Shopping during holiday season can be a test of even the best of us. I think even the Dalai Lama might have his patience tested. But this can be an opportunity if you think of it correctly. Your business can use this challenge as a way to differentiate and provide a better experience for your customers.
The first thing we need to do is determine the cause of all the stress. I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that it is largely a matter of time. Everyone is rushing around trying to not only shop but also make it to all of the events and parties of the season while keeping up with the normal life of work and home. Fitting everything in can be a big challenge and a big stress driver. This makes time a highly prized commodity.
So here is your opportunity, get really efficient and make responsiveness and timeliness a priority. Here are three things you can do now.
- If you have a call center, ensure you have a clear process for determining what issues get handled first and exactly who will take care of specific problems. Gauging urgency and getting the right person handling it immediately will save enormous amounts of time and provide a better customer experience.
- Empower your employees to handle as much as possible without the need for managerial support. This requires trust and clear guidelines but giving your employees the ability to use their best judgement will allow for fast, personalized service with fewer hassles and quicker results.
- Equip every employee in your company to answer basic questions particularly ones you know are asked regularly during the holiday season. Additionally, ensure all employees know where to direct customers when questions get too technical or detailed. Having more people available for basic help as well as more direction for more expert help can be a big time saver.
Remember, the goal here is to save the customer time and reduce their stress. By adding these ideas to your arsenal, you can help your customers to enjoy their experience with you and to better enjoy their holidays.