As the air gets cooler and the scent of pumpkin spice lattes fills the streets, you know what time it is – BFCM holiday season! This is a season that businesses are all excited about, looking for opportunities to boost sales. One thing’s for sure: nailing your BFCM holiday customer service game during these epic shopping days is an absolute must.
Don’t worry, we’ve got your back with the juiciest practices to sprinkle that extra holiday magic into your customer interactions. Get ready to sleigh the BFCM game and leave your customers happy! So, are you ready to unwrap the secrets of holiday customer service success? Let’s jump in this blog together!
Table of Contents
- Delve into your customer insight during BFCM
- Estimate the capacity for BFCM holiday customer service
- Improve the customer service capacity of your team
- Upgrade your BFCM holiday customer service quality
- Include all the most important policies in your store
- Keep a close eye on your social media channels
- Continuously assess your customer service quality
- Leverage your BFCM holiday customer service now!
Delve into your customer insight during BFCM
Before diving into wrapping up your BFCM holiday customer service plans, it’s a smart move to pause and look back at your performance from the previous years and this year’s customer trends. Take a good look at the trends, numbers, and patterns to understand what worked and what didn’t. With customers flocking for deals, ensuring a smooth experience is key. So, make sure to take a moment to reflect on these aspects:
- Did the customer service workload go up or down during the BFCM last year?
- How much of a change was there?
- When did the craziness start and when did things calm down?
Type of requests
- What kind of stuff have people been asking about the most before?
- Did you manage to sort out their requests?
- Were they mostly about returns, deliveries, or getting info on certain products?
Type of contact channel
- Which ways did they mostly use to get in touch with you during past BFCM?
- Any channels you didn’t try out last year?
Estimate the capacity for BFCM holiday customer service
The next thing you need to ensure during the BFCM holiday is whether your team can handle the work smoothly or not. In order to avoid overwhelming your team with the enormous workload during this sales season, you should estimate your capacity and determine how many resources you need to finish all the sales. Now, it’s time for you to do some calculations:
- Step 1: If you’ve got a system that tracks your chats with customers (like NestDesk, which can give you a report with the total number of conversations in a certain timeframe), grab that number
- Step 2: Now, look at the average number of conversations that an agent can handle during the normal time. (Different agents might have different capacities, but in this case, you should use the average number to simplify the forecasting)
- Step 3: Lastly, divide that number of conversations by the average agent capacity. That tells you how many agents you should have on board
Improve the customer service capacity of your team
It’s unavoidable that the amount of work your customer team will have to deal with will rise during the BFCM season. According to Build Grow Scale, some businesses have reported seeing a 50% or even 100% increase in ticket volume during BFCM. Thus, getting more hands on deck during the holiday rush is a must-do. But don’t get too threatened by this news, as there are still ways that you can utilize your inner source without having to mingle in complicated work:
Cross-training your employees
Cross-training your employees is a great strategy to make the most of your internal resources. You can train team members from different departments to assist with customer service during the peak season. Customer service skills are crucial for all your employees, and they aren’t too complex to grasp. Just make sure to give them a heads-up in advance and provide thorough training on your products, services, and customer care processes.
Use third-party digital support
During the crazy BFCM time, even if everyone in your team jumps in to help with customer service, it’s tough to guarantee they can handle everything. So, here’s an idea: think about getting some outside help – like third-party support. They can take care of some of the steps in your work process. But hey, these are your customers we’re talking about, right? So, you’d probably want to stay in the loop.
That’s why we suggest using a third-party digital solution instead of completely outsourcing to handle customer questions and stuff. This way, you’re still the boss, managing the system actively. It lightens your workload while keeping you in control of what you need to do with your customer service. Some of the services you can use can be chatbots, email marketing tools, etc. Those are easy yet practical solutions that can fit almost every e-commerce business.
Upgrade your BFCM holiday customer service quality
Once you’ve secured enough resources to manage your BFCM customer service tasks, it’s time to shift your focus toward enhancing the service aspects within your store. Talking about online service, of course, we cannot leave out customer self-service. With sufficient and smart customer self-service, customers will have a more comprehensive and satisfying experience. Here are some basic things that you should be able to fulfill for the best customer self-service:
Craft an informative FAQ
Here’s a smart move for this BFCM: Set up an FAQ page. Whether you’ve got one or not, make sure it’s packed with all the answers your customers might need. This helps them find answers fast, and you get to focus on bigger tasks. Keep those answers clear and simple. To rock your FAQ game, organize it by categories and issues. Start by listing the questions you often get and go from there. You can even link to articles and customer support for the best customer experience.
Integrate a helpful ChatBot
During the BFCM holiday, having a chatbot can be a real lifesaver. It helps you handle all those common basic questions that have been answered in your FAQ section. This frees up your support team to tackle the tougher stuff. And hey, adding a chatbot isn’t that complex. Nowadays, you can find a third-party chatbot solution on the Shopify App Store and plug it right into your store. That will save so much time for you!
Take NestDesk, for instance. We offer chatbots that act like virtual helpers that you can download right from Shopify App Store and embed into your store. These clever bots allow you to create many common scenarios based on the text that customers send you. It’s like having your very own shopping assistant, which makes the whole experience smoother and keeps customers coming back for more.
Send email regularly to customers
BFCM is all about fantastic deals. Then why not shoot out those awesome deals through email campaigns? Explore email marketing apps to boost your customer engagement and drive sales. We suggest you automatically set up email campaigns every week as a way to inform your customers about your new deals, and also engage customers more to your store. Also, you can even make each email special by tailoring your email to what they’ve popped into their cart.
Include all the most important policies in your store
When the season of BFCM comes, rules for stuff like shipping, returns, and lost packages will become super important. Imagine this: You offer a really good deal for people, and your store receives enormous traffic in one day to purchase the products. However, as you don’t show your shipping terms, many customers ask your customer service team. The other part, however, is in a rush during the holiday, and they drop out from your store. No fun, right?
Either your support team gets flooded with the same questions, like “What’s your shipping policy?”, when customers should be able to find that out easily themselves. Or, you straight-up lose sales because folks can’t figure out what to expect. That’s why you should update all of the most important policies relating to the purchasing process of customers.
When people decide whether to buy from a store, how fast the stuff arrives really matters. Dotcom Distribution found that around 40% of online shoppers trust brands more if they deliver quickly. And you know, during Black Friday, when everyone’s shopping for holiday goodies and gifts, fast shipping becomes a big deal too. People want their stuff on time, so stores with shipping policies score major points.
The shipping time is also a part of the policy, so remember to make the estimation as accurate as possible. Here are the things you need to consider when making the shipping time estimation for your store:
- First, Set Your Processing Time: To make things crystal clear for your customers, make sure to mention your order processing time in your shipping policy. This is something you can control, and by showing it, customers will have a better idea of how you handle their orders.
- Factor in Location: Also, let your customers know how their location impacts shipping times. It’s a good idea to give estimated delivery times for different places, like various regions or countries. You can get this info from the carriers you’re working with.
- Remember Holidays and Weekends: Remember that holidays and weekends can slow down shipping too. So, it’s important to include this info in your policy to prevent any hiccups down the road.
Returns and exchanges policies
Now, customers are bound to have a bunch of questions about returning stuff and getting their money back. Like, what if what they bought isn’t what they expected? Or what if their items arrive damaged? Heck, they might just change their minds altogether. So, here’s what we’re suggesting: Make sure your policy spells out these details:
- How long they’ve got to return something and ask for a refund?
- What stuff can actually be returned?
- The shape the returned item needs to be in.
- How much time does it take to process returns and refunds
- Who’s in charge of the shipping when they’re sending stuff back?
Last but not least, make sure your payment policy is crystal clear for your customers. For instance, payment methods, currency, billing information, etc. – those are the things that you need to list out clearly in your payment policy. When this is super clear, your customer service team can focus on delivering top-notch service to your customers instead of constantly untangling payment confusion.
Places to put your policies
You might already have those policies ready on your website, but if your customers can’t find them, they’re not much help, right? That’s why it’s crucial to get how your website users behave and make sure your policies are right so that your customers can easily see them whenever they want. There are a few spots you should definitely think about putting your policies:
- FAQ page
- Website banner
- Checkout page
- Order confirmation emails
- Product pages
- Help center pages
- Website footer
When the holiday season rolls around, customers are on a quest to find the best holiday purchases. And social media channels such as TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the places to go. They’re not just scrolling; they’re reaching out with questions, too. So, during the BFCM season, you’ve got to lock in two things for your social media game plan: loads of info and super-fast replies. Here’s the scoop on what you should tackle:
- Plan Engaging Posts: Every day, serve up a dish of exciting content. Share posts, stories, and videos that get your audience hyped for the season. To keep your team sane during the frenzy, plan and schedule stuff beforehand. That way, you can even jump on new trends without missing a beat.
- Blend Social and Customer Service: Link up your social media channels with your stores’ customer service. This makes sure you’re lightning-fast with responses and creates a smoother ride for your customers by connecting their data to your system. And guess what? It’s not just for the holidays. This move sets you up for a top-notch omnichannel experience. You can make it work easier with a third-party tool.
- Smart Agent Allocation: Spread out your customer service agents smartly. It adds a personal touch to the interactions. When agents are in the right places, customers feel the love, and chats with your business become more real and cozy. This personal connection? It’s a winner.
Continuously assess your customer service quality
Lastly, remember that it’s essential to continually evaluate your customer service in order to ensure that your team is consistently meeting customer expectations. By gathering feedback, analyzing data, and maintaining customer engagement even after their purchase, you’re maximizing your chances to create a positive customer impression. Moreover, you get to acquire valuable insights to improve your services in the future.
Regularly take customer feedback
The entire purpose of your customer service is to ensure your customers’ happiness. But you might be wondering, how do you figure this out? Well, our answer is simple: Just ask them directly about their thoughts on your assistance.
Don’t hesitate to pose questions like: “How was our service today?” or “How do you feel after using our services?” These small actions are incredibly effective because they demonstrate how much you value your customers, and they guide you in knowing exactly what steps to take next to enhance your service.
Evaluate the data and make adjustments
You’ve gathered some valuable feedback and have support data on hand. Now, let’s pull together similar information from various parts of your business to get the full picture. This approach helps you fine-tune your game plan.
For instance, if specific products are outperforming others, think about increasing their sales further by offering additional discounts. In addition, if a majority of your website traffic is derived from a single source, it’s smart to keep focusing there while also strategizing to diversify your traffic channels. By evaluating data, you can optimize your resource allocation, concentrating them on strategies that genuinely drive results for your store.
Accompany your customers after their purchase
After people make a purchase, it’s not the end of the story. Provide a friendly follow-up to check how they’re enjoying their purchase. Have your agent send a quick email or message, asking if everything is good and if they need any assistance (It’s a good idea for the agent who assisted them during the sale to do this).
This personal touch demonstrates your care and ensures their satisfaction with their purchase. Moreover, if they encounter any issues, you can address them immediately. It’s like keeping the conversation alive and ensuring they walk away with a smile.
Leverage your BFCM holiday customer service now!
And that’s wrapped up all you need to remember for the best holiday customer service during the hectic BFCM! You’ve got 7 super-solid practices to rock this BFCM customer service, from how to understand your customers, estimate your capacity, enhance your self-service, and assess your data. These practices will make sure that even after the holiday dust settles, your amazing service will keep shining bright.
Guess what? We’ve got some free magic up our sleeves to make your life easier and give your business a breather. Check out NestDesk – it’s like your one-stop shop for customer service awesomeness. With everything from Chatbot and HelpDesk tools to handling data and checking performance, NestDesk saves you money and time, and you can keep rocking it for the long haul.