users) who prefer to solve support problems using self-service sites.
As a small company, you are not able to support all possible communication channels effectively. However, you can choose those that are preferred by your audience and make sure they work great when the shopping frenzy starts. This will give you more chances to engage with customers and meet their expectations. 40% of users claim that having their questions answered while shopping online is a key advantage of any e-commerce store.
Reactive customer service is just ok, but you can achieve more business goals by being proactive.
If you reach out to customers via live chat, you will not only learn more about their preferences but also find out about their pain points. You will be able to advise customers, anticipate their needs, engage with them, and provide guidance during checkout. Data shows that visitors invited to chat are 6.4 times more likely to convert than those who don’t chat with a store representative.
Being proactive is also beneficial if you are aware of the possible problems your visitors could experience. Customers are much more likely to forgive your mistakes if they learn about them from you instead of finding the problem on their own. By being honest, you can count on their understanding and build trust – crucial in customer acquisition.
Get yourself a chatbot
The holiday season drives much more visitors to websites than usual, meaning more customers will need your help while purchasing products. That can make your team feel dizzy. But staffing problems can be easily solved by customer service chatbots.
Chatbots can provide answers to simple questions 24/7. They shorten the queue waiting time and can support customers after working hours helping you increase customer satisfaction. Replying to common questions is not chatbots' only power. They can show off your products via product carousels, offer quizzes with discounts, and promote your best deal sales. They can facilitate the purchasing process by adding products to customer carts automatically, helping visitors to finalize their purchases, and letting them track ordered packages.
Chatbots help to automate a lot of business processes and lower the cost of acquiring a digital client. They let businesses deliver much better customer service and user experience, which are now key brand differentiators.
Chatbots are a simple, yet smart way to save money that would need to be spent on diverting more resources to support. They let businesses deliver much better customer service and user experience, which are now key brand differentiators. With a chatbot on board, you can rest assured that no customer will go unattended.
The role of customer service doesn’t have to boil down to solving customer problems. Every support conversation lets you build a relationship with a customer, provided you give the person your full attention and personalized help.
Friendly and well-tailored service not only shows customers you care but also boost sales. Data shows that up to 50% of consumers buy on impulse based on personalized recommendations.
Not to mention that personalization builds loyalty. For one, nine out of ten customers who received excellent customer service during Black Friday revisit the store.
Over to you
The shopping season is fast approaching. You’ve got a lot of work to prepare but you already know what needs to be done to wow customers. So, streamline your support services and change casual support conversations into engaging customer experiences.
P.S. Would you like to use a lead generation chatbot? Watch our video tutorial and learn how to create one without coding.