The holidays are just around the corner. If you're a B2C or consumer-centric business, you know how overwhelming this time of the year can be for you and your customer support team. From planning out marketing campaigns to ensuring you have top-notch customer service. A ton of planning and preparation goes into ensuring everything runs smoothly and meets your customer's expectations.
One thing that many companies fail to recognize is the mounting pressure that's on your customer support team during this period. In 2022, Black Friday alone brought in over 9.12 billion from online shoppers. We only expect 2023 and beyond to reach or exceed these revenue gains. Is your business prepared to handle the demand?
Thankfully, with the rise of AI and automation tools, there are easier ways to improve the efficiency of your customer service team while maintaining a personalized touch.
We're here to walk you through how your company can use AI to enhance customer support during the holiday season so you can maintain your competitive edge and give your team the support they deserve.
Here's everything you need to know:
The Critical Role of Customer Support during Peak Season
Customers always have more questions and concerns during peak season. They have questions about the deals and products on your website and want to ensure the items will ship and arrive before Christmas or Hanukkah.
These spikes in demand can make it more challenging for your customer service team to maintain quality and meet customer expectations. If your business lets these issues go unnoticed, it can lead to long wait times, unresolved issues, and poor communication.
While many of these seasonal questions can be answered quickly and efficiently, the sheer increase in volume can lead many businesses to outsource customer service for peak season. While this may feel like a simple way to keep up with the demand during the holidays, it's not the most cost-effective solution for your support strategy.
Instead, consider how you can integrate AI-powered tools into the workplace dynamic to meet the spike in demand during peak season while keeping your customer service team on task.
Steps to Reinforce Your Customer Support for the Peak Season
Before you hire seasonal employees or hire another company to handle your customer services, there are additional steps you can take to reinforce your customer support during the holiday season.
Here are a few steps you can take to prepare your customer support team:
Update your FAQs and Return Policy Online
Before peak season arrives, take some time to review your current online resources. Are your FAQs up to date? Do they answer common customer concerns? Do you have an updated return policy for Black Friday or Cyber Monday? If this information is readily available online, it will reduce your expected ticket volume and improve the customer experience. If you need help with content creation, you can use AI tools like Chat GPT to develop compelling, keyword-rich FAQs to address common customer concerns and reduce the workload on your customer service team.
Integrate AI into the Workweek
If you aren't already taking advantage of the incredible advancements in AI, you risk falling behind your competitors. AI and automation tools can help your team provide around-the-clock customer service and automate your communication strategies. With chatbots, virtual assistants, and automation tools, you can help maintain your competitive edge and take some of the stress off your team's plates during the hectic holiday season.
When looking for AI tools to integrate into the workplace, you'll want to look for tools that can complement your branding and act as an extension of your customer support team. Look for tools that can be trained to remember your product information, know your FAQs, and even reference historical customer service conversions.
Hire Digital Coworkers
If you expect the workload to overwhelm your customer support team, you can hire digital coworkers to work with your team instead of outsourcing more employees. This is a cost-effective way to help your team streamline productivity and stay organized during the holidays.
Digital Coworkers, like Neople, are trained on your documents and seamlessly integrated into the workplace dynamic. They can learn to work with your WMS and OMS and know your FAQs and company information by heart. This cost-effective alternative can help you reduce human error and automate repetitive tasks that are getting in the way of your team's productivity.
Use Social Media to Answer Common Questions
Don't be afraid to use your social media accounts as an extension of your customer service support. This is a great way to build stronger relationships with your customers and meet them where they spend the most time. Many customers will go to your DMs or comment section for questions about your products or services. Improving your response rate across social media can help you build a stronger connection with your customers and increase credibility.
Maintaining a Personal Touch
Even amidst the chaos and the uptick in demand for high-quality customer support, never forget how important the need for personalization is.
Personalization reminds your customers that they are important to you. It's expected that over 71% of customers want businesses to provide a personalized experience, and that doesn't change during the holidays.
With a virtual agent or AI assistant trained on your company's tone of voice, you can provide a personalized experience to every customer who lands on your website. These tools are designed to provide empathetic interactions and a strong understanding of the ins and outs of your business so you can gain the peace of mind you need with a virtual agent on your team.
Experience the Power of Neople
As you prepare your marketing campaigns and fine-tune your holiday promotions for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you'll also want to prepare your team for the expected chaos ahead.
With Neople, you can provide your team with additional support and resources so they can focus on bigger projects and problems that are sure to happen during the busy holiday shopping season.