You might be surprised to learn that though your sales figures may increase exponentially during the holiday season, your customer satisfaction metrics such as CSAT will drop sharply soon after the holiday season. This is because, once the shopping season ends and people are back to unpacking their gifts, complaints and calls made to online stores increase. According to Deloitte, you can expect a 19% growth in your online store sales figures, as compared with last year’s figures. With close to 40% of sales originating from cell phones, you can also expect a number of calls made from those same cellphones to your customer service department.
In this article, let us take a look at 5 unexpected ways your customer service will fail this Cyber Monday, even though you think you are well-prepared for it all.
1. You have not defined holiday customer service
According to Accenture, 66% of shoppers switch brands if they encounter bad customer service. If you do not have a customer service strategy for the holiday season, it will definitely fail. The season begins on Thanksgiving Day, and sales figures continue to grow through Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, peaking on Cyber Monday. All this happens in a span of few days and if you do not plan how you are going to handle calls, text messages, and social media queries, your customer service will fail by the time it is Cyber Monday.
Make sure that you train your staff about different shopping days, and how shopping trends differ on each of these holidays.
2. There will simply be too many customers calling up
CNBC reported that online transactions reached a record $6.59 billion last Cyber Monday. If you look at the sales figures on the previous holidays, you can imagine how your customer service staff will be overburdened by calls made by customers regarding refunds, discounts, undelivered packages, and complaints about products. In fact, studies show that people tend to call up the first thing they wake up on a Monday morning, if they are not happy about a product. If you are not prepared to handle a sudden surge of calls on Cyber Monday, your customer service will fail.
Prepare yourself for an exponential increase in customer queries, and try to allow your employees to work from home so that they don’t waste time traveling to work.
3. Your customer service agents are not trained for the holiday season
According to Adobe, customers spent a record $15.12 billion on Saturday and Sunday just before Cyber Monday last year. Surely, your staff will not be trained to handle so many calls. When customer service agents are not trained properly, they often make errors that infuriate callers. This can lead to poor reviews online and reduced CSAT scores. It is important to train all your staff to be prepared for the shopping frenzy that the days after Thanksgiving are known for. Many agents often spend a lot of time on each call, as if it is just another day. Unfortunately, each extended call means, another shopper is kept on hold.
Train your staff to end calls quickly only during the shopping season. If you do not want to lower your customer service quality, consider partnering with an external agency during the holiday season.
4. Your staff will be stressed out
Last Cyber Monday, smartphone traffic smartphones and tablets consisted of 53.3% of traffic. This means, a lot of people began shopping soon after Sunday midnight, to make optimum utilization of Cyber Monday offers. If your staff is going to be working during the early hours of Monday without a break, they will be very stressed out. In addition, you may have planned to extend Cyber Monday deals until Wednesday, like many other retailers. Burned out employees cannot provide great customer service, and this is another reason why your customer service will fail on Cyber Monday.
Make sure that your staff is well-rested, and that they get ample breaks between taking calls. A better approach would be to seek temporary customer service staff who will help you out during the holiday season.
5. You will be busy making profits
According to another survey, customers spent $335 on average during the five-day sale period. While this may sound like good news to you, as you will break sales records, and make a lot of profits, you probably do not expect customer complaints soon after. Consumer psychology shows that people call up soon after they purchase products, even if they are happy with what they bought. Though you may make profits, your customers will not be happy if you do not provide great customer service immediately after they make purchases.
Make sure that you have an army of customer service agents to answer calls on Cyber Monday, the day when calls are most likely to be made.
Be prepared for Cyber Monday
If you have not defined your holiday customer service strategy, it is time to do it already. Too many people will call up your customer care and if your agents are not trained well-enough, they will not be able to handle the onslaught. They will also perform poorly due to stress and being overburdened, resulting in reduced customer satisfaction. In addition, once people make purchases, they will call up soon after, and expect to be treated well. If you feel you are not prepared for these customer service failures, consider partnering with an external agency which will help you by providing temporary staff during Cyber Monday and the days just before that.