The holidays are a critical time for your business. So it’s important that your customer service is on point.
Unfortunately, when you’re crazed, it can be easy to let small service errors occur. These mistakes could translate into a negative online review, which can really affect your reputation in the local market.
To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, where are six common holiday customer service mistakes and how to avoid them.
You don’t have a strong online presence
Often, customers search online before hitting the pavement, or they follow up and purchase from your site after they’ve visited your brick-and-mortar shop in person.
That’s why it’s really important to make sure your website features your products in a simple, shoppable manner. Put your trading hours and the address front and centre and include information about any sales and discounts you may have on offer
This applies to your business social media as well. But don’t stop there — have someone on staff answer questions that customers or potential customers may have posted to Facebook or Twitter, or sent to the company email address.
You have an old POS — and long lines
Australia’s more innovative retailers are on board with mobile, cloud-based point-of-sale and card payment systems. If you’re not making the most of cloud-based POS, now’s the time to do it — especially when it comes to adopting a POS that can get your staff out from behind the counter and processing payments on the shop-floor.
Mobile payments are the fastest way to pay, not to mention the most secure. And because customers say slow checkout lines are one of their top shopping pain points, having a speedy POS makes for a much better experience at your store.
You’re not timing your marketing campaigns right
Since it’s such a busy time of year, the key is to utilise your social media and communication tools to anticipate customers’ questions and helps them solve common problems with holiday gift giving.
Be smart about the timing of these messages — you want to catch customers who get a head start on the holidays as well as those who wait until the last minute.
You’re running out of inventory
There’s nothing worse than the experience of a frustrated customer frantically searching store to store for that one hot gift that’s on everyone’s list. No one likes coming up empty handed, so do your homework before the holiday season begins to make sure you’re adequately stocked across both your brick-and-mortar and online sales channels.
It’s simple to do this — look to your historical sales data to support your inventory projections. It’s also a good idea to integrate software that syncs your brick-and-mortar and online store inventory in real time after each sale. Read more about how to manage holiday inventory.
The holidays are the time of year to ramp up hiring and make sure that everyone on the floor is well versed in your product. Because everyone is short on time (and patience), you don’t want to put customers in the position of waiting around for a team member to get their size from the back or not being available to answer questions.
A lack of staff often translates to a loss of business, so build up your staffing budget in preparation for a busy holiday season when working on your annual budget. Learn more about hiring for the holidays.
You have pushy salespeople
Just as important as having enough employees on the floor is having the right kind of customer-facing employees. It’s important that your employees are there to close the deal, but customers are often turned off by pushiness. Employees should be helpful, educating customers about your products, but not pushy.
Superb customer service is paramount when running a business — especially during the holiday season. So make sure everything’s running smoothly.