While customer service is an area we need to be on top of year round, there is no denying that the holiday season adds an extra dose of urgency to provide a stellar customer experience.

 As a manager, customer service operations should be on your brain all the time. But as people are gearing up for the holidays, you REALLY need to shine. The holidays are chock full of stress when it comes to shopping. And customers have even higher expectations for the service they receive. They want easy. They want seamless. They want helpful.
And as a manager, you can certainly deliver. Do a search online and you will receive a bevy of tips and tricks on how to deliver top-notch customer service during the holidays. Salesforce wrote a great article discussing it, as did Consumer Affairs. There is some overlap in these arsenals of advice and some varying opinions as well.
But one thing rings true amidst all of the best practices. Everyone is looking to their manager for cues. Everything trickles down. They’re watching you and depending on you to lead them through customer calls and inquiries galore. (You’re kind of Santa-ish, driving that sleigh around making sure the reindeer are all in sync from house to house as you spread holiday cheer!)
So what are some of the tactical things you can do as a manager to deliver stellar holiday service? Here are 5 surefire ways to help your teams win during the holiday rush.
  1. Devise a plan. There are times to “wing it”, but this isn’t it! If you have a strategy in place, everyone will start on the same page and have a guide to follow throughout their interactions.
  2. Empower your employees. You know when a football coach gets a team all fired up during half-time and they bust out of that locker room with a renewed spirit and purpose? You can totally do that too! Give your people the support they need to succeed. Good energy is contagious.
  3. Arm them with resources. Think about what you can provide your employees that will help them accomplish their jobs better during the holidays. Are there tools that will help them execute on holiday-specific interactions? Training exercises that will put an extra pep in their step? Whatever it is, give them what you can to make their jobs easier.
  4.  Speed it up. Resolution times are always top of mind for customers. They want to be in and out with an answer in hand. And their expectations are even higher during the holidays. Work with your employees to help them decrease resolution times as much as possible and keep everything moving like a well-oiled machine.
  5. Mind Your Manners. It is ALWAYS important to put your best foot forward in all customer interactions. Make sure your employees feel that holiday spirit and that it’s emanating through their calls. Nobody wants to deal with a Grinch!
With the holiday season already underway, never stop reflecting on what you can do as a manager to help your teams nail it this season. The customers will appreciate, as will your team for helping them get through the holidays with poise and confidence. It’s a win win for all parties.
December 23, 2015


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