Tips to Improve Customer Service during the Holiday Rush

The holidays are upon us, and this is the time of year when customer service goes through a huge shift. Though an exciting time for retailers - it can also be stressful. You've got buyers coming in from all over looking for deals on everything from toys to refrigerators. Your team has to be on call 24/7 during Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and New Year's Eve. 

It's not unusual for some retail stores' phone lines, websites, and social media accounts to become overwhelmed and spammed with messages. But that doesn't mean it's impossible to make sure your customers are satisfied with their experience. Businesses need to make sure that they have the right customer service to help their customers during this busy season. 

Luckily, there are many ways to improve your customer support service by managing your seasonal staff effectively, or outsourcing your service! 

Read on for some tips on how you can improve your customer support services during the holiday rush!

1. Draw Insights from Past Holiday Trends

This is a great place to start for any business that has been around the holiday block more than once. It's always worth looking back on your past encounters with customers during this time of year and reflecting on what went well, as well as where there may have been room for improvement - you can use those insights to plan better customer support service for this year's holiday rush. Start with asking questions like:

What were the biggest problems that your customer service reps encountered during past holiday rushes?

Were there any particular events or issues with customers that seemed to surface more than others (such as returns, shipping errors, etc.)?

Did you notice any patterns regarding what types of questions certain demographics asked most often about your products?

This is also a great time to have an all-hands meeting with your staff and brainstorm some creative ways that you can make the holiday season more enjoyable for both customers and employees. The goal should be to keep everyone on their toes so that they're always engaged in the process of trying new things - but it's important not to overdo it!

2. Pick your Communication Channels and Assign Ownership to Seasonal Customer Support Staff

It's important to make sure that you're prepared with the right customer communication channels for this time of year. You want to have a plan in place so your customers know who they can contact during the holiday rush, and there should also be someone designated as "the owner" for each channel - like Email, Live Chat, Phone Support, or Social Media handle. This way, you'll be able to monitor each channel and make sure that customer needs are being addressed as quickly as possible.

For example, if someone tweets at your company's Twitter account - it would be best for the social media team to handle their inquiry by responding with a message on Twitter, letting them know who they can contact, or directing them back to an FAQ page on your website.

Once you've assigned channels and reps to each of them, the staff needs to be trained in what they need to do during this time of year! Ensure that these employees know about all the available resources - like FAQs, troubleshooting tips, and other helpful information.

Finally, make sure that you're monitoring your channels, so every staff member has a positive experience during the holidays. Make it clear to employees - especially your seasonal assistants - what their goal should be when responding to customers: If they can solve someone's problem on the spot, then do it! But if not, then they should direct the customer to someone who can help them, like a supervisor or 24/hr support line.

3. Consider Hiring Remote Seasonal Workers

Hiring seasonal employees is a great way to handle the holiday rush. Investing in temporary workers for this time of year will help you alleviate some of that financial burden, as well as making sure your customer service team has enough people on their side when things start getting hectic!

There are many benefits to hiring remote seasonal employees. One is that it's much easier to train them - especially if you have a more sophisticated customer support system and want people who already understand how your product works!

Another benefit of Customer Support Outsourcing is the flexibility they provide for holiday schedules - these are agencies that work dedicatedly in customer support, helping businesses handle the holiday rush with ease. One of the biggest benefits of outsourcing is that you don't have to spend your time and resources to train employees.

The agents you hire are already trained and have worked with a range of businesses. This can give you a competitive edge because you'll have a well-trained, knowledgeable team to rely on when the holidays start. So, you can start from day one.

4. Approach each Conversation with Empathetic Calm and Focus on Fast Solutions

During the holiday season, it can be difficult to stay calm in the face of all that's going on. You need to assign a customer support team leader who can take an empathetic approach with your customers and understand where they're coming from - after all, we've been there before!

One thing is for certain: don't let anything undo your best efforts. Your customers will appreciate it if you're calm, and they'll feel more comfortable talking to you about concerns or problems!

The most important thing for customer support team leaders is making sure that every customer has a fast solution as quickly as possible. If you can solve someone's issue on the spot - do it!

Pro Tip: Every customer should have access to a "first contact" person to handle their needs. If this is not possible, the customer support team leader should designate someone in charge of each channel - like Email, Live Chat, Phone Support, or Social Media Handle. This way, customers will be listened to and addressed quickly with a response they want to hear.

5. Focus on Revenue Based Customer Support Service

In the next few weeks, you'll want to focus on revenue-based customer service. This means that your goal will be to do whatever is necessary for customers to feel satisfied with their purchase and often return - not just this year but in years down the line!

This holiday season can bring a lot of challenges when it comes to satisfying customers and increasing revenue. Therefore, you need to keep track of important customer metrics to know what you are dealing with.

For this, you'll want to leverage tools like Google Analytics, find customer service tools, identify revenue opportunities (Google CPC, Instagram Ads, Facebook Ads, and conversion rate optimization), and start conversing. In addition, it will help you track necessary metrics and evaluate the success of your efforts.

Moreover, you'll want to make sure you're staying on top of negative reviews, responding quickly and efficiently. This ensures that your revenue isn't impacted, and you keep your reputation up.

Conclusion

So, what do you think would be the best way to help make customer support service more positive? One pro tip would be to spend time planning a customer service strategy for the holidays before they start. And have an empathetic approach to conversations and focus on solutions, not just problems! But, most importantly, track important metrics, so you know what is going on with your customers.

Key Ecommerce Customer Service Metrics to Help Boost Customer Engagement and Retention

Customer service is the key to success for every business, and when you are running an eCommerce store, it's even more crucial. It helps reduce customer uncertainties, answer their questions, establish trust, and convince them to purchase your product. Here are some of the thought-provoking statistics that can prove our point -

These are just a few stats that represent a bigger picture. However, how do you know if your business is offering excellent customer support? How to know your customers are satisfied with your service?

Luckily, there are some primary vital metrics that you can utilize to measure your customer service performance and customer satisfaction. By tracking these key parameters, you can see how your business is performing. In fact, successful eCommerce businesses make many critical decisions based on these metrics. 

Ecommerce Customer Service Metrics that Matters

There are some key metrics you must track to ensure that your customer service performance is up to par. Working on these metrics is crucial to gain and retain high-value customers. Whether you have an in-house team or choose an outsourced customer service, tracking customer care metrics is essential to convert leads into loyal customers and advocates. 

Key eCommerce Customer Service Metrics

1. Average Issue Count (AIC)

Your customer support team must ensure that every customer complaint is addressed and adequately resolved. Keeping a clear track of the average issue count will help understand the quality of performance over time. This data will also help understand your product or service quality and make efforts to reduce the number of common issues that pop up.

2. Overall Resolution Rate (ORR)

Alternative to the average issue count, the overall resolution rate is a percentage at which your company resolves a customer complaint or a request. This metric can be calculated by subtracting the number of unresolved cases from the number of customer inquiries, then dividing this by the total number of inquiries. The fewer left unresolved, the more efficient is your customer support team.

3. First Response Time (FRT)

First response time is the time taken by your support team to reach out to your customers. The longer the duration of the time elapsed, the higher your customer's chances of leaving your website. Hence, bridging this gap and ensuring rapid communication is essential. Ideally, it should be less than 1-2 hours. Take a look at the response time and if you find that it is long, then plan on allocating more resources and implementing a live chat feature to your website to bring down your FRT.

4. First Contact Resolution Rate (FCR)

Unlike the first resolution rate, first contact resolution is the percentage of customer complaints or issues resolved on the first interaction with your customer. This metric shows the effectiveness of your customer support service department. You can either use the below formula to calculate FCR. Alternatively you can also choose to measure the first contact resolution through direct customer surveys.

5. Average Ticket Handling Time

Ticket handling time is the average time that an agent spends working on every unique ticket. It is also an indirect measure of ticket complexity and team productivity. Moreover, the time taken to close the ticket is proportional to the cost spent on it. The more the time, the more you are spending on the ticket.

6. Ticket Backlogs

This refers to the tickets that have been unresolved and have accumulated over time by your customer support service team. Simply relying on response time and the number of resolutions won't be sufficient. The percentage of complaints or requests backlog is a significant indicator of the performance of your support team. Thus, looking into the backlog every month is imperative to track productivity. If these numbers are high, it might be an indication that your team needs more training.

7. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Potential buyers read reviews and seek peers' suggestions before making a buying decision. Therefore, any positive or negative review will help them make a better purchase decision. Net Promoter Score of your online brand is the percentage of shoppers likely to recommend you to others. To gather this data, ask consumers, on a 0-10 scale, "How likely is it that you would recommend [Company Name] to others?" Though it doesn't directly relate to customer experience, NPS indicates whether customers have a positive attitude towards your brand.

8. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

How satisfied your customers are with your eCommerce customer support service is another strong performance indicator. This score proves to be helpful in conjunction with other ratings you obtain in your support service. Moreover, since it is subjective, it allows you to look closely at the mentioned areas and work accordingly. Thus, a customer satisfaction score directly gives you a great measure of your customer service performance. 

Conclusion

By tracking these customer support services metrics, you get a clear picture of the performance of your customer care team. Use all of these metrics to improve the overall business performance and boost your revenue.

Most of the time, in improving customer services, it's easy to lose focus on core business activities. In this case, it makes sense to work with the best customer service outsourcing company.

Outsourcing customer support is a cost-effective way to increase the efficiency of your customer support service while expanding available resources. By choosing the right company, you can amp up your business potential and yield excellent results. Contact us today for customer support outsourcing to experts.

15 Cold Calling Tips from Customer Support Outsourcing Services for Sales Success in 2021

What does cold calling mean to you? Do you consider it to be a sales strategy that barely gets results? Does it mean making several dozens of calls a day hoping someone shows interest in your pitch? Perhaps you think of cold calling as a strategy that worked a decade ago, and today, it is a waste of time and energy. If so, it’s time to rethink -

With technological advancements today, many believe that cold calling is not as effective as it was ten years ago. The truth is, customers still prefer to be called via the phone before they agree to a meeting with you.

While this data might prove our point, if you are not getting satisfactory results from your cold calling efforts, you might need to revisit your overall cold calling strategy. Here are 20 cold calling tips to consider before you start selling. 

20 Cold Calling Tips for Sales Success in 2021

Know what you are selling 

Know the product/service you are selling thoroughly. Learn more about your products so you can comfortably answer any related questions thrown at you. It’s also a good idea to have a thorough understanding of all the products/services you offer and not just what you must sell. It can help when you need to cross or upsell products.

Map out the conversation

A call can go different ways. Consider all other areas and directions a call could lead and how you will tackle each scenario. Create a mind map that branches into various directions—for example, booking an appointment for a demo, setting up a call at a more convenient time, or even closing a deal. 

Draft a successful cold calling script

A 30-second script will be perfect - a script should include an introduction, a reason for calling, and information about how the product/service is the ideal problem solver. You might have to create multiple scripts and then test each one individually to see which works best. 

Prepare to deal with objections

Rejections and objections are a part of selling your product. When you cold-call, you have a few seconds to deal with it. First, make a list of all the possible objections you could face, and then work on dealing with each of them. Next, get information regarding what questions to expect from potential customers and how to answer them. 

Invest in customer relationship management software for better customer support services

Customer relationship management (CRM) software can help you manage your customer support services, including your cold calls, by:

  • Keeping track of your prospects and productivity.
  • Connecting you instantly with missed calls and leads.
  • Recording calls to offer you better sales insights.
  • Helping with call training.

Personalize your calls

Every potential customer is unique. Research on individuals and learn about them. Then personalize your call to have a more meaningful conversation. Your potential customer visits social media platforms that provide a goldmine of information on their recent activities, hobbies and interests, education, mutual connections, professional background, and more.

Call only when your call will be received well

Research proves that certain days of the week and specific times are better than others for cold calling. Therefore, consider making your calls on specific days and at a suitable time. Also, analyze your call records for when you got the best results and schedule your calls accordingly. 

Lead with your prospective customer

Learn to focus on the person at the other end of the call. Listen to what they say to learn about their requirements and concerns. According to some studies, the best sales professionals listen to the prospect 57% of the time and speak only 43% of the time.

Stay on track

Don’t lose focus when on a call. Here are some things to do on a cold call:

  • Engage the prospect.
  • Ask questions but stay on topic.
  • Take notes as they talk – their interests, problems, and concerns.
  • Organize your thoughts around the data you gather to make your pitch relevant to them.

The tone of your voice is important

Your prospective client cannot judge your body language or facial expressions. So, they rely on your voice to better understand you. Voice modulation makes you more human, lends a breath of freshness and enthusiasm to the conversation, and makes your offer sound more appealing. Add warmth to your call. Match your tone of voice with your words.

Gauge the prospect’s response

Understand your prospect’s response, so you know whether you have their attention or are losing them. Learn to gauge their interest by the:

  • Questions
  • Responses 
  • The tone of their voice and volume
  • Choice of their words.
  • Avoiding pitching prematurely

A premature pitch can lead to failure. 

Understand what the potential customer wants and if the product/service you offer can counter their problems. Then, when you are sure you have a solution to their problems, dive into your pitch. 

Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks

Your solution should be as big as your buyer wants it to be. So if you can sell more than what you originally intended to sell, don’t be afraid to drop that pitch and pitch a bigger deal. Your cold-call script must make room for selling bigger and more. 

Leave voicemails

Many people avoid taking calls from unknown numbers. So, leave a short voice mail delivering your pitch uninterrupted. Remember, you have only approximately 15 seconds on a voicemail, so use that time effectively.

Know when to stop

If you don’t get a prospect on a first try, try calling again at a different time. If your calls and voicemails are unanswered after four or five shots, it’s time to move on to other prospects. You could try reaching out to this prospect after a couple of months. 

If you can’t overcome call reluctance, then outsource call center services

If you believe that cold calling is a thing of the past, then consider investing in customer support outsourcing. When you hire an outbound call center outsourcing services to a reliable customer support services company, you can be sure that they will help you reach your cold calling campaign goals.

Conclusion

Take these 20 cold calling tips into consideration and experience better sales success in 2021 and beyond. If you still doubt your company’s cold calling abilities, leave it to the experts. Instead, hire a customer support outsourcing company like Wow Customer Support. We help you wow your customers and take care of all your outbound sales efforts. You can now hire our agents at just $7/hour.Click here for more information on how we can take over your cold calling campaigns.

What cold calling strategies do you follow in your company? We would love it if you shared your tips on cold calling strategies here.