The Secret is Effective Customer Service
During the holiday season, eCommerce sites come up with creative campaigns to make the most of the increased flow of consumers. Businesses have to engage with fierce competition to offer special discounts and high value to the customers in order to thrive.
Many companies plan their holiday marketing strategy accordingly and think ahead. This planning helps make sure they have enough inventory and resources for the holiday campaign to run successfully. Specifically, the goal of an eCommerce Christmas strategy is to make sure their consumers get the best services from them.
A successful eCommerce business would understand the needs of its consumers and provide services to them accordingly for maximum retention — and to do this effectively, you need to understand your customers. Here are five ways you can make sure your eCommerce Christmas campaign is a roaring success — hint: it starts with understanding and ends with customer service.
1. Understand history repeats itself
Before making any strategy, consider how much traffic you experienced during the previous season so you can plan for the future. Things to evaluate are…
- Average site traffic
- Average sales volume
- Typical customer queries
- Average time needed to resolve those queries
- Customer satisfaction rate
Take the previous year’s demands into account to know how much more traffic you should expect this time around. If there was a sudden increase in sales then it follows that this will be true for customer service queries last year too. You must have a backup plan to deal with the situation this time.
Then there’s adequate staffing. Once you can somewhat accurately predict the increase in traffic, sales and queries, you need the capacity to meet demand. For example…
- Do you have enough employees on board to take care of customers’ queries round the clock?
- Is there a plan in place to hire more people if the need arises?
- Will your employees be available come peak Christmas season?
Make sure you can answer all these questions positively as a part of your eCommerce Christmas strategy.
2. Be aware of key dates
It is very important to your customer experience strategy to know the key dates when people are more likely to shop online. Although the Christmas season is when the highest number of transactions are likely to happen, Black Friday is when most businesses offer discounts. So you need to incorporate a Black Friday eCommerce strategy into your wider Christmas campaign. You should start your campaign before Christmas, preferably 2 months before. After all, with the rise of eCommerce comes the fall of Christmas Eve’s high street pandemonium — most people now buy their presents very far in advance.
Hint: We know that planning may sometimes come second to circumstance, that’s why our scalable model allows our agents to set up and onboard in as soon as 48 hours. To speak to us more about this, book a call here.
This way, you can make the most of the festivities and maximise your profits. Starting in advance also helps you solidify your customer base and prevents them from switching over to your competitors.
It’s vital that you plan your eCommerce Christmas campaign in such a way that you can process the demand for your product as quickly as possible during the final 12-day bracket. Make sure there is enough stock at hand, and the additional workforce is ready to take on the increased traffic during the key dates.
For all the techies: plan for backup solutions in case of increased traffic through the site. Your servers must work efficiently, and your consumers must experience no problems buying their Christmas gift from your website. If their cart freezes before payment, you’re all but pushing them to buy with a competitor. Protecting your customers from tech failures with planning ensures that you can reduce cart abandonment.
3. Prioritise scalability
Don’t let your capacity hinder your eCommerce Christmas campaign. No matter how well you plan to predict traffic, you could be fortunate enough to have an unpredicted surge of customers. While this is great on the face of it, many companies often face the problem of not having enough capacity to handle unexpected high traffic. As a result, they end up losing a chunk of their customer base during a time when most businesses are raking in profits.
A successful eCommerce Christmas campaign is not about going all out and spending a massive amount of money on up-scaling your business. It’s about understanding your limitations alongside customer expectations and being prepared to scale when the need arises. A good business is one that is able to sense opportunities for growth and amps up its services according to the needs of the customers.
Scalability is also important to make sure you avoid the typical problems of eCommerce businesses during the holiday season. Failing to cater to customer queries and increased traffic can lead to customers abandoning their carts and leaving your website. It can also discourage those willing to give you another chance. And… people talk, if they’ve had a bad experience you can bet they’ve told their friends/family about it, or even their social media!
4. Recognise your in-house skills
Even the most successful eCommerce businesses have their limitations. Admitting to your limitations is the first step in scaling up services during festive seasons; you must know what these are and plan accordingly.
Recognising your in-house limitations doesn’t mean to say that your in-house capabilities are limited in general. In fact, there are most likely a whole host of things that your team can do to prepare for Christmas. Your team are the best champions for your brand, and so possess a loyal quality that accounts for a lot of your success — so leverage it!
In other words: audit your in-house capabilities to harness the skills you already have at hand, then recognise your limitations and outsource where you need. But, you can cut down a portion of your outsourcing budget by making as much use of your in-house capabilities as possible.
For instance, carefully selected FAQs can help you take care of some of your customers’ most common questions. Design the section carefully to accommodate all queries, avoiding any confusion or misinformation. Specific eCommerce Christmas campaign FAQs could include…
- What are your last order dates for Christmas?
- What is your Christmas return policy?
- Can you return gifted items without a receipt?
- Do you offer gift wrapping?
- Do you have Christmas-specific gift cards?
- This list can go on…
5. Know where to outsource
Planning and outsourcing make customer service more predictable and manageable, helping you deliver a successful eCommerce Christmas Campaign. Outsourcing allows you to minimise costs by foregoing the need to hire a bigger workforce and committing to their subsequent expenses.
The demand for customer service agents rises during the festive season. Many companies hire much temporary staff, but this means committing to a sizable workforce that will contribute to your company’s overheads. Contracting an outside workforce can be more cost-effective for eCommerce businesses, especially for providing quality customer service.
Christmas comes early with Odondo
To provide the ultimate customer service outsourcing solution, nothing comes close to Odondo. Odondo delivers all the benefits of an ideal customer service provider at rates that can accommodate any level of eCommerce setup. The best thing is, it’s well within your budget.
With Odondo, you get:
- A highly trained workforce with specific skills in dealing with ecommerce queries
- Expert agents committed to providing quality customer service on a 24/7 basis
- Flexibility to increase or decrease customer service staffing according to the needs of your business
- Odondo’s technical expertise which helps you improve your websites and cut down on customer complaints
- A pay-as-you-go model that drastically reduces your expenses compared to costly contracts
Odondo, the leading eCommerce customer service outsourcing specialist, is ready to make your Christmas campaign a success. With our highly skilled customer service rep workforce, you’ll get quality service at a price you can afford. Get in touch, find out for yourself!
Aamir is one of the Co-Founders at Odondo, where he obsesses over the details to deliver a strong and compelling proposition for each of his clients.
Prior to Odondo, he was CTO at one of the UK's largest price comparison websites, with contact centres in the UK and India. In his spare time, he loves reading, politics, tennis, and playing the piano (badly).