The holidays are fast approaching and retailers are already scrambling to prepare for the holiday rush.
eMarketer forecasts that the US holiday retail sales in November and December will increase 5.7% year over year, reaching $885.70 billion. This is a healthy increase from what transpired during the same period last year.
However, are retailers ready? Do you really understand what your customers want in terms of customer service this holiday season? Take advantage of this trend in consumer spending by learning what’s on your customers’ holiday service wish list.
Customers these days prefer to reach a retailer in a variety of channels. Digital channels are more in demand as more and more consumers go mobile.
A Deloitte study states that “digital interactions over desktop and laptop computers, tablets and smartphones are expected to influence 64 percent of retail stores this holiday season, equivalent to $434 billion”.
This means you must figure out which digital channels to take advantage of to reach out to more customers. Make sure that your website is mobile-friendly to attract more customers and increase sales. You can also take a look at your advertising strategies and incorporate ad placements in digital channels such as social media.
Shopping for gifts and other holiday necessities can be tedious. The last thing you want is to make it even harder for your customers.
Make it easy for them by giving them an option to shop online. Structure your site in such a way that they can easily find and buy what they need. In case they have questions, make sure your FAQs are up-to-date and that customers can reach out to a support portal any time of the day. Consider customer service outsourcing if you need additional help.
Inefficiency is one of the biggest causes of bad customer experience. Satisfy your customers by handling their transactions quickly and correctly. Having well-planned and well-organized processes will help your business achieve maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense. Well-trained staff, who are ready to handle customer issues or complaints, is also a must.
It’s very frustrating for customers to find exactly what they are looking for then find out it’s no longer in stock. Avoid irritating your customers by making sure that your inventory is updated and that you can handle the increased volume this season. On your website, for instance, make sure that the quantity stated is the quantity that you can ship. Further, make sure that your operations team and marketing team coordinate with each other to avoid confusion about what’s still available and what’s not.
Most retailers will come up with some form of sale or promotion this season. With all these available options for the consumers, how do you stand out?
The key is in knowing your customers well enough so that you can design promotions that will be valuable to them and at the same time keep you competitive as well. It also won’t hurt to research what your competitors are doing. You might be able to get some pointers from their past successful holiday campaigns.
Clear Shipping and Return Policies
In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy for purchases to get lost in the mail and this causes a lot of stress on your customers. To avoid problems, make sure that your shipping and return policies are clearly stated on both your website and also upon checkout. Do not forget to state when your last guaranteed delivery date is for the season.
It’s one thing to satisfy customers and another to delight them. Delight comes from receiving or experiencing something they didn’t expect in the first place. Go that extra mile for your customers to make their shopping experience a more enjoyable one. For instance, train your staff to proactively offer assistance and anticipate what customers might require. Even the little things will go a long way.
Your success this holiday season lies in your ability to grant what your customers are looking for in terms of customer service. If you need customer service help, contact us now and learn how Infinit Contact can assist you.