Helping customers is an essential part of every business strategy, but did you know it’s also an essential part of your marketing strategy?
During the holiday season, it's important for businesses like yours to always think about how you can deliver value to shoppers and customers. After all, your customers are your company’s most precious asset. If a business doesn't treat its customers well, its reputation might spread, shrinking the customer base and making it harder to acquire new customers at the beginning of the year.
Customer service is something every business has thought about before, yet, it often gets pushed down the list when more important things come up, especially during the busiest time of the year.
But what if we told you that your customer service strategy could be immensely valuable to your marketing department in Q4?
At Christmas, the right customer service strategy will help your business keep customers happy, and bring your customer service team more insights on what works, and what you could improve in the new year. It's also an opportunity for your marketing team to leverage happy customers to amplify your company's marketing efforts.
In this article, we’ll run you through different types of customer service, and how you can create useful, unique and relevant content for each of them in order to deliver seamless experiences this holiday season.
Online customer services you can implement right now
When your customer service team is repeatedly answering the same questions, it’s time to consider creating a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on your website. It’s a useful and easy way to add unique, relevant content and assist confused customers in the middle of their purchase journey.
An FAQ page lets you address common pain points to reduce the number of calls or emails. We highly recommend organising your FAQ page by categories, to help customers find the answer to their question faster, and understand your product or service better. It’s also recommended to make your FAQ pages accessible from any of your channels, such as a website, blog, social accounts. This will save both you and your customers a lot of time.
When first developing a FAQ, start by polling your customer service department and directly reaching out to customers to find the most common and important questions prospects may have.
Make the FAQ page easy to navigate by creating different categories of questions and showing related questions on individual pages.
Consider answering some of the questions in a tutorial, a short video, or by leveraging images to clarify your answers.
Add a search bar that anticipates your customers’ questions as they type.
Fabletics organise their FAQ page by category
2. Demos and webinars
If you’ve recently spent some time on social channels, you’ve probably noticed that video has taken over the internet. It's a great way to share information quickly, clearly and efficiently, especially when we're all exposed to so much content online.
To keep your viewers engaged, aim for 1-minute long videos when it comes to demos, tutorials, or help videos, and half-an-hour for webinars, which can be dedicated to teaching customers how to make the most of your service or product.
Create short explainer videos to help your customers find what they’re looking for.
Keep the videos short to keep your customers fully engaged.
Share your most popular and useful videos on social channels.
3. Social support
Your social media accounts might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of customer service. However, when looking for answers, customers will be checking all of your brand’s channels. If they’re using Google to look for you, your social channels might be one of the first links to show up, so it’s important to make sure you’re meeting expectations.
Social media has become an essential tool to reach out to customers and to help them too. Your social media manager or community manager should be trained to answer any question your customers might have or to guide them to the right place. By being responsive and helpful, you’re publicly showing people how committed you are to consumers and customers.
Make sure that someone is constantly monitoring your social accounts and responding to customers as quickly as possible.
Recycle your FAQ’s content and explainer videos on your social channels.
In doubt, always share your customer service team’s contact details.
4. On-site help
On-site live chats are another great customer service tool to engage with your existing and potential customers. They offer real-time convenience to customers and help your customer service team build stronger relationships with online shoppers.
Helping your customers out in real time also means your business is more likely to resolve their issues faster, keeping them engaged and interested, and increasing their confidence directly on your product page. This will also help your customer service team move through requests and complaints faster than usual.
Did you know that 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a Web site can offer? It's also advised to implement live chat on pages that are converting at a 2% rate or less right now.
Don’t make the access to the chat over-complicated. Ask for your customers' email addresses and order numbers, that should be enough to get the conversation started.
Make the chat a pop-up widget on the right-hand side. You don’t want your customers to be looking for assistance, you want them to know it’s always here for them if they need it.
H&M make their online chat easy to find and use
Is email too impersonal to deliver great customer service?
We don’t think so. Email is a great way for customers to know they will be getting an answer to their question, especially when faced with closed live chats and closed phone lines outside of working hours or over the holiday season.
Have you ever needed to chat to a customer service team after 6pm or on a public holiday? Yes, we’ve all been through this, and it’s a struggle.
This is why the safest way to contact a customer service team is still email. The key to a great customer service via email is to come across as a friendly brand who really cares, no matter the circumstances. Things are easily misinterpreted by email, so it's important to be extremely careful. You should also ensure that the first reply comes as soon as possible. Even if the message is merely to let the customer know you've received their request, it shows that your customer’s question or issue is being addressed, which brings people the reassurance they need.
Use your customer’s first name, and whatever the issue is, always apologise.
Offer one or more (ideally, more) solutions to your customer’s problem.
If the customer replies to your email, make sure the same customer service assistant picks up the conversation. There’s nothing worse than having to explain your problem all over again.
6. Customer reviews
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful tools a company can use today. The truth is, 84% of consumers do not trust advertisements anymore, and we recently observed an 11% decline in trust globally, with only 71% of people admitting they trust brands out there.
With 89% of global consumers checking online reviews as part of their online buying journey and 49% of global consumers considering positive reviews one of their top 3 purchase influences, collecting reviews is an easy way to create fresh, up to date, and helpful content every day, as well as build a strong customer service using your own customers’ voice.
Some common questions are often answered in your customers’ reviews such as product quality, delivery, or a company’s return policy. Utilising reviews as a customer service tool allows you to answer some of your visitors’ questions via user-generated content. By encouraging your customers to leave reviews, and by showcasing your customers' feedback, you’re helping other customers who might be looking for additional information.
Online reviews are also another great tool to assist customers having issues with their order, or to thank loyal customers. Indeed, third-party review platforms allow you to interact with customers leaving online reviews, answer their questions, and help solve their issues.
Encourage your customers to leave feedback by sending them review invitations.
Use your customers’ feedback as insights to identify what your customer service team could improve
Use user-generated content to answer some of your new visitors’ common questions.
Don't forget to showcase your online reviews across different channels and touchpoints of the journey to improve engagement and conversion rates.
Providing different types of customer service during the busiest shopping season of the year can help keep your audience stay engaged. It can also help you convert more, reduce churn and turn existing customers into loyal brand advocates.
We understand Q4 is a busy time for every business out there, but delivering great customer service is more important now than ever before.
If you'd like to find out more about delivering great customer experiences during the holiday season, why not book a free Trustpilot demo? It's quick and easy, just click the link below.