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Apr 17, 2023
6 minutes read

Peak Moments in eCommerce: How to Keep Your Customer Service on Point

Customer service is the backbone of any successful business, but when eCommerce peak season rolls around, the pressure to deliver exceptional service skyrockets! With an avalanche of orders pouring in, it's essential for customer service representatives to stay on top of their game. And that's why we've got your back! In this blog, we'll give you the inside scoop on how to prepare your team to handle the surge in demand and maintain a top-notch customer service experience. From tackling common challenges to providing practical solutions, we've got everything you need to get through the peak season with ease.

eCommerce Peak Season

The peak season (which can also be referred to as Q4 season) for eCommerce is the happiest time of the year for retailers, but it can also be the most stressful for customer service agents.

The volume of orders and customer interactions increases dramatically during the holiday season, and it can be difficult to keep up with customer expectations.

Service is led by emotions, which can run high during peak moments, so here are some of the challenges that customer service teams may face, and some tips and solutions to help prepare.

The Challenges for Customer Service

1. Holiday Season Rush: More Customers, More Interactions

During peak season like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas, the sheer number of customers and interactions can be overwhelming, and it can be challenging to manage the increased volume of inquiries and returns, especially if customer service relies heavily on human labour. Longer opening times are required to handle the increase in interactions, and it can be challenging to staff enough people to provide quality customer service.

2. Customer Interactions Across Multiple Channels

Customers interact with retailers across multiple channels, including email, chatbots, WhatsApp, and other platforms. Each channel has its own profile of customer interaction, and it can be challenging to match the expectations of customers on each channel. With customers using multiple channels to reach out for help, and it can be difficult to track and manage all of these interactions. So, how do you effectively tackle all these interactions? And do you know when customers expect a response when using a specific channel?

Ecommerce peak moments channels responses

3. Long Wait Times Means Frustrated Customers

If capacity hits a limit, just one more query can have a disproportionate effect on the entire queue. Customers on hold may redial in frustration or put in the same query on different channels, resulting in a more turbulent experience for both customers and retailers. It's crucial to have a customer service software that can prevent queues, provides context to previous interactions (Email, chatbot, WhatsApp, Instagram etc) and can handle the pressure of high volume.

4. Consistent and Reliable Customer Service

Customers expect consistent and reliable customer service, and retailers must ensure that the answers to their queries are readily available to all customer service agents. If the answer to a service issue is limited to one expert or another customer service agent, then capacity becomes skewed, and overall quality of service suffers.

5. Working Together as Departments

We all know that we should work together as one team. But be honest - this is easier said than done. Are there still silos keeping information blocked? If team’s are organised into “email requests” and “requests by phone,” knowledge can’t flow freely between those 'silos,' and different channels won’t have access to the same information. So collaboration can be complex, meaning customer experience depends on the channel they choose.

Engage working in silos within peak moments ecommerce

Solutions for Customer Service

There are multiple ways to tackle the above mentioned points: integration, automation, self-serve options, and, not to mention: learning from past experiences, which means connecting the data where it matters most: between sources, applications, employees, and customers.

Here are three solutions that will help you to prepare...

1. Integrating Channels for Better Customer Journeys

To provide better customer journeys, retailers need to integrate their service infrastructure to work flawlessly across channels. All relevant information should be collected together and available to everyone who needs it, whether customers are typing into a chatbot window, sending a text, or asking a question via WhatsApp. By bringing different channels together in one general inbox, retailers can ensure that customer service issues are dealt with in the quickest and best way possible with context.

Picture a world where every time a customer engages with your service team, they pick up right where the previous conversation ended - no matter the communication channel. The result? A seamless and personalised experience that shows your customers you truly value their time and needs.

2. Automate to Increase Capacity

Automating customer service is an effective way to handle the volume of inquiries during peak season. By automating resolution pathways with a chatbot or dynamic FAQ, retailers can save time, increase capacity, and be available 24/7. This helps to solve customer queries immediately, providing the magic ingredients for a successful peak season.

Every minute you can put back into an agent’s day saves you money – and increases your capacity during peak season.

Tip: Integrate your current customer service software to get the most out of your data or build an AI-Chatbot to automate conversations.

Engage peak moments chatting with a chatbot to get help faster

3. Bring Customer Service, Sales, and Marketing Together

Remember the silos we discussed earlier? Departments working on their own without knowing what other people are doing? Retailers need to break down silos and ensure that information can flow freely between departments. This means bringing service, sales, and marketing together to take advantage of cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.

Tips on how to get started:

4. Look Back, Because Past Experiences Are Valuable

In the hustle and bustle of peak shopping season, it's easy to forget the valuable lessons learned from past experiences. That's why taking a look back is crucial to success. By leveraging connected data across channels, you can identify areas for improvement and streamline your team for the busiest quarter. Perhaps you can identify the type of queries that require more resources or the times when customer satisfaction came at a high cost. These insights will help you optimise your efforts and improve the overall customer experience.

Tip: Remember to analyse previous years’ data to help you prepare for Q4.

Go For Smooth-Flowing Customer Service All Year Round

With so many customer service software solutions out there, it's important to choose one that prioritises both your agents and customers. At CM.com, we understand the challenges of managing customer interactions across multiple channels.

Our solution is designed to help customer service teams communicate and collaborate with ease, providing a comprehensive overview of all customer interactions. This empowers your agents to deliver top-notch customer experiences and enhances customer satisfaction.

By choosing CM.com, you can bring together different channels, departments, customers, and agents in a single solution. This ensures that your customer service is always at its best, even during peak periods.

Peak Season is Coming: Is Your Customer Service Ready?

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