Tips for Getting Customer Service Departments Through the Holidays

customer-service-department-moralIt’s the most wonderful…stressful…busy… time of the year! Particularly when you work in an organization that relies on the efficient and timely processing of customer orders. And as with many things, the key to keeping your customers satisfied and happy throughout this season starts with keeping the employees that are processing these orders feeling satisfied in their work.

7 Ways to Keep the Holiday Cheer in Your Customer Service Department

Prepare and plan: The holiday season undoubtedly comes with added complexity. Before things spiral out of control, causing your customer service team to hit the eggnog as soon as they get home, be sure to analyze areas within your department (e.g., staffing levels, technology needs, etc.) that may need an added bit of attention as the busy season gets underway.

Recognize successes, as well as challenges: Fundamentally, all humans appreciate recognition, particularly in the workplace. Be sure to emphasize the value of your employees — because when they feel valued, motivation, satisfaction and productivity shine bright like Rudolph’s nose.

Empower your employees: Your customer service representatives (CSRs) are not just the office paper-pushers. They are the direct line of contact to your customer. Give them the trust and ability to use their best judgement in order to satisfy customer needs, and delivery quick, timely and efficient customer service.

Set appropriate expectations: When were your peak order times last year? How did customer service satisfaction ratings fluctuation during the holiday season? What were the main bottlenecks and concerns of your CSRs? Take a look at historical details, and alter any processes or evaluation metrics to be sure that your expectations are in line with reality.

Educate and inform: Nothing helps with empowering your employees more than making your employees feel independent and in-the-know. Be sure to provide clear and precise information on any holiday nuances, such as special deals and promotions, so that they can efficiently address customer requests.

Notice customer preferences: Enable customers to place orders easily and securely in any format via an online customer portal. Make order placing, tracking and management easily accessible online and convenient with real-time access to self-service options.

Track, analyze and fix issues — quickly and efficiently: Was a package delivered damaged? Did customers receive incorrect items? No one wants to show up at grandma’s house empty handed because of an order issue. Allow your CSRs to log, track and manage customer claims in the same interface as the original orders. An integrated repository identifies issues that can be improved upon throughout the holiday season and seasons to come!

Avoid the Bah Humbug — Deliver Customer Service Excellence

customer-service-ebookLooking for more tips on how to avoid a serious case of the Bah Humbug’s within your customer service department this holiday season? Read our new eBook, Customer Service: How Automation Drives Customer Service Excellence, to discover best practices for bringing efficiency and profitability to order management while freeing up your CSRs to:

  • Process orders faster and with fewer errors
  • Carry out customer engagement strategies
  • Manage order volumes at current staffing levels
  • Increase customer loyalty and satisfaction

Happy Holidays from all of us at Esker!

Gina Leranth

Passionate about the customer experience and spreading the word about Esker solutions, Gina Leranth leads efforts to build awareness for Esker. As Sr. Media & Customer Relations Manager, she has been engaged with the Esker community for over 9 years, with a focus on public relations, event planning and customer marketing programs.

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