You’re constantly searching for new strategies to improve your customer service as a business owner. Having impeccable customer service is one of the best ways to gain retention. It makes your clientele feel like their voices are heard by you, your business, and your employees. Excellent customer service can strengthen and nurture your relationships with your customers and keep them returning for more.
But another amazing opportunity is coming up to boost your retention — the holidays!
While it’s a good idea to try to excite your current customers, the holidays present new possibilities for making your customers’ lives a little easier as stress levels rise to an all-time high. If you’re looking for a few ways to put a smile on your customers’ faces and improve your customer service at the same time, here are a few ideas.
#1 Get Ready For The Holiday Rush As Soon As Possible.
While the holiday season is one of the most wonderful times of the year, it can also be the busiest — especially for business owners. If you’re not prepared for what’s to come, you may find yourself overwhelmed by holiday madness. While some companies may begin outlining a holiday game plan during the summer, it’s not too late for you to start preparing.
As world-renowned author Greg McKeown says, “Slow is smooth, but smooth is fast.” Take things slowly to iron out all the wrinkles in your process that could cause hang-ups in the busy season. When things go smoothly, things can go much faster. A smooth business operation also gives your company much more room to delight your customers with every interaction, thus improving your customer service. Everyone expects other people to be stressed and busy during the holidays, so why not surprise them with the opposite?
#2 Create Compelling Discounts.
Customers may be overwhelmed with emails, advertisements, and sales calls right now, but do you know what they’re really looking for? A great deal. Nobody wants to miss out on the fantastic discounts they can get during the holiday season, so you should inspire your customers to continue doing business with you.
However, coupons and markdowns sometimes aren’t eye-catching enough for your customers. So, don’t just give people 10% off their next order — focus on the value you’re providing them. Try to think of unique ways to make holiday discounts your customers won’t want to miss. For example, consider offering them major bonus freebies instead of a discount. Make their buying your product a total no-brainer.
Discounts plus free gifts with purchases are a great way to delight customers, and it reminds them why they love you.
#3 Don’t Forget To Get Personal.
Some say business isn’t personal. But everything about business is personal! Think about every amazing customer service experience you’ve had. Was it just about solving your issue? Or did you make a personal connection with the person serving you? A key factor to improving customer service is getting personal with your customers.
Whether you’re engaging with customers by phone, email, or print content, adding a personal touch to your services makes your audience feel like they know you, builds brand loyalty, and can increase your retention rates.
People are more capable of making instant connections than they think. Going above and beyond isn’t about being invasive; instead, it’s being compassionate toward your customers and expressing gratitude for them. Sometimes that means sending a small gift after a great customer interaction. Find ways to show appreciation for their engagement, support, and loyalty — it’ll go a long way, and the holidays are a great time to do it.
#4 Go All-Out On Your Packaging.
According to a Dotcom Distribution packaging study, over 61% of online shoppers say that branded packaging makes them more excited about receiving or opening an item. About 44% admit that packaging reinforces whether a product is worth the cost!
Packaging adds to the experience the customer has with you and your products or services. A brand that takes its packaging to the next level is Apple. Some people even go as far as collecting the boxes their Apple products came in. The brand has a department dedicated to how they package its products. The “Apple Marketing Philosophy” stresses the importance of giving customers a sensory experience.
So give your customers the whole experience as they unbox your products and make your packaging the best first impression you can afford. Add personable messages or luxurious brand-themed detailing. People live very fast-paced lives and might not give you the time or money for a second impression.
#5 Don’t Be Shy — Tell ’em About The Small Print.
While the holidays are the busiest times for shoppers, the weeks after the holidays are when lots of items are returned, exchanged, or refunded. Refunds, exchange policies, and other services are often in small print and become difficult to find on company websites. According to a survey by Klarna, 84% of online shoppers said they would stop buying from a company after one unsatisfying return experience. It’s the holiday season, and everyone’s patience is probably worn thin, so do your customers a favor and put your return and services policies front and center. It’ll give your customers a quick guide and immediate peace of mind, whether they’re buyers or gift recipients.
Easy access to your business return or exchange policies improves customer service exponentially. A good return policy helps a business create trust with its customers and boosts brand loyalty. While it may seem like you’re losing money, if people return your products, and you deliver a great experience, they will continue to use you and your services. So if you want to deliver a WOW experience to your customers, ensure your return policy is clear and consistent.
The holiday season is in full swing! Now is the perfect time to give your customers and prospects a service they will never forget. You probably have a few personal experiences with companies that have made your holiday season easier or more fun. So let’s pay it forward to our own customers in any way we can. These 5 strategies will help you improve your customer service and ensure your company will stay top of mind for shoppers in the future.