Person standing in the snow closing eyes wearing a big coat and beanie


Five Ways Messaging Can Help With Your Holiday Season Game Plan

December 14, 2022

Long wait times. Being sent between departments. The dreaded holiday hold music. The holidays are a stressful time for customer service, for customers, and businesses alike. Customers’ timelines are short, and so is their patience. They are more likely to need things resolved quickly which, unfortunately, can lead to negative interactions.

Businesses with easy-to-use messaging capabilities are able to offer streamlined customer service experiences without the holiday wait times. Messaging offers asynchronous capabilities so customers can get help on their schedule, chatbots can eliminate the need for employee interaction on common issues, and template libraries help your service agents be prepared for any situation.

Let’s look at some of the ways you can get your business ready for the holiday customer service boom.

Tips for Holiday in Customer Care

Synchronize your teams

“Communication is key.” We’ve heard it time and time again, but it’s iconic for a reason. Making sure all employees are on the same page is essential for smooth holiday operations. All departments should be aware of how other teams operate and how they will interact with each other. Employees need to know who they can rely on, and where to go in case of issues. Service agents knowing where they can direct customers, without having to ask, can save significant time and build trust.

Keeping customers and employees in sync can be tough, but integrating your support channels lets everyone communicate on the same platform at the same time. No more redirecting from email to telephone, or transferring to another department, or worse — having to call a different number.

Be proactive

According to Freshdesk’s “The Complete Guide to Holiday Customer Service,” 69% of consumers globally have a clear preference for brands that offer proactive notifications and services.

Staying one step ahead of your customers will keep both you and them happy. Anticipating what issues customers will have, and the types of requests that will be coming in will help your employees be prepared for the holiday traffic. Creating automated messaging processes can streamline communications and get customers the help they need quickly.

Your veteran employees are an invaluable resource during busy holidays. They know how your teams communicate and your common issues. Encouraging them to be proactive and mentor seasonal employees can help create an environment of support for both customers and team members.

Proactivity doesn’t end when the conversation is over. Messaging gives you the ability to follow up with thank you notes, satisfaction surveys, personalized offers, and more. Keeping in touch with your customers could help with retention and encourage repeat business.

Set expectations with customers

Talkative notes in their article, “How to Provide Excellent Holiday Customer Service for Christmas 2022” that there is an increase in customer support requests by 5-10 times as you inch closer to the holiday season.

Conversations are most effective when both parties have clear expectations. Establishing clear communication channels before the holiday rush helps avoid confusion and frustration from miscommunication.

So, how do you let your customers know the best way to get a hold of you?

Your entry points to messaging need to be clearly defined. CTA buttons on your website and social media channels help make it obvious what customers need to do to get in touch. If you aren’t a 24/7 business, your hours should be clearly posted, preferably in the same place your customers are seeing the best way to contact you.

Reduce typical holiday delays

Customer service queries increase by 75% over the Christmas period! Phone lines can get overwhelmed by the volume of calls, leading to significant delays that often make customers unhappy. Delays and long wait times create negative interactions, and customers might come away with a bad impression of your customer service.

In Arise’s research nearly two-thirds said they are only willing to wait 2 minutes or less before hanging up as reported in their 2019 article “Customer Service Frustration Series: Phone Hold Times.”

Messaging provides a fast, efficient alternative to traditional communication channels. With asynchronous messaging allowing for immediate responses, and chatbots designed to resolve issues quickly without employee intervention, messaging is perfect for holiday traffic. Quality issue resolution in a timely manner can help create positive customer satisfaction and avoid the experience of long wait times.

Take good notes to educate and improve

Making sure you keep track of what works and what doesn’t during the holiday season will help keep you from starting from scratch – or worse, making the same mistakes – each year. This information is critical to improving your customer experience in the future, as an added bonus, our messaging solutions keep your message history and metrics on interactions — helping you know what worked and didn’t with your messaging strategy.

Knowing exactly what your customers engaged with allows you to update your customer care processes year-after-year. Increasing options that brought you success while cutting out what didn’t can be a simple way to boost your holiday customer satisfaction.

Person sitting on floor opening package with a gift inside

Wrap up

Customer care can be the difference maker during the holidays. A prepared workforce and integrated communication channels can give your business the edge it needs to stay ahead of the competition when it comes to taking care of your customers. Creating a supportive, efficient environment for your customers can create lasting relationships that keep customers coming back.

Without an omnichannel communication system, your customer support system risks being overwhelmed and creating negative customer experiences. Making customers have to move between channels can create a sense of disconnect, which could lead to frustration. Integrating messaging allows for a more seamless experience, and allows agents to focus on customers with the most complex issues while chatbots take care of simpler requests.

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