How To Manage Customer Service Ticket Spikes During The Holidays
The holidays can truly be a magical time of year, but when the Black Friday ticket spikes hit, that magical feeling is quickly replaced with what we can only equate to someone yelling “RED ALERT, RED ALERT” on repeat in your head. Yikes, right?
If you’ve been there, you’re certainly not alone.
Even if your e-commerce business is expecting a spike in tickets from early Christmas shoppers, it can be all too easy for your customer service team to fall behind if they haven’t been equipped with the proper tools and processes to work efficiently.
To prepare your brand’s customer service team for this year’s inevitable holiday season rush, let’s deep dive together into ticket spikes and how to create a plan of action to tackle them.
What can lead to spikes in customer service tickets?
For e-commerce businesses, spikes around the holidays are to be expected – especially if you’re running ads for great deals and specials (we all love a good discount, after all).
However, it’s not JUST the holidays alone that can cause spikes in customer service tickets:
- Expanding into new markets will often result in an influx of tickets because new customers who may be in different time zones are making purchases at times of the day that aren’t typical for your business.
- Seasonal trends will always be a reason why your business may see a spike in new customer service tickets. Swimsuit brands will typically see their spike as early as April or May, whereas a shop that specializes in outerwear for ski season would typically experience their busy season in October and November.
- Though we hope for the best, sometimes the worst can happen and cause major floods of new customer service tickets – we’re talking network delays, website crashes, and general digital infrastructure issues. It’s never expected, but it’s always a possibility.
No matter what the reason may be for ticket volume spikes, it’s crucial for your brand’s success to be prepared for anything that might come your way – and keep customer satisfaction as your top priority.
Steps You Can Take To Manage Holiday Ticket Spikes
With the holiday season right around the corner, there’s no time like the present (hehe, get it? 🎁) to start putting a plan of action into place to prepare for surges in ticket volume.
1. Support Your Existing Team
When your business hits its peak season, your customer service team is taking on the bulk of the weight. To avoid burning out your agents and stretching them too thin, try a few of our favorite tips for showing your team the support they need to thrive and provide exceptional customer service to your customers:
- Provide basic training to customer service-adjacent departments. In the event of a crisis situation, having other team members outside of the customer service department who are trained to handle tickets and work with customers is crucial. If and when you’re anticipating a spike in inquiries, check in with department managers to let them know their teams may need to step in if the going gets tough.
- Outsource customer service with a reliable BPO. At TalentPop, we make it super easy for our clients to attain the highly-skilled and experienced agents they need to support them during the busy seasons. Plus, because we offer flexible customer service solutions, you can scale your support up or down depending on your needs.
2. Frequently Update Your Knowledge Base
When it comes to customer support, it’s been shown time and time again that shoppers LOVE self-help solutions for making returns and tracking their orders, so much so that 35% percent of consumers have said they find it very important to have a fully self-serve customer care option available to resolve their needs.
Therefore, don’t let your knowledge base be a factor that contributes to your high ticket volume:
- Keep your FAQ page clear, succinct, and up-to-date. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to wait on hold with a customer service representative because the FAQ page has broken links, outdated or incorrect information, or is unclear in any way.
- Continuously update your support chat’s automatic replies. If you’re offering a new product or service this holiday season, anticipating questions that will frequently be asked through live chat or chatbot support will free up your support agents from common inquiries.
3. Maximize Productivity with Templates and Processes
During ticket volume spikes, having easily accessible information to refer to is a must.
- Templates for email, live chat, and phone support are an incredible resource for your team, because they allow your reps to copy and paste responses for similar inquiries and modify the details based on the customer and their specific request or issue.
- SOPs are an absolute game-changer for e-commerce brands no matter what your ticket volume looks like. Standardized processes for returns, refunds, and other issues make expectations for your team super clear. Plus, they create consistency across the board and ensure each customer receives the same level of service (and the correct information every time). Check out our recent blog post on SOPs to see how we format them for our clients!
Ready To Scale Customer Service Before the Busy Season Hits?
Customer service spikes are inevitable for any e-commerce business, but when you’re prepared to handle it by having the systems, resources, and additional support in place, it will set your brand up for success – even when it’s under immense pressure.
We built TalentPop because we know that though customer experience is vital to a brand’s ultimate success, preparing a team that can handle anything thrown at them is no small feat to achieve alone.
If you’re ready to partner with TalentPop to outsource customer service before the holiday season’s customer support spikes arrive, book a call with us today.
From finding the right agents for your brand to establishing SOPs and systems within your helpdesk resources, we’re here to help you make this year your most profitable one yet.