Surviving Social Media During the Holidays
December 1, 2017
As we enter the busiest time of the year, businesses have serious work ahead of them. With the lurking holiday shopping madness of online and offline shoppers on the hunt for presents, social volumes are expected to go through the roof.
Here are 5 tips to help your social customer service team go the extra mile without suffering from a major panic attack:
1. Start early with holiday prep.
Many people would cringe at the thought of having to shop for presents on the day of Christmas Eve. The same goes for your workplace and team of social customer service agents. Make sure you have a clear plan for the weeks to come as you line up to the holidays. How will you cover shifts during the holidays? What’s your plan if volumes rise unexpectedly? How do you keep other departments informed? What information should your team have ahead of time? (last day to order to receive products before Christmas, etc.) Preparing the troops well ahead of time and managing their expectations prevents you from anxiously having to keep up when problems arise. Planning ahead keeps you in control of any situation. By giving your team a head start going into the final weeks before the holidays, you’ll have peace of mind.
2. Ensure marketing and (social) customer service are on the same page.
During the holidays, the Marketing team enters their peak season as they launch their biggest and brightest campaigns promoting gift arrangements, offering special discounts for shipping goods, and much more. As your social customer service team will get all the questions from the campaign buzz, they need to be informed at all times. In order to align your goals, make sure your Marketing and (Social) Customer Service department regularly touch base to discuss.
3. Expand your opening hours.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, so now’s the time to become more flexible with your availability. Extend your hours to show your customers that you will go to great lengths to meet and exceed their needs. You will be surprised at what opening up shop a few extra hours can do to provide an even better service. If opening earlier doesn’t fit into your strategy, rearrange shifts so your agents can start a little earlier (even starting half an hour earlier can work wonders) and handle the backlog of questions and queries that came in after and before business hours.
4. Participate in spreading the holiday cheer.
As holiday decorations are being put up and the most wonderful time year approaches, it’s really hard not to get your business into a holiday mood. Don’t be shy to let your business catch the holiday spirit and let this come through in your tone of voice. It can relieve some stress, and as a nice extra benefit, your customers will love it because it shows you’re human too.
5. Anticipate external hiccups.
It’s a nice thing to see your sales and business is booming, but Murphy’s Law might not be so gentle to you and your infrastructure (i.e. your website, servers, etc.), which can potentially lag behind or even completely fall apart. Make sure that you’re anticipating any external hiccups that prevent you from successfully running and operating your business during the holidays, to make sure you have a maximum impact on revenue.
If your team can make it through the holidays this season, they can make it through anything. Check out our quick crisis management checklist in case the unexpected happens!