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5 Effective Strategies to Prepare Your Customer Service Reps for the Holiday Season

Written by Grovo

Pumpkin spice everything and sparkling lights? The holiday season has officially begun. Black Friday, Cyber Monday and all the days between now and New Year’s are right around the corner. For your organization, this probably means increased website traffic, more sales, and higher customer demands.  In fact, during the holiday rush, businesses can expect to handle up to 80% more customer inquiries and complaints than on a normal day. Without preparation for the customer influx of the holiday season, your staff may become overwhelmed and provide poor customer service, leading to rising consumer dissatisfaction.

During the holiday rush, businesses can expect to handle up to 80% more customer inquiries and complaints than on a normal day.Click To Tweet

Holiday Shoppers Expect More During the Holidays

Whether you hire part time seasonal help or rely on full time employees to work overtime, delivering a superior customer service experience during the holidays gives you a leg up on the competition. According to CorvisaCloud, 38% of consumers would rather give money as a gift than deal with customer service reps during the holidays, and 91% believe customer service departments should be better prepared for the holidays. Simply put, lackluster service leads to lost profits. So how can companies empower reps to spread cheer rather than disappointment? Invest in a customer service training solution.

Here are 5 Effective Strategies to Prepare Your Customer Service Reps for the Holiday Season

1. Make a Stress Relief Plan

On high-traffic days like Cyber Monday, customer service requests can increase up to a staggering 264%, requiring extra time from each of your reps. Longer hours and higher demand can cause stress for even the best employees, which managers should take into account. Fortunately, there are stress management training techniques that can help. At Grovo, our workplace stress management content library provides a collection of short, digestible video lessons that will ward off stress and help reps feel better during the most joyful time of the year.

2. Provide Training on Each of your Customer Service Channels

These days, customers increasingly prefer online chat, email, and social media as their customer service channels of choice. Businesses can expect an estimated 120% more website visits specifically to contact a rep. Managers need to make sure reps are properly trained on the newest technologies so they have the knowledge to deal with particular issues without help from a team member. 

3. Get New Hires Up to Speed

To prepare for the holiday rush, many companies turn to hiring part-time seasonal help. In order to help them hit the ground running and maintain high levels of customer satisfaction, you need to provide effective onboarding. At the end of the onboarding process, reps should demonstrate the following: company policies, products & services knowledge, team workflow processes, customer service best practices, communication and technical skills. Invest in a quick, engaging onboarding solution like IHG, who saw their contact center onboarding time decrease from five weeks to two with Grovo. 

4. Shorten First Call Resolutions

One of the metrics every customer service manager wants to improve—especially during the high-demand holiday season—is how quickly an agent can solve a customer issue on the first call. During the holidays, it takes around 7 seconds longer to answer a chat for agents, a 12.2% increase over the off-season. Slow service leads to frustrated customers and lost sales. Using Grovo’s Customer Service Training Solution, your reps can learn how to respond quickly, ask the right questions, and shorten the time it takes to resolve issues.

5. Motivate and Empower Agents

Working in a customer service department is often stressful, demanding, and complicated. The added strain of the holiday rush can lead to unhappy reps who deliver poor customer experiences. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Managers hold the golden key to motivating and encouraging reps. When reps are highly supported, they will feel a rush of cheer and their holiday spirits will be uplifted to provide superior customer service. Make sure you’re not only giving your reps training, but training your customer service managers, too. Look to management training courses. Grovo provides 100+ video lessons on professional skills managers need to lead their teams with confidence.

The holiday season should bring joy, warmth and happiness all around for your reps and customers alike. After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year. Make a commitment to provide effective training for your customer service departments now and provide a smooth, seamless customer experience all season long.  

Want to make this year the best year for customer service? See how Grovo can help.