How to keep up with customer enquiries

How To Keep Up With Customer Enquiries During The Holiday Rush

Published: 02/12/2020
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The holiday season is now upon us, and many experts predict that more people than ever will be buying online this year. If you’re an eCommerce seller, that means it’s time to put together a plan for handling the influx of questions and messages from shoppers.

After all, delivering excellent customer service during the pre-sale cycle is crucial to closing sales and encouraging repeat purchases. In fact, recent data shows that 78% of consumers report having abandoned a purchase due to a negative customer service experience.

Luckily, you don’t have to figure it out alone, as the communication experts at Replyco have put together their top tips on how to keep up with customer enquiries during the holiday rush.

Be proactive

pro-active-selling

In order to keep shoppers happy, one of the best things you can do is to be proactive whenever there’s the potential for problems to arise.

For example, if you know shipping is going to be delayed due to an abundance of orders, don’t wait for customers to come to you asking about their purchase’s delivery status. Instead, send buyers a message as soon as they place an order that explains the reasons for shipping delays. You can then provide frequent updates on the status of their order, including shipment information and tracking numbers as they become available.

Just a few areas in which proactive messaging can apply include notifying shoppers:

  • Shipping or order processing delays.
  • Temporarily out-of-stock items.
  • Back-in-stock items.
  • Tech issue alerts (such as your online store being down or back up).
  • Customer service team availability/unavailability due to holiday closures.

Not only will this approach answer customers’ questions before they ask them, but it also makes shoppers feel valued and appreciated. And that can go a long way toward ensuring customer satisfaction, mitigating possible issues and even encouraging repeat business and positive reviews.

Provide detailed, accurate product descriptions

Person using iPad

Another great way to keep up with enquiries is to give customers the information they need right up front (which will reduce the number of messages or questions shoppers send).

You can do this by providing detailed and accurate descriptions of any products you sell. Information in comprehensive product descriptions may include technical specifications, what’s included in the box, apparel size charts, materials in the item and so forth.

It is also a good idea to update product details regularly in order to address any questions you’ve been receiving about them. You can even include a list of answers to FAQs about the item at the bottom of the description.

By creating useful product descriptions, you are improving the customer experience and helping shoppers make purchase decisions that fit their needs. This strategy can also yield a number of benefits for your company, including:

  • Reduced clickaways by frustrated shoppers.
  • Increased sales (thanks to better odds that buyers will complete purchases).
  • Decreased returns or cancelled orders.
  • Saved time for your customer service staff as a result of receiving fewer messages.

Use messaging templates

Another method for saving time is to use messaging templates in order to avoid manually typing out content over and over.

Message templates can be created and utilised for answering commonly asked questions. For instance, you can put together a holiday shipping delay message template that provides the basic information about why shipping is currently slower than usual. Then, when you receive a question from a customer who wants to know why they haven’t yet received their order, you can just copy/paste the template and plug the customer’s name and specific order info into it.

When you’re answering dozens or even hundreds of enquiries each day, templates could save you and your team countless hours over the holiday season and beyond.

Manage staff scheduling

Once you’ve put together your plans for tackling customer messages and made sure you’re well-staffed for the holidays, you’ll need to ensure your entire team is on the same page.

Hold team meetings prior to the rush, as well as throughout the season, in order to go over procedures, plans, any changes that need to be made and/or any issues that arise.

The holidays are an exciting time, but they’re also insanely busy for eCommerce sellers. However, as long as you’ve put the right tactics and people into place, you can keep your entire customer service operation running smoothly no matter how many messages you receive.

Conduct team meetings

Team meeting

Finally, it is important to have a set plan for managing your customer service staff scheduling throughout the holiday shopping season.

You will undoubtedly receive many more messages than usual this time of year — potentially even double, triple or more. So your employees may need to work more hours than they do during the rest of the year.

To begin making your holiday staff schedule, find out which team members are willing and able to commit to increased hours. Do you have any workers who currently work part-time, but are interested in going full-time through the holidays?

Additionally, you may need to discuss schedule limitations on which employees might be willing to compromise. For example, if you have customer service representatives who don’t usually work weekends, ask them if they would be okay with adding Saturdays or Sundays to their schedule availability for a few months (possibly with the exchange of an extra day off during the week).

Even after adjusting current staff’s schedules to accommodate the busy season, you may still find that your team isn’t properly equipped to handle the number of messages coming in. This is a case in which you could look into hiring seasonal employees for the overflow of enquiries.

About Replyco

Replyco is a helpdesk software that centralises customer messaging into one easy-to-use inbox. Their seamless integrations across marketplaces enable eCommerce sellers to improve response times, boost ROI and delight shoppers.

Learn more by taking a tour of their features, or get started with your 7-day-free trial today.

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