The chill in the air that accompanies November’s arrival typically puts us all in mind of the holidays. Yet in the call center, the mood isn’t often so merry and bright. Providing high-end customer service is a vital function of any call center and one of the most difficult outcomes to produce.
So how can you make sure your call center is providing the best in customer service during the holidays? Seven simple points will help you thread the needle and make the holidays bright all around.
How to Make Your Customer Service Shine During the Holidays
There’s no amount of holiday magic that will make a contact center provide the best customer service all the time, but a few key points will help deliver the magic as nothing else can.
Make your lists, check them twice. We all know that call volume around the holidays tends to increase – sometimes substantially. This spike in calls is actually a great opportunity for the astute call center operation to make its service better all year through. Document all the calls you get during this time and how the call center responds to them. The documents you make today will not only help with reference points back to address issues in calls, but they will also serve as fodder for analytics.
A Santa on every street corner. While it’s important for your call center to be up and running to its fullest, remember that phones aren’t the only way to get in touch with your business. Make your call center as robust and ready for the increased call volume of the holidays as possible, but pay attention to the other methods customers will want to use such as social media or web-based chat functions.
Remember your automation elves. Chatbots and similar technologies do wonders for simple questions, and they also make users feel a little more fulfilled. Self-service options and automation tools act like little elves at the North Pole, cheerfully working at all hours to make your customer service shine. Investing in automation helps take weight off the call center, which helps ensure it can deliver the best in customer service.
Stuff the stocking. Of all the things you can say about the holiday season, calling it “cold” and “busy” are almost always what it’s like. You’re likely to see a lot more illness this time of year thanks to stressed-out employees trying to wrangle everything that needs to be set up for the holidays. Take the opportunity to increase your agent count and plan for the seasonal need. Stores the world over hire extra help for the holidays, so why not take a page from their book and bolster your own operations similarly?
Start planning now, if you haven’t already. The secret to any successful holiday gathering is advanced planning. It’s not just that your employees are more likely to turn up sick at this time of year; they’re also more likely to need time away from the office for family-related issues. If you think you can just fob off the extra work onto those who don’t have families, then be prepared for a whole lot of resentment later. A call center full of unhappy, disgruntled employees feeling guilty about missing something isn’t the best way to get high-end customer service.
It’s Christmas all over. Preparations shouldn’t stop at your own front door. Get your callers into the Christmas spirit. Is your on-hold music playing carols? Why not? Maybe shift your voicemail to appropriately reflect season’s greetings as your own employees hold them. Your customers are celebrating at this time of year, too. Remember those employees who were taking up the slack because they didn’t have families? Now is an excellent time to reward them with a few extra Christmas gifts of their own. In fact, it’s a good time to reward all your employees for helping to make the holiday season bright for the company too.
Skip the lines. Lines are everywhere at this time of year. Think about how many lines you personally ran into the last time you went shopping in December: the line of traffic to reach a store, the line to get in, the line to get to the items in question, the line to pay, and the line to leave the store are all enough to make you despise lines forever. Imagine how your customers would feel coming back to one more line in your call queue. Giving your customers the option to skip the line by scheduling a call back later can set you apart and make your customer service shine.
When You Need Help Improving Customer Service, Holidays or Otherwise
The best part about improving your customer service for the holidays is that the things you do today can prove helpful the whole year-round. Forget the Jelly of the Month Club – this is the gift that keeps on giving to your bottom line. Give your company and your contact center the gift of redundancy, high-quality calls, at up to 70% savings with thinQ. Get a demo and spend 15 minutes with our experts today.