‘Tis the season to be jolly! For customer services representatives, maintaining a happy and professional manner is a must all year round though, and putting on a brave face (and a smile) isn’t always easy. The saying may proclaim ‘the customer is always right!’, but we know that’s not 100 per cent true. Nevertheless, those in customer service roles have to manage customers’ expectations, while often meeting stringent targets as well.
The Christmas period inevitably brings with it additional workload and stresses for those in customer services. Every company does its utmost to provide the absolute best service but, let’s face it we’re only human and, therefore, there will always be the occasional error or delay, especially during busy periods. This, in turn, can lead to unhappy customers and your customer service team is on the frontline, so they need to be equipped to handle any situation effectively.
Here are our top tips to help you provide the most efficient service and create as pleasant a working environment as possible for your customer service team, throughout the festive season!
Sharing intelligence and getting involved in the planning process for the Christmas period early is a must. If you anticipate more enquiries about a specific product or service for instance, communicate that with the customer service team and give them all the ammunition they need to answer any questions.
You also need to account for staff sickness, stock shortages, adverse weather and technology failure, then react accordingly. Falling short when it can easily be avoided puts unnecessary pressure on everyone and is a sure fire way to create tension and frustrations. Don’t leave yourself open to easily avoidable crises!
There will always be something that doesn’t go to plan, so expect the unexpected. Don’t stick to scripts religiously. The company stance and processes are there for a good reason, yes, but people invariably buy into people, so they want a response from a human, not a robot.
Sometimes, customers want to speak to someone more senior. If that’s the case, it will save everyone a lot of time in the long run to reach that conclusion early, rather than trying to force them to accept the information from a junior member of the team, just because company policy dictates it. Occasionally, an authoritative voice (and title or badge!) is all that’s needed!
Remember that your employees are your most valuable asset
Your team is more valuable than anything else, so make sure you make them feel loved. Employees that engage with the customer and create a memorable experience are like gold dust! However, despite your best efforts, you can’t change the fact that your employees may have to handle some challenging customer complaints or situations over the festive period. You can make them feel valued and appreciated for their excellent customer service efforts though.
Inspire’s travel card could be just the thing to reward your employees for a job well done. After all, a good holiday is probably just what they’ll need after the Christmas rush is over!