While Christmas carols may promote joy and good cheer, the pressures of family and business responsibilities can turn the holidays into the most stressful time of the year. Dealing with frustrated consumers is a common occurrence for customer care center employees, but this time of the year provides extra challenges. Front-end employees must not only resolve issues, but they also have to strive to turn brand interactions into a positive holiday experience. Here are five best practices for optimal customer care for even the grinchiest of consumers:
1. Recognize gifts are important
Empathy with consumers is one of the most important features of quality customer service. The Harvard Business Review suggested companies have to place themselves in their consumer’s place during every interaction and discover the motivations for reaching out to a business.
During the holidays, customer call center agents should start by assuming an upset customer isn’t worried about a product, he or she wants information about an important gift. Care agents have the chance to save Christmas by making sure family members and friends get the token of affection the consumer is trying to deliver.
“Shipping takes high priority during the holiday season.”
2. Realize they’re on a schedule
Shipping takes high priority during the holiday season. Most industry customer service departments are used to customers checking on arrival dates, but many last minute shoppers are desperate to find out if an order will make it to the right address by Christmas morning.
Customer care centers need to arm themselves with as much data about business shipping practices as necessary. Employees need to communicate all relevant information and provide the consumer with solutions he or she can use to take control of monitoring to feel less helpless.
3. Keep track of holiday promotions
A brand may offer special deals during the holidays and a customer care center has to be aware of what the business promises across all of its marketing channels. Integrating customer care management software with sales and advertising data keeps all company representatives in the know during times of unique business practices.
Care agents should also have possible special features they can offer upset customers during the holiday season. If the business provides free gift wrapping or special rates on holiday deliveries, a unique add-on may help calm a frantic caller.
4. Betters solutions for increased traffic
Small Business Trends said the holidays are a perfect time to re-evaluate a company’s care center solutions. First of all, a business needs to offer care across all of the popular channels a consumer will use to make contact. Brands may choose to use holidays to launch chat features or other exciting new care options.
Business may also have to offer outside the norm care during the holidays. Increased traffic may call for temporary employees to provide speedy and consistent service. Organizations should have intuitive customer care software solutions so managers can bring new employees up to speed quickly. Seasonal helpers won’t benefit a brand, if they can’t deliver the standard of care necessary to keep customers in the holiday spirit.
5. Have a brand-centric holiday!
Recent sensibilities prevent employees from wishing every customer a Merry Christmas. Businesses want to provide respectful care for all of their consumers and should avoid excluding people who celebrate differently. This doesn’t mean brands can’t provide special care during the holidays, however.
Once again, a consumer center must be aware of what the rest of the business does for the holidays. The brand probably has a unique way of appealing to seasonal shoppers. Clothing companies may highlight temperature concerns and winter activities. However a brand views the holiday season should be reflected in all customer engagements. Plus, its never a bad time to promote a positive attitude in customer care center culture, holiday cheer can be an excuse to revitalize a commitment to friendly engagements.