Prepare your customer service for Black Friday and Christmas

06/11/2020
  • Just like you make sure you get enough stock or have your campaigns ready, get ahead and prepare your customer service for Black Friday and Christmas.

  • We have hardly noticed and have already begun the last quarter of the year. And, although the ideal is to plan your Christmas campaign month by month, there are always adjustments to be made.

    The good thing is that you still have time to review those last important aspects before Black Friday (which in case you do not remember, this year is November 27) kicks off Christmas 2020 for eCommerce.

    This year is particularly critical for many businesses. Retailers will try to cushion the drop in sales in their physical stores, and pure eCommerce faces more competition and, predictably, much more volume than in past campaigns.

    Save the day: These Black Friday and Christmas will make the most difference in customer service.
  • How to prepare customer service for Black Friday and Christmas?

  • In the basics, if you already have a service that works efficiently all year round, you should have a gained a great deal. What happens is that in this period there are some circumstances that modify the attention in some way.

    Firstly, as we have already said: the volume of queries and incidents that can occur. It is a question of proportionality. The more clients, the more need there is for attention.

    On the other hand, we have a question of seasonality, which means that this large volume is concentrated in very few days (even though Black Friday has promotions that last over time).

    Finally, it is worth remembering another critical point of purchase intent. Gifts are acquired on these dates and this, for the purposes of search, returns and logistics, can be a point of friction and lead to multiple queries.

    As you can see, these 3 major factors fall largely on our customer service department. How do we prepare for Christmas campaign? By controlling certain aspects that we will list below
  • #1 – Anticipate what may go wrong

  • I understand that you do not want to put yourself through the worst. But, if you consider it in advance, you can not only create a plan to solve these problems if necessary: you can also set protocols for your staff.

    It is vital that everyone knows how they should act if they claim a product out of stock, if an order has not been delivered in time or in good condition, or if we suffer external problems that condition the provision of a correct service.

    We are going to have to manage angry customers. It is in our hands to give our team clear guidelines and line of action to avoid greater evils and improvisation.
  • #2 - Offer autonomous answers

  • We have already commented that the customer service team will have work hard and human resources are logically limited.

    A good customer service policy during Black Friday and Christmas (well, and for the whole year) is to offer autonomous ways of solving doubts.

    The famous FAQs, or the most complete information bases collected on the web, mean that customers are the ones who solve most of the recurring doubts without involving any of our staff.

    As you have already thought about everything that can go wrong and, moreover, you have the experience of other years during this period, it is a good idea to update that knowledge base with thematic and concrete issues concerning Black Friday and Christmas.
  • #3 – Automate

  • This is one of the mantras for everything to do with eCommerce. Marketing automation has transformed the shop-customer interaction. And this type of automatic proactivity can be brought to customer service as well.

    Chatbots allow us to add actions to our eCommerce that do not involve agents and resolve the most common issues without their participation. If the issue is beyond the capacity of Artificial Intelligence, you can always have the query referred to an agent. 

    In addition, this allows us to do something very interesting, which is to make automation compatible with customer service by opening the chat window when certain conditions are met (user on a specific page, amount of time without interacting...) and letting the bot take care of the first interaction.
  • #4 - Evaluate

  • Do a quick evaluation of the resources you have and make sure they are enough to cover the needs you will have in the next few days.

    Above all, it is important that you have a plan B in case, in real time, you see that you need more agents. With the campaign started, it will not be easy for anyone new to enter and quickly assume the automatisms and protocols. Furthermore, you are not going to have someone dedicated to give training and support because the circumstances will not allow it.

    The smartest thing to do to prepare your customer service for Black Friday and Christmas is for all your business staff to be able to take on these tasks at any given time. Make sure that everyone knows how to act in each case and how to use the tools.
  • #5 – Customer service tools

  • Since the subject comes up, let's close with it. Your team needs you to make it easy for them. The right customer service tool makes everything easier, faster and more productive.

    Live chats, for example, make it possible for the same person to help multiple users simultaneously and in real time. Something unthinkable if you do it on the phone.

    We have already said what can be achieved with chatbots, which derive only the queries that require human action and resolve many recurring doubts (schedules, delivery times, order tracking...).

    In addition, the best applications have complete monitoring and reporting systems so you can better manage resources, keep the history of previous conversations, send users to the most appropriate operator free at that time ... take care of everything.
  • Bonus

  • This is so obvious that it does not merit a point as such, but remember that for attention to occur it is necessary for users to have access to it.

    Do not stay just focus on phone and make available all the possible ways you can manage. This is the best way to make them come to you, feel satisfied and heard.
  • With these 5 tips (and the bonus) you can start preparing your customer service for Black Friday and Christmas. Or are you ready? Let us know!

  • Images | Unsplash.

Miguel Nicolás


Miguel Nicolás O'Shea is a life-long copywriter (more than 15 years working in agencies) and a specialist in Search Marketing (SEO and PPC). From now on, he will contribute with his online marketing experience to Oleoshop, publishing regularly.

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