How to Use Customer Service to Grow Sales this Holiday

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This is a guest post from Travis Cross, Partner Operations Specialist of Events & Email Marketing at Gorgias.

Support requests increase from customers by 65% during Black Friday/Cyber Monday. 

And 74.5% of large merchants are “concerned” or “very concerned” about customer service during the holidays. It was their number two concern overall.

It can overwhelm your customer support, but it’s also an opportunity to use support interactions to promote sales & specials that you’re having!

Number of support requests during the holiday season from Gorgias customers.

20 retailers told us how they handled the Black Friday / Cyber Monday and we’re sharing 4 tips that you can use with your support team for the holiday season.

Promote Your Holiday Specials in Support Interactions

You can take advantage of the support emails by adding a footer to each email that tells customers about your sales. This way you stay on top of your customers and have them come back for repeat purchases and deepen relationships with them.

Add Live Chat to Your Checkout Page

A typical conversion rate on checkout page is around 10%. Customers get stuck for different reasons: doubts about the product, price, return policy, etc.

One way to boost conversion is setting up automated pop-up chat message that helps people who are stuck. Example: if they have not taken action after 30 seconds on the checkout page, the chat initiates.

It can help break the ice and give your support team an opportunity to convert hesitant buyers. Among the companies we surveyed, this increased conversion rates by 20% on average.

If it’s your first time implementing live chat, figure out how many support agents you need to keep response time under 90 seconds. This will get high customer satisfaction and make your investment in live chat worth it.

Create Macros To Automate Replies to Common Questions During the Holidays

As Amanda at Darn Good Yarn puts it:

Make sure your support team is armed with the right canned responses, or macros, to address common questions. Support is a numbers game: if you respond quickly to these requests, it will keep your overall response time low, and increase customer satisfaction down the line.

Some Gorgias customers setup automatic responses to these questions. Common questions are automatically classified, such as “where is my order”, and the customer gets an auto-response with the tracking info. Then, the agent can review the ticket and follow up if necessary.

Also, it might be a good idea to create an email template if you run out of inventory to let impacted customers know. A typical way of handling this is to send an email update to your customers with options:

  • Get a refund or a gift card
  • Get the product in a different format, say another color
  • Or expect the item with a delay of X days.

Hire Additional Staff To Handle The Holiday Spike

Seeing as how a live chat on your checkout page boosts conversion by 20%, providing support all weekend long could be a good idea.

The holidays can have a huge impact on your business’ bottom line.

If you can’t afford to hire more staff, set expectations with an email auto-responder that tells the customer that your response time is going to be slower than usual. This may save you some bad publicity.

Conclusion

Most support teams handle holidays passively and get overwhelmed by the volume of support tickets. This damages your brand and sales long-term. 

Support is part of your toolbox to provide a positive customer experience and help with the marketing efforts. Make good use of it and get them involved.

To get more insights like these, apply to attend CommerceNext 2020 today. The conference will take place on July 28-29th in NYC. Inc.com named CommerceNext one of "Top 5 ECommerce Conferences for 2019 and 2020." We hope you'll join us this summer.

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