Customer Service Training information – Customer Care during the Christmas period

by ltconsulting on September 27, 2011

If you or your staff have to deal with customers both face to face or over the telephone then effective Customer Care training is essential in enabling you to develop a Customer Caring or ‘Customers First’ attitude to delivering service effectively and consistently.

Total Success run a one-day Telephone Skills and Customer Care course for those wishing to learn telephone etiquette and handling customers on the telephone.

For those who’s customer service training requires tips and techniques in both telephone and face to face skills in handling difficult customers (such as rude, angry or aggressive customers) as part of their daily duties we also provide a Customer Service and Customer Care training course that deals with these types of customer. It also covers handling customer complaints; tips for retaining customers and how to diffuse customer conflict quickly and efficiently.

More and more companies are increasing their use of the telephone as the quickest and most convenient way of establishing customer contacts. Call centres and mail order are the fastest growing operational departments for UK organisations. It is essential that all employees represent their organisation in a professional and friendly way. Clear and effective communication is essential to ensure that the business is not lost. If your staff are not trained properly on telephone skills, how much business are they losing your company?

TIPS FOR CUSTOMER CARE DURING CHRISTMAS

Christmas is a busy time of year for all, but that is no reason for your customer service standards to slip. We all know we will be busier then most other times of the year, and therefore, preparation is key. If you need extra staff, and most retailers will start hiring in November; if you think you will have tonnes of extra deliveries, ensure you have the appropriate logistics in place. Christmas is not a valid excuse for delayed orders and annoyed customers.

Always Remember “Under Promise and Over Deliver”.

In order to to boost customer satisfaction during this busy period, it isn’t too late to introduce some of the following guides:

  • Provide comprehensive FAQs on your website and include a section for Christmas deliveries

This can help customers quickly find the answers to their queries about shipping, returns policies etc. A searchable FAQs section that covers every conceivable question will enable customers to get answers more quickly and take the pressure off customer service staff. You can even include an additional section for Christmas orders.

  • Be realistic

Make sure your stock levels are consistent and keep on top of it. Don’t promise a delivery at a certain date if you cannot achieve it. Your customer would rather know that you cannot fulfil their order there and then, rather then going through the order process and awaiting their item, only to find that the item is out of stock, or the delivery won’t arrive until 29th December!

  • Allow customers to email

Customers may have a query that isn’t covered by the information available on the site. Customers may dislike having to call customer service departments as often they will be on hold for a long period, so provide them with an email alternative and remember to include reply times – aim for no more then 24 hours, especially during the festive season when customers need to know when their goods are arriving. Not answering emails quickly enough will also increase pressure on call centres.

  • Increase staffing levels

This will be the busiest time of year, and all areas/departments will be dealing with a much higher volume of sales, orders, queries, emails, customer calls, so ensure that you have enough staff to deal with the rush – you knew Christmas was coming!

  • Acknowledge the receipt of a customer email

This will eliminate needless customer frustration by ensuring that their questions are being dealt with. If you include all relevant information, i.e. when they should expect a response, their order details, relevant links to your website, this again will put your customers at ease.

  • Detailed Product Pages

As well as providing a good FAQs section, provide accurate and detailed information on product pages which will ensure fewer calls on product details. Provide detailed information of delivery costs and times, as well as general information about the product on offer.

  • Returns policy

Making your returns policy as simple and flexible as possible, especially for Christmas gifts, by allowing customers to return products bought online to a store, for instance, will avoid unnecessary hassle, and may give customers more confidence to buy. You should also consider how you will deal with the return of unwanted Christmas gifts without receipts, and how you will deal with this effectively from a customer care perspective.

  • Exceed expectations

Mistakes are bound to happen, but it is important to deal with them well and exceed customers’ expectations. For example, if you fail to deliver an item, then don’t just apologise for the error, but offer a token, i.e. the item discounted or free of charge, or a discount on the next order.

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