The lead up to Christmas can be a double-edged sword in retail. Higher sales numbers are great. The stress and customer questions, increased shipping times and support requests? Not so much.
With Cyber Monday just around the corner (2 December!), now is the time to get your Customer Service team in top shape to deal with the coming influx.
Good customer service creates loyal customers
Your Customer Service team is the key to successfully navigating the Cyber Monday rush, along with the entire ramp-up to Christmas. Getting customer service wrong during Cyber Monday as well as other big eCommerce events can be a disaster, see how slow customer service impacted ethical fashion retailer A.BCH before they started using Shippit.
While the increase in customer service requests can be daunting, it is also an opportunity to create loyal shoppers who return to you again and again. Research shows that customers are more likely to return to companies with a positive customer service experience. Customers know that problems do sometimes arise, it’s how you respond that makes all the difference.
Invest in training and up to date documentation
Your Customer Service team is only as good as the information available to them. Make sure that every member of the team is aware of your company policies and protocol, particularly when it comes to returns and sale items. You should also ensure that they are aware of the company’s legal obligations to customers and whether they change in different jurisdictions.
Customer Service team members should also be the first to know about any sale or shopping events. Keep them up to date on any differences between in-store and online offers so they can give the best service possible.
Set realistic expectations
The lead-up to Christmas is already a busy time and shopping events like Cyber Monday only stretch your team further. Take the stress levels down a notch by communicating expected issues to your customers in advance. These could include:
- Longer dispatch times
- Longer shipping times
- Longer response times
- Order cut-off dates before Christmas
Make sure to include information on how this will affect customers in different regions. International customers are likely to have longer shipping times and an earlier cut-off date than those closer to your warehouse.
This communication doesn’t have to be all negative—it could even be a marketing opportunity. Create a sense of urgency with a campaign focusing on your shipping cut-off dates.
Don’t overwhelm the Customer Service team
Rather than adding to the workload of your Customer Service team many enquiries can be better dealt with in other ways. For simple or frequent enquiries, ensure that your website’s FAQ page is comprehensive and up to date. You could implement a chatbot, which can deal with simple enquiries and direct more complicated issues to the right person.
Shipping enquiries such as delayed delivery or missing parcels can be particularly frustrating to deal with. Your Customer Service team likely has enough on their plates without acting as a go-between for customers and courier companies.
Luxury sustainable brand A.BCH took the pressure off their Customer Service team by using Shippit to book their order deliveries, which comes with automatic tracking and customer support. Shippit also automatically detects late courier pickups and deliveries so A.BCH and their customers are notified immediately.
Want to take your customer service experience further? Learn how to integrate shipping into your strategy.