As an E-Commerce business owner, approaching Black Friday without preparing your customer service team can feel a lot like walking onto the battlefield with a styrofoam sword (unless you’re into Renaissance festivals – in that case, the styrofoam will serve you well).
Look, we’ve all been there – the holidays have a way of sneaking up on all of us. But, here at TalentPop, we know customer service better than anyone, and we’re here to help you achieve big wins this season.
By arming your customer service team with the tools, knowledge, and processes they need, you’re not only setting them up for success – you’re also positioning your business to retain more customers and make repeat sales during the busiest time of the year, which can produce an increase of up to 25% in profits for even just a 5% customer retention increase.
From where we’re standing, that’s nothing to scoff at, which is why we’re here to share our top tips for preparing your customer service team for Black Friday.
Holiday shopping season, here we come!
Take Steps To Reduce Inquiries
Reading the words “reduce inquiries” might sound like we’re stating the obvious, right? Truthfully, though, there are several steps you can take right now to reduce inquiries in your business before the craziness of the holiday season begins – and your team will thank you for it.
You can check out our tips in greater detail in our recent blog post, but in case you’re in a hurry (it is that time of year, after all), we’ve dropped the hot takes for you below:
- Write detailed product descriptions to ensure your customers have all the important details before making a purchase.
- Create a thorough FAQ page that anticipates commonly asked questions and provides clear, up-to-date answers for each (bonus points if you organize them by category).
- Empower customers with self-service tools for making returns and tracking their orders.
- Keep your returns process simple and hassle-free so that it’s easy for customers to manage independently and without customer service intervention.
Build SOPs To Streamline Customer Service Tickets
At TalentPop, we love SOPs (seriously, we wrote an entire blog post on them) and encourage all of our clients to implement them in their businesses.
If you’re new here, SOP stands for standard operating procedure, which is essentially a set of instructions that guides how various processes in your business should function.
In an E-Commerce business where your customer service team will often see the same inquiry over and over again, an SOP serves as a guide for how to process the ticket to efficiently solve the customer’s issue.
For example, if your customer service team is seeing an influx of inquiries for exchanging a product, an effective SOP would support your customer service reps by giving them the suggested replies to the customer, the detailed exchange policy, and the steps to take to process the exchange.
Check out the SOP below that we created for our client JAXXON.
SOPs not only decrease response and resolution times for tickets, but they also create consistency around how inquiries are handled by your team.
Prioritize Open & Honest Communication
In customer service, communication is key to keeping your team on track and maintaining customer satisfaction. When the floodgates open and the holiday tickets come pouring in, it’s all too easy for your team to get overwhelmed and struggle to keep their heads above water.
By fostering an environment in which your customer service team can work together to solve problems and be honest about mistakes made along the way, each team member will feel supported to do their best work for your customers.
Use Live Chat To Automate Tasks
Automating your customer service tasks is a huge time-saver, especially in those busy weeks leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
After all, we’ve already mentioned that you’re bound to get repetitive inquiries during the holidays, but using live chatbots to automatically answer commonly asked questions about business hours, returns, and shipping will save your team time that they could be putting towards resolving more complicated tickets or upselling your customers.
While you’re creating canned responses that quickly answer your customers’ questions, be sure to include links that send users to helpful resources like your FAQ page to give them more details in an easily-scannable format.
Hire Support For Your Customer Service Team
In our oh-so-humble opinion, the best way to support your customers, your team, and your business this holiday season is to hire support through a BPO.
A business process outsourcing company is a cost-effective solution for businesses that are ready to scale by contracting out certain tasks like customer service. Sure, it might seem a bit daunting to consider onboarding new customer service reps before the holidays, but the pros of doing so can consist of wins like:
- Cutting costs without sacrificing quality
- Keeping ticket volume low and manageable for your team
- Being able to easily scale your team up or down depending on the need
- Increasing the bandwidth of your existing team so they can focus on more than just customer support
The formats of BPOs can vary greatly, so check out our blog post on how to find the right BPO to work with this holiday season to dive deeper into the subject.
Prepare For Black Friday & Cyber Monday By Expanding Your Customer Service Team
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed after reading our tips and advice, you’re not alone. Even with SOPs and automated tasks in place, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are still challenging holidays for any E-Commerce business, which is why TalentPop is here to help you prepare.
We make it our mission to match your brand with highly-trained and experienced customer service agents. If you’re ready to hire support for your customer service team, it’s not too late – reach out to our team to book a call today, and we’ll get you the support you need before the holiday madness kicks in.
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