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8 of the Best Ways to Manage Your Customer Service Team during the Seasonal Rush

Category: B2B News

When the Christmas period comes around, it usually signals the start of the mad rush to purchase gifts for your family and friends. While this may be exciting for some, the majority of people find their stress levels rising, due to many different factors.

Traditionally, it’s a very busy time on the business side of things, and they’ll usually find that their demand drastically increases. Now, that may be a great thing in terms of revenue and profit, but it puts a lot of pressure on the customer service team. Essentially, reputation can be gained or lost during the seasonal rush.

But, to get to that point, you need to prepare, plan and practice to ensure you make a fantastic impression during the holiday season. So, here are 8 ways to manage your customer service team.

Use Live Chat to Relieve Pressure

There’s no denying that live chat software is quicker than its phone and email counterparts, so it makes sense to utilize it during the seasonal rush. But, it also has many other live chat benefits as well as being speedy. For instance, it enables consumers to direct the conversation, and subsequently make the experience a more efficient use of their valuable time.

Additionally, whatever question the customer asks, they’ll get an immediate answer which gives them the exact information that they were looking for. Ultimately, it improves the customer service, while relieving pressure off the customer service team.

Get More Staff than Usual

As a business, you know there’s going to be a much larger volume of sales over Christmas, so it’s important that you acquire a higher number of employees. But, you need to hire your staff carefully and intelligently, to make sure that they’ll be available to work at all times.

For instance, there’s no point obtaining extra staff members who can’t work weekends, because then you’re going to be overwhelmed with messages that you can’t possibly cope with. So, if you have more staff than usual for the seasonal rush, and they’re all available, you’ll be able to deal with queries and concerns in a timely manner.

Prioritize Tasks

It’s crucial that you instruct your customer service team to prioritize tasks. With so many emails and phone calls, you can’t possibly react to them all in the same way. It’s just not an optimal way of doing it. Instead, your team should complete the urgent ones, such as faulty items or purchasing issues.

However, it’s vital that you handle all cases in an appropriate time. Just because you’re prioritizing, it doesn’t mean you should allow the basic queries to sit in the stack for an extended amount of time. Your aim should be to please every single one of your customers.

Offer Incentives

Over the holiday season, you’re going to need your staff to work longer hours and on hectic weekends. But, if you don’t offer any incentives for them to make the effort, then they either won’t continue to do it, or the team morale will drastically decrease.

In such a busy period, you need all the team to be present, but you also need them all to be excited to get to work, otherwise the quality will drop. A great way to keep them fired up is to either increase their pay for any extra hours or weekends that they work, or offer them days off during a quieter time in return.

Allow Employees to Work from Home

The superb thing about customer service, is that you can normally complete the work from home. All that your employees need is an internet connection, and access to the internal system, and they’ll be ready to start replying to emails and answering calls. But, what would be the benefit of allowing this?

Well, business doesn’t sleep, and often customers will send in queries or concerns late at night, or early in the morning, so you’ll need an agent available. But, they won’t normally agree to work at those times for the sake of it. Although, if they were able to work from home, in their own comfortable environment, they’d be much more likely to agree.

Increase Your Knowledge-Base

Believe it or not, ninety-nine percent of consumers would prefer to answer their own questions if possible, instead of having to go through the process of contacting customer support. Plus, as a business, it would be much more advantageous to have customers serve themselves, so to speak.

So, if you increase your knowledge-base on your site, and include more FAQs and general information that people normally want, it would vastly reduce the number of messages that your team receives.

Get Your Staff into the Seasonal Rush Spirit

Like we’ve already touched on, it’s important to have a customer service team that is full of energy and in good spirits. If your employees are in positive frames of mind, then they’ll delivery a much higher standard of support to your customers. Now, how do you get them into the seasonal rush spirit?

Well, you can host small team-building sessions before the seasonal rush starts, such as bowling, paintballing or just drinks at a bar. This would unite the team, and encourage them to start the holiday season raring to go, as a harmonized unit.

Improve Your Process

To make the customer service better for your customers, you need to streamline the process internally, to make it easier for your customer service team. For example, if your customer service team is divided into different factions, then it’s not ideal to have all the messages going into one inbox, or to one phone number.

Instead, you should set up an automation, where the emails and calls go to the relevant team straight away. This will save both time and effort, which in turn will generate you more money with better customer support. Read our detailed reviews of the top 20 customer support software solutions of 2019 to select a suitable system for your needs to improve your customer service. 

All in all, if you follow the above tips, then your business will be a strong position to flourish during the seasonal rush, and come out the other side on a high!

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

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