Keeping up excellent customer service is always a constant challenge, but it’s always hardest during peak seasons.
Both customers and employees are stressed, and it’s easy to let customer service slip in the drive to fill orders and push through sales.
Yet peak season is the most important time to deliver stellar service, so here’s how you can persevere through it.
Upgrade your self-service pages before the season begins
The typical 21st century customer will search for a quick answer on their own first.
They will go to your support pages, FAQ sites, and troubleshooting algorithms to find the answers they need instead of calling.
Only if they fail to get help on their own will they call you directly.
You can take much of the burden off your call center agents by making sure your FAQ and support pages are well-designed and information-rich.
It also pays to make sure your website search bar is easy to find and returning relevant pages to search inquires.
Motivate your call center team
You can play around with your software, FAQ pages, and chatbots all you like.
But in the end, it’s your people who will make the difference when it comes to delivering brilliant customer service.
This group of people will also be under enormous stress, so a smart company will find ways to inspire them during busy times.
How can you help your team along? Gamification techniques work well, as do special incentives for extra work or earning consistently high marks from customers.
Don’t neglect building relationships with your team, because you need to know they’ll be there for you when you need them.
Take a look at last year’s feedback
For many companies, the busy season comes during the holidays.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of coming up with ever-more gimmicky holiday sales ideas in in an attempt to draw customers in.
Doing this means you risk missing the real issues that will keep customers coming back again and again.
Instead of working up a wacky holiday giveaway, spend your energy analyzing feedback from last year’s customers and figuring out how you can address the problems and concerns they encountered.
Having a great experience with your company will draw more repeat customers than a chocolate Santa giveaway.
Look into temporary help
You may need to increase your cloud-based call center’s contract for a few weeks during peak season to allow for greater volume.
To deal with that volume, however, you also need to have enough people to answer calls.
Don’t wait until the last second to get your temps or freelancers onboard.
It’s no good having someone to answer a call if they know so little about the company that they can’t help the caller.
Get people trained early, so they can be up to speed and ready to go before peak season hits.
Automate everything you can
For peak season, you should be automating everything that has to be repeated regularly.
This saves your agents time, stress, and effort, and it leaves them with enough emotional energy to deal with more significant communications.
Make sure you’re automatically sending email responses so customers know you’ve heard them, and set up a chatbot on your website that can answer basic questions a customer might have.
Talk to your cloud-based call center provider about call-back technology. Customers would much rather be called back when an agent is free than wait for an hour on hold.
Peak season is hard on any business. It means more revenue, but it also means more stress and tension.
Prepare in advance and you’ll be ready to deliver the best possible customer service, no matter how crazy things get.