Tis the season to be shopping! A recent survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF) revealed that consumers plan to spend $1,007.24 during the 2018 holidays. This number is up 4.1% from 2017 where consumers surveyed only spent $967.13. As these percentages continue to climb, it’s likely that your business will be on the receiving end of getting some of that shopper traffic.
If you’re not careful, the most wonderful time of the year can wrap up with your business on Santa’s naughty list.
When it comes to the customer experience, most business owners know that certain etiquette rules must be followed. These rules amplify during the holiday season. The bar for expectations has been raised and emotions are running high. If you’re not careful, the most wonderful time of the year can wrap up with your business on Santa’s naughty list. You could be on the receiving end of poor customer reviews and experience a decrease in sales.
You may know how to address customers during the holidays, but what should you not say? Let’s take a look at key phrases to avoid at all costs.
There are variations of this word used during the holidays. Shoppers have become accustomed to hearing words like “unfortunately” or phrases like “I can’t” used by businesses. Companies that say “no” enough times are actually sending across a powerful message to customers. The message is that the business could try to do something or make a change, but they have chosen not to do it.
Switch to “fortunately” and “I can” to prove that you are capable of getting creative and finding an answer that meets their needs.
Be a “yes” person as much as is allowed with customers. Switch to “fortunately” and “I can” to prove that you are capable of getting creative and finding an answer that meets their needs. You may also want to step into your customer’s shoes, too. Think about the gratitude that comes with hearing someone say yes or volunteering to help out. It’s largely unexpected, which is what makes it so joyous to hear. Everyone wins, from the customer to the business, and it keeps the spirits merry and bright.
2. “That’s not my fault.”
It’s easy to let this one slip out. Maybe you didn’t process the customer’s order and someone else on the ecommerce team did. The point about isn’t wasting time figuring out whose fault it is or getting into an argument with the customer. You need to set things right again.
Instead of finger pointing to say you’re not at blame, listen to the customer.
Instead of finger pointing to say you’re not at blame, listen to the customer. Let them explain the situation to you and vent their emotions out. Avoid interrupting while they’re speaking and jot down all of the details. This will give you a better understanding of where they’re coming from and what happened. Then, you can start working together to figure out a solution to their problem.
3. “Can I put you on hold (or have you wait) for a minute?”
It’s never just a minute, is it? Whether in person or on the phone, if the customer knows that they have to wait they’ll hang up or leave. They may choose to move on to the next business that can better assist them — and that company could be one of your competitors.
Let the customer know that you are listening and understand and offer a solution to the issue tailored specifically for their needs.
Try to stay with the customer for as long as you can instead of asking them if they can wait. If you work from a physical location, put out a call to have a staffer come and help out. You may need to go off the script with an ecommerce website if the customer is on the phone or messaging with you. Let them know that you are listening and understand and offer a solution to the issue tailored specifically for their needs.
Admittedly, these tips may go against your established ecommerce business guidelines. Remember, however, that the holiday season is about magic. Say yes as much as you can, listen, and go off the script to ensure that each customer’s problems have been solved to the best of your abilities. Behavior like this isn’t easily forgotten. They’ll remember how you went the distance for their needs now and become loyal customers well past the holiday shopping season.
Have any information about keeping customers happy during the holidays? Let us know in the comments!