|Photo Credit: newyork.cbslocal,com|
While the holidays are a time filled with love and joy, they can also be one of the most hectic times of the year. Yes, I am talking about the infamous holiday shopping experiences. No parking, long lines, and crazy crowds are something everyone can agree does not put cheer into the holiday season.
While shopping for consumers is hectic on its own, the companies are feeling the holiday pressure as well. Large and small businesses alike must strengthen customer service options to prepare for the increased volume of sales. Not just for the initial sale, but also for the customer service, care, support and overall customer engagement that follows.
According to an article from salesforce.com, one tip for your company’s customer service to conquer the holiday rush is to “improve self-service support.” Since companies can already predict the high volume of customer interactions (and the short fuses they have by the end of a long day), implementing a web-based, Virtual Customer Assistant (VCA) for consumers to find the answers to questions on their own terms will take some of the load off, while making consumers happy they didn't have to spend even more time waiting on hold or getting passed around to different representatives.
VCA’s aren't just useful for support questions though. For example, many electronics require product registration. The VCA can quickly offer guidance through the process, while answering any questions that may arise, and/or cross-sell other products/services when appropriate.
Mobile shopping is another major factor effecting companies this year. “If it wasn't official last year, it will be this year – holiday shoppers are eager to shop online for gifts and other needs. According to a survey, 56 percent plan to shop online, up from 51.5 percent last year and the most in the survey’s 13- year history. Additionally, the average person plans to do 44.4 percent of their shopping online, the most since NRF first asked to 2006.” (National Retail Federation) Providing customers with the tools they need to make the holiday shopping experience easier is key to increasing sales, but moreover, increasing loyalty.
How is your company enhancing self-service and engagement options this year? Does your strategy incorporate usability for mobile shoppers?
We hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving weekend. Enjoy!