‘Tis the season to put a massive smile on your customer’s face and make sure they keep coming back for more!
Retailers love the holiday shopping season, and with good reason. It’s the time of year when many businesses take in a large portion of their overall revenue — national holiday sales last year alone surpassed $600 billion.
While an increase in sales is great for the bottom line, the holiday season also means an increase in customer interactions, which unfortunately doesn’t always result in glad tidings or great joy. A recent survey found that more than two-thirds (69 percent) of consumers said customer service was worse during the holiday season than the rest of the year.
Christmas time is no time to let your customer service slide. During the busy holiday season, your customers need you more than ever, and you can turn this to your advantage.
Use these simple customer service tips to boost your business this Christmas and keep your customers coming back long into the New Year.
Give more than just goodwill
Tis the season for giving, and your while your customers may not expect any gifts from you, it doesn’t take much to inspire their loyalty. Get personal and send each customer a holiday greeting in the form of a card. You can give gift cards, exclusive coupons, or other ‘gifts,’ and your customers will have a great reason to continue doing business with you throughout the holiday season.
Be clear about your dates
Good customer service means being available when your customers need you, but that can be tricky during the holidays. If your business will be closed on a day during the holiday season, be sure you make it clear when your customers can expect to reach you again.
Shorten hold times
Hold times are often triggered by issues such as inflexible phone systems that can’t scale to handle fluctuating call volumes, improper staffing or utilization of staff, or poorly structured call menus. By decreasing hold times, customers will feel better serviced and may even spread the news about how impressed they were with the experience.
Embrace the season
Who knew? Underneath that Grinch-like exterior is a real person who actually likes holiday music. About half (48 percent) of consumers said they prefer holiday music when placed on hold. Just make sure they don’t have to hear it for more than a few minutes — one-third (32 percent) indicated they would hang up when on hold for more than five minutes.
Be of good cheer
It turns out your customers are in the holiday spirit after all. In fact, one-third (35 percent) of survey respondents voted “Happy Holidays” as the number-one phrase that warms their heart.
Make sure your staff has smiles on their faces (and in their voices) by equipping them with the knowledge and tools they need to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. These improved interactions will, in turn, give your customers a new attitude about holiday customer service, resulting in good tidings for you and your company.
Send customers a specially designed Christmas card
Personalized Christmas cards are an ideal way to say thanks to your customers for their business. It makes customers feel appreciated and not just ‘another sale’, especially if it was a highly involved purchase where you built a personal relationship.
Help Customers Learn Something New
How cool would it be to hold an event where you bring in experts to talk about vehicles/ technology and have some free snacks and hot chocolate? The more educated your customers become, the more they will appreciate the car business, thus the more valuable they are to your business.
Wow One Customer
Spring for it, throw rational thought out the window and WOW one customer. Stories of amazing customer service overtures fill the air—it’s time to let your company be the story of the day.
Give a customer service experience so delightfully over-the-top that one lucky customer will have a great story to tell. If you’re creative enough, that customer’s family, friends, and social media acquaintances will be retelling the story for days and weeks to come.
Give a Great Read
Take a gander at the books that have been most influential to your company. Give one as a gift to customers. This gesture offers customers insight into your company culture and opens the lines of communication for future discussion about the book.
Make sure to write a personalized note that goes with or inside the book so your customer knows this is a thank you meant just for them.
Call out customers via Twitter/ Facebook to let them know how much they mean to you. The 140-character challenge: make it personal, be sincere and leave them smiling.
Another way to profess your love: feature customers on your website. This makes customers feel valued and gives them a sense of pride in doing business with you.
Send a Treat
Cookies are a winning idea—liked by all and easy to share. But consider your audience: if your customer is a fitness guru, brighten their healthy day with a fruit bouquet instead.
If you choose cookies, some places to order from include Christie Cookies (they do custom tins).