The holidays are often the most stressful time of year for your customer service team. Here are five tricks to help them be more effective.
The holidays are big business, and your customer service team has a significant impact on your bottom line. It’s easy for your team members to get overwhelmed with all that’s going on, from a higher volume of calls at work to dealing with stress in their personal lives. Don’t leave critical customer interactions to chance. Instead, plan now to make your customer service team successful during the upcoming holiday season.
Avoid Holiday Gaffes
Consider using a generic greeting if you acknowledge the holidays. “Happy holidays” or “a joyous season” are inclusive choices. Some customers may not choose to celebrate any holidays, so another option is something like “Wishing you a wonderful start to the New Year.” The more inclusive your greetings are, the more welcoming you are to diverse customers. If a specific customer expresses a preference for certain terms, such as “Merry Christmas,” consider using those.
Add More Breaks
It may sound counterintuitive during busy times, but you can increase your success by offering more breaks. Even just an extra 10-minute break during an 8-hour shift gives your workers a chance to catch their breath. Whether they need to decompress, remember to stay hydrated, or step out and take a personal call, a bit more time to take care of their needs helps them focus during critical calls.
Introduce Mindfulness Training
If you’ve thought about introducing mindfulness training or stress management courses, this is a great time to do it, and there are many options to choose from. Invest in an app subscription. Bring in a teacher to offer meditation instructions. Schedule an on-site yoga class, or offer training on stress reduction. The more tools and opportunities people have to manage their stress, the more likely they are to use them during difficult seasons.
Offer Product and Tech Refreshers
If your training has broken down in the last year, now is the time to fix it. Maybe you’ve glossed over new products or you haven’t done an in-depth revisit of your technology system in a while. It’s the perfect motivation to upgrade those skills and ensure they’re in top shape. This can address speed and quality issues during crunch time.
Offer Positive Reinforcement
Managers play a key role in keeping customer service teams moving forward. Their effective oversight can identify bottlenecks, provide faster solutions to problems, and correct missteps. But don’t overlook the power of positive reinforcement during busy times. Be the kind of manager who always has something positive to say. It can be as simple as “Thank you for putting in so many hours” or “I appreciate that you’re always cheerful when you answer calls.” Recognition and positive reinforcement keep employees engaged and loyal.
The holidays are stressful times for customer service teams. These quick tips are simple strategies that can help you address common challenges before they impact your customers’ holiday service experience.