Your simple guide to delivering memorable Christmas customer service

Whether you are a local authority, a transport provider or a retailer, you are probably already feeling the strain of the Christmas customer rush. But with careful planning and addressing these challenges early, you can create powerful customer experiences and opportunities for your organisation.

The run up to Christmas is a busy time of year, regardless of industry. At SocialSignIn, our clients are already reporting an increase in inbound social media activity, more customer feedback, and rising queries and requests.

But with the Christmas break looming on the horizon, how can you ensure your customer service team is well-equipped to continue to provide exceptional social service that Santa would approve of?

As Client Success Manager at SocialSignIn, here’s how our leading clients ensure their social customer service remains bullet-proof over Christmas, delighting customers and keeping employees focused.

Self-service and FAQ’s

Provide your clients with a knowledgebase of readily-available answers to their most common questions, make this easy to access and easy to navigate and you will soon see that they start finding answers to their own questions without assistance. At SocialSignIn we use Zendesk.

By ensuring that your FAQ’s pages are up-to-date and easy to understand, you can encourage your customers to self-serve, providing an effective service outside of your opening hours and also relieving some pressure from your team during peak times. Your team could utilise social media snippets for precreated responses to commonly asked questions, enabling them to include links back to your website without needing to repeatedly copy and paste, helping them to provide a fast and effective social customer service.

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Remote working and live chat

For businesses of all sizes it’s important to have a continuity plan for Christmas, particularly as there’s often more reliance on a smaller number of staff. Remote working can deliver a productive and cost-effective way of to dealing with the disruption that Christmas can bring. Encouraging an infrastructure that complements flexible and mobile working. Using digital tools that enable collaboration “In the cloud” rather than over emails will greatly enhance your remote working capabilities. By empowering your team to work from the comfort of their own home, they can answer emails, live chats and even calls – benefiting both your customers and your employees.

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Ensure your opening times, SLA’s and other channels are clear

You have probably already noticed that customers have high expectations when it comes to social customer service – 42% want a response within 60 minutes and 57% expect the same response time at night and even on weekends! With Christmas coming it’s essential that you clearly display the hours and days that your customer service will be in operation across the different channels. Clearly state when your hotline will be manned, when emails will be picked up and when your social channels will be monitored to ensure that you’re not inundated with messages complaining that you haven’t replied. Schedule posts outside of office hours with answers to FAQ’s to counter potential questions. Keeping your customers informed will help to manage their expectations.

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Ensuring the team and tools are up-to-date

When entering periods of increased demand it’s important that your team are fully-trained on the tools and processes that you have in place. In order to ensure that your service is smooth and coordinated consider running a refresher group training session – reinforcing your systems and giving your team a quick reminder on how to best use your internal social media management tools. Don’t leave anything to chance at this time of year, having fresh insights can be beneficial.

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Expect the unexpected

It’s always been important to have a crisis management plan in place in case of emergencies but over the Christmas period it’s even more important. If it comes to light that one of your products has a manufacturing fault or a freak snow storm hits your constituencies it might be essential to issue real-time updates and respond to potentially thousands of inbound messages – agree with your team in advance how you’ll counteract these issues should they arrive to avoid being caught off guard.

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Motivate, Motivate, Motivate

We are all familiar with the Christmas motivation dip, with holidays looming it’s easy for your team to focus on their upcoming festivities rather than providing your customers with an excellent customer experience. It’s essential to dedicate some time to boosting your team’s morale. Internal competitions and fun initiatives will all help keep your team focused and even performing throughout the Christmas period.

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Social customer service can be a highly-effective way to save your organisation money by directing customers away from traditional costly customer service methods. By channel-shifting, your organisation could potentially save significant sums of money, whilst providing a smoother, more satisfying customer experience. So, you now have the ingredients to help your customer service team manage the winter rush and continue to provide best in class customer support – giving them loyalty-building experiences and giving you one less thing to worry about.

Discover the tricks and techniques that helped National Express to win the 2016 “Digital Customer Service Team of the Year” at the UK Contact Centre Awards.


About the Writer:james-hayward

James Hayward, Client Success Manager at SocialSignIn has a wealth of experience in managing customer service teams, improving companies’ relationships with their service users and using his creative, analytical skills to determine key areas for growth. He has helped to maintain an industry leading satisfaction rating of 99% for support queries. In his spare time James is currently studying Japanese and enjoys discovering more about their history and culture.

If you’d like to connect on LinkedIn click here or follow him on Twitter @JamesHay_SSI