Customer Service at Christmas?

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“It’s Christmas, we’re too busy to worry about Customer Service”

I actually overheard this during the week, can you believe it?

We all understand the pressures that your retail team are under in the run up to Christmas, its going to be busy, we know that. They may be working extended hours to cope with the volume. They’ve got the same pressure as your customers, get the present shopping done, worry about the Christmas Lunch, has the Santa list been done? All of these things just add to the pressure & stress.

But what about your customers. They are all probably in the same boat too, not only is this a busy time of year but they’re also under pressure to get Christmas right. They might be stressed or frustrated too. One thing is for sure, they may have a shorter fuse than normal and their tolerance for service that isn’t great could be lower.

Christmas is probably the most important time of year to make sure your Customer Service delivery is absolutely fantastic. You may have new customers coming through your door that haven’t visited you before, shopping for presents, the first impression they get of your service will determine if they return in the New Year, or could even be what the tell their friends and family. Get it wrong when someone is tired and stressed and they may just share their experience on social media. Get it right, go the extra mile, give the best you can possibly give and they will recognise that and they will tell their friends and family, and that word of mouth could be invaluable, and you could create a new customer for life!

 

So here’s my top tips for making your service truly memorable for the Christmas season

  • Connect with your customers, have a conversation with them. Listen to what they tell you and ask questions about what they are doing for Christmas. When you build a connection with your customers they will remember it and if you show interest in what they are buying and who they are buying it for, they will establish a connection with you and the joy their present brings to the receiver.
  • Connections don’t have to verbal either make sure you smile and make eye contact with all your customers!
  • Want your team to be nice to customers? Be nice to your team.“People react to how they’re treated and that reflects on your culture as a company. Give them regular updates on how it’s going, praise them for the great job they are doing under pressure and give them little incentives each day, a box of mince pies or a tin of Quality Street won’t cost much but will go along way to making your team feel appreciated.  If they’re working extended hours, fuel them up for the long shift as well. The occasional Pizza will be a welcome surprise!
  • Empower your team to do great things for your customers. If you can trust your team to be able to give your customers something a little bit extra without having to refer to a senior member of staff, you’ll be spreading a little bit of extra cheer! Does the shoppers purchase need batteries? Get your team to offer them and maybe do a discount as well! Customer buying multiple products? Why not give them at the price that your will be selling if for in the New Year sales? Remember those Quality Street that you bought for your team to enjoy? Why not get an extra tin and have your team offer them to your customers?
  • Turn up the empathy – Get your team to put themselves in the customers shoes, and put yourself in your teams shoes, once you all understand each other then you’ll all be in a much happier place and your customers will really feel it.

 

Have a Happy & Buzzing Christmas!

 

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