Customer service as a holiday marketing investment

| December 21, 2018

The holiday season is well-known for consumerism. This is a time of year when retail stores are jampacked with customers searching for the perfect gifts.

Hotels, airlines and rental car companies are busy with holiday travelers. Restaurants, caterers, party supply stores and many others may also benefit financially from the busy holiday season.

It is unfortunately a time when customer expectations are low. Businesses may be so busy trying to keep up with demand for products and services that customers feel like they are lost in the shuffle and relatively unimportant.

As a business owner, this presents you with an incredible opportunity to stand apart from the crowd. When you and your team focus intently on providing exceptional customer service despite how busy you may be, you can make a standout impression to your customers. This extra effort now may be essential in developing a positive brand image and boosting customer loyalty.

How can you take advantage of customer service as a smart holiday marketing investment? Consider employing some of these exceptional ideas as you move through the holiday season.

Be authentic

Your customers can tell when your staff authentically cares about their needs, desires and interests versus when they are simply trying to get them out the door or off of the phone.

Customers, likewise, may be able to infer if this comes from the top down or if it is entirely generated from the employee. Your employees should be trained to be empathetic. This means that they should strive to understand where the customer is coming from and to openly try to meet that customer’s needs.

Through corporate training in this area, your entire company may develop a positive reputation for authentically caring about each of its customers.

Focus on personalized attention

Providing personalized service in a digital age may seem more complicated and even unachievable at first glance, but technology may actually assist you in this area.

For example, through the collection and analyzation of big data, you may learn more about each of your customers. You can then refine your marketing message to specifically address an individual customer’s needs and wants. More than that, your staff members should be trained to focus on learning about each customer who they come in contact with and doing their best to fulfill their needs.

Embrace technology

Because the holiday season can be so hectic for many businesses, it makes sense to streamline customer service while also improving it.

Customer service 4.0 enables you to take this aspect of your business to a new level. The Internet of Things and artificial intelligence have refined customer service so that it is more user-friendly through intelligent chatbots.

Customers generally dislike long wait times when they call a customer service phone number. They want to immediately communicate with someone in your company and get their issue resolved quickly. Chatbots are intelligent solutions that facilitate immediate communicate with customers. In the event that the chatbot cannot resolve the problem, a live member of your team can immediately call the customer directly.

Empower your team to solve problems

While many questions and concerns that your team may field are commonplace or routine, they may regularly face new situations that require creative, outside-the-box thinking.

In some companies, employees are trained only to handle a specific type of problem. Even relatively minor issues that fall outside of that box must be escalated to a manager. This can result in inconvenience and stress for the customer that could have been avoided.

By empowering your team to solve more problems on their own and only escalating truly significant issues, you can provide better customer service. In some cases, an investment in technology and training may be necessary to empower your team in this regard.

Focus on the total customer experience

It is important to step into the mind of a customer from time to time. By doing so, you will see that your customer wants to get a great deal on quality products or services. The customer wants to be treated with respect and to feel valued for choosing to do business with your company over others.

While some companies struggle in this area year-long, the busy holiday season can be particularly problematic. Identify areas of the customer experience where your company may be lagging. Consider making small, focused improvements regularly so that each customer has a progressively better experience each time they choose to do business with you.

Final thoughts

Consider the impact these customer service tips can have on your business. They each carry a different investment of time, energy and money. While the busy holiday season may seem like the last time of year when you should divert attention to improving customer service in these and other ways, you can see that this is actually your prime opportunity to stand out and to shine.

After the holidays, you can continue on with these and other customer service improvements. You can redefine your marketing campaign or message in a way that highlights these new and improved aspects of your business. By making this effort, you may eventually position your company as being a customer-oriented leader in your industry.