The holiday season is busy, it means more people, more hustle-bustle, and a lot more difficult customers.
Dealing with customers is not simple, and it’s not a skill that is natural. For owners, they should be aware that their staff will never know what to do in such situations.
The employees need to know how to deal with difficult customers during the holidays.
Also, holiday seasons are especially crucial for business, and having customers who are satisfied with your products and services will do some serious uplifts in sales charts.
To make sure that your customer support does its magic, here are the tips that can help you in handling your customers and making them satisfied during holidays.
Tips To Keep Business Ready To Deal With Customers Before Holiday Starts
During the holiday seasons, the flow of customer service increases 75%, and its average of $20 Billion worth of products sold online during November and December.
The numbers will be increasing and your business will need more capable staff to handle the increased volume of customers.
It’s crucial for a business to anticipate the business to keep ready for the holiday season.
Train Your Staffs Before It Starts
With the customer already for their festival seasons, the business needs to be ready for it.
As an owner, the staff requires proper training so they know how to handle when the customers get extra grumpy.
Solving the smallest hurdle can help your customers in keeping the loose faith in the brand.
The first thing you should start with is giving proper training to understand how to deal with and maintain the holiday rush.
Conduct proper training sessions before the holiday starts. Also give proper tools, information, and ability to take actions when to handle irritating customers, complaints, inquiries, etc.
Re-check Your Workflow
Having a working process that has loopholes and creates more problems when you are dealing with much rush.
Customers do not have so much patience but during the holiday season, they need much faster results from you.
It’s crucial to maintain a smooth workflow. Review your process, keep your seasonal data, and identify the points that can cause concerns.
Do dry runs to check how effective it works or you need more readjustments.
Get Seasonal Staff For Help
It can be possible that your staff might not be enough to keep the work going smoothly. This is an ideal situation to get more season staff on board.
Extra help will improve the speed and your customers will get more quick work done.
You can hire part-timers, partner with more people, or get an outsourced agency.
More manpower can address more problems and it means you get better quality services to provide.
Make You Self Service Support Better
Self-service can help you in getting some relaxation and not burdening them a lot.
With the option, your customer can find their solution on its own. It gives power to your customer to deal with their problems, instead of coming directly to customer support.
Before the holiday turns full swing, keep the self-support better and easy for your customers.
Update your FAQ and use it for main communication channels.
Get The Backup Ready
The holiday seasons can be filled with sudden situations and events. It can be unexpected for your staff and having backup plans can solve lots of situations without making things worse.
Also, make the flexible shifting and easy role substitution to keep the service going smoothly without any hassle.
Get A Triage System For Complaints
A triage system is a method by which you can prioritize the treatment of your customer according to the urgency.
Different customers have different levels of urgency, and the effective way to deal with them is to get a triage system to know which one needs more attention.
It can be helpful to deal with emergencies.
Take Care Of Staffs
Your staff is going to be dealing with lots of exhausting and critical situations. It’s important for the owners to take care of the staff as they are the real heroes.
Recognize their efforts and allow them to relax. Keep their working hours flexible. Allow them to redeemable leave, work from home option, and keep their health in concern.
How To Deal With Customers During Holidays?
Dealing with the customers especially during holidays can be a little bit more difficult than usual.
To make sure your customers are getting the best services, you are going to need extra help from your staff.
With these tips, you can get better insights and you can prepare well for your business seasons.
Keep Your Mental Attitude Right
Keeping the mind right when you are dealing with the customers is helpful. However, during holidays, it becomes more important to keep your head straight.
Take a few seconds to pull yourself together and breathe, calm yourself, and deal with the customers.
Remind yourself when you are dealing with angry customers, that they are not angry at you, Its the situation to blame.
When you have the right mental attitude, you deal much better. Also, it prevents the situation from pushing the wrong buttons that can make you act like an unprofessional person.
Takeaway: The mental attitude keeps you calm and Professional. Also, the important thing to remind yourself is to never eat your customer to see if they are getting to you.
Once they know that you are not the person in charge, soon they will calm down. Keep yourself professional until the very end.
Develop A Thick Skin
During the customer services, you are going to meet different kinds of people. There are going to be some really nasty customers too.
Developing a thick skin will help you in not letting such customers affect you. Also with this, you can find ways to handle them as well.
Make sure your staff along with you know how to deal with such a situation.
Takeaway: Ignoring or Avoiding such customers are not possible. No matter what business you do, there will be some nasty customers to deal with.
The best way you can choose is to let the fear go. Keep your customers as something challenging that will help you in doing better in your future.
Let Them Talk
Your customers might be upset about late delivery or the wrong product.
They are angry and feel wronged. At this point, giving them a solution as soon as they speak, will make your customer frustrated.
It’s important for you to let them talk first. Do not interrupt before they complete what they want to say and what are the major things they feel upset about.
Don’t start giving solutions without hearing them completely. Not just it will make you look impatient to get rid of them but also your customer will feel like you are not helping them.
Takeaway: As long as it’s not physical or verbal threats, let your customer have the time for venting out their anger and frustrations.
It will make them cool down and they will like to hear what you want to say.
Without giving them time to talk, it can accelerate the situation too much.
Work On Active Listening
Active listening is a vital part of customer service. And as for holiday seasons, it became crucial to practice consciously assimilating with what your customer is saying.
It eliminates the chance when you just stand silently which makes them more irritated.
Not just active listening helps you in giving a good impression but you can also understand what they are trying to tell you.
It gives them more chances to solve their problems efficiently.
Takeaway: Active listening demands listening to your complete personality. It also means to give many positive responses and use languages.
It includes simple nodding, open stance, etc so the person can understand that you are listening to their problem.
Make Them Feel Important
Being heard and taken seriously are the two main important elements for dealing with customers.
When a customer feels like what they are saying is not important for you or you are not taking it seriously, they feel angrier.
Also, it can lead them to drop using your services and move to some other brands where they can get the importance.
Let them talk, and make sure to establish their importance.
You can maintain eye contact and nod. Keep your body posture attentive and comfortable.
Takeaway: Using their names in the middle of a conversation is the simplest way to make them feel important. Even though it’s a small thing, customers feel positive about this.
Also, it can help them in calming their anger too.
Think Like Customer
When you are dealing with such customers, keep your head calm. It’s natural for humans to respond with anger or going defensive when someone yells at them.
However, here you must avoid such conditions. Being empathic is important especially when you don’t want to escalate the situation.
Maybe for the company, the situation is small but for the customer, it’s extremely serious. It’s important to think like your customer and act according to that.
Be Mindful With How You Talk
The way you say it and what you don’t affect the customer interaction. Any sign that you show of boredom, aggression, impatience will make the situation worse for you.
It’s very important to be mindful of your words and keep the body language good too.
Keep Yourself Discreet
Customers are advancing these days. What you say, how you behave everything can be recorded and shared on social media.
The last thing any company wants to deal with social media outrages. Especially, during holidays when people are especially active and more responsive.
Letting your business go downhill because of this will affect the sales It’s recommended to speak in slow and lower voices.
Keep your feelings controlled, feelings infectious, and stay professional.
Tell Them When You Can’t Handle
Once you let them talk, now make sure you communicate with them. Tell them what you can do and what you can’t.
It’s better to keep clarifying and apologize. It’s important to be on the same page when you are talking with your customer.
There are chances that you don’t have the solution right now, apologize when it’s needed.
Takeaway: Don’t let your customer hear the negative sentences. Add what you can do, offer them refunds or anything that can give them temporary relief.
There are customers who might wait, but there will be some customers who want quick solutions. If you can solve their problem, do it fast and make sure you are keeping the tabs.
Helping your costumes quickly has its benefits too. It can help you in giving better customer relationships, solving their problems quickly, and turning them into loyal customers.
Resolving the solutions also prevents escalation.
Compensate If It’s Needed
Taking extra steps for comforting and compensating for the discomfort will help you in solving the issue.
However, compensation is not always needed but if you offer one depending on the situation can make your customer feel satisfied.
Also, it shows that you are making up for your mistakes and errors.
Takeaway: you can offer discounts, coupons, or anything small to keep your customers engaged instead of feeling frustrated.
The compensation works best when you want to keep your relationship with your customer happy and healthy.
Make The Judgement Call
There are some situations when things are just out of control. Not all customers are the same and it can be possible that some of them might end up crossing lines.
They can be rude and unfair. And this is the point when you have to make a judgment call. Even it means losing them for good.
Customers are important but keeping a problematic customer will make your business suffer. Also, your staff will feel demotivated and it will affect negativity more than the positive.
Here are a few steps to do before you make the final call-
- Start with a chance to let them cool down. Keep your voice firm and don’t use foul language.
- If they can’t do that, ask them to leave.
- If they are not giving up and persist, call the authorities and close the deal.
Takeaway: For business owners, their customers are the most important. But tolerating a problematic customer who is causing a ruckus in your office, it’s important to cut ties. And let them go.
How Your Staff Can Help & What To Do?
The holiday time is a special time for employees and customers. Also, a great opportunity to get your business booming.
But lots of businesses deal with difficult customers more when holidays start. The reason can be your staff and the lack of focus you put on them.
Not preparing your staff to handle the customer can lead to more numbers of cranky and upset customers.
To make sure your staff survives the holidays without causing more disappointed customers, here are the following tips for you.
Keep Them Ready To Core Jobs
Having good customer support is important but to make sure your customer doesn’t have to go there is more crucial.
When you train your staff to do their core jobs and review their performances, along with eliminating the chance to get complaining customers.
It will help you to handle the customers beforehand. Also using the gift cards, applying discounts, and keeping the customer happy on the ground floor become easier.
The staff covered most of the problems and dissolved them before your customer needed a higher authority.
Help Them To Understand Holiday Mentality
Holiday mentality is an overlooked point and it’s a reason why your customers are getting crankier than usual.
Holiday mentality keeps your customer more stressed, rushed, and busier. Even your usual customers who don’t mind waiting will get more stressed.
It’s the time of the year. It’s important for your staff to empathize with this situation. To help them, keep the shopping hassle-free.
Make sure that they can easily get what they are looking for and provide extra help to keep the flow going.
Prepare Them For Worse Situations
Even though you create full proof planning and make sure nothing goes wrong. Still, there will be a probability of such situations.
When you are dealing with customers, anything can go wrong. Since not all your customers are the same, they can act differently depending on the situation.
It’s important for your business to know how to deal with it.
Use the 80/20 rule. Get the common things in your list that might go wrong. Use previous data and details to know the common problems.
Train your staffs according to that, and make sure they do not repeat the same mistake
Prepare Them To Manage Stress
Not just your customers but your staff also need a break. The situation can be too stressful for them.
Prepare them to deal with their own stress when handling the customers. There can be a lot of situations, maybe your staff is going through some personal issue or family conditions.
Ask the people who have gone through the same thing to share their experiences. Let them help in understanding how they can keep their personal stress out from this situation.
Do not forget about your own people as they are the ones who are working for you and helping the business to reach the goals.
How To Use Holiday Season To Defuse Angry Customers?
The holiday season is not just crucial for your business but for your customers too. During this time, most of the customers are looking forward to their experience with the brands.
There are lots of businesses which offer different kinds of discounts and sales to attract more customers. Also, it’s an idea to improve their relationship.
For a small business, utilizing every bit of the holiday season can boost their company. However not utilizing it probably can end up losing more customers, sales, and a chance to grow.
Well to make this holiday season-best for your business, here are a few tips that you can use for defusing angry customers.
Don’t Waste Their Time
During holiday seasons, time becomes really important. Nobody wants to waste their time dealing with arguing.
It can lead to more frustration for your customers. So, the best you can do is to offer value to their every spent time with your brand.
Make sure they feel important and communicate properly.
Offer Rewards & Holiday Discounts
To those customers who are especially cranky after some arguments and had bad experiences. You can get them back by offering rewards or discounts exclusively for the holiday season.
Make sure to solve their problem first and then send the offers to them. It will show your generosity and going the extra mile will keep your relationship good for the future.
Receiving holiday discounts also help your customers feel good and make their day better too.
Say Thank You And Apologize
Apologizing to your customer for the experience they had. Along with that, say thank you whenever you get the chance.
Not just for participating in your business or trying their products, but also when they are informing you about problems and coming up with complaints.
Not all of your customers are going to use their time for coming to you and complaining. There are certain numbers who will quietly move to a different one.
Use The Holiday Spirit
The holiday spirit can help you in getting your customers back. Use happy and good feelings to get their attention back to you.
There are lots of ways in which you can improve their relationship with you. From offering good discounts, exclusive offers to sending them handwritten thank-you notes.
You can choose anything to show that you care about your customers.
Ask Them What They Like
Offering them solutions to their problem along with asking them to give feedback can help both ways.
Let them tell you what they want and it’s important to listen to them. Offer what they appreciate and make sure to keep everything on a positive note.
Frequently Asked Question ( FAQ)
The holiday season is a prime time for the business, people spend more and they interact with different brands. This gives an opportunity for businesses to attract more customers along with making their current customer base strong.
Holiday mentality creates more buzz and it means people will be more impatient than normal. Even those who are not usually stressed are also busier during the holiday.
Understanding how to deal with such customers can help you in getting less difficult customers during the holiday.
To not make a customer not angrier, make sure you are giving them a chance to talk and hear their problems first. Also, avoid cutting them in the middle or pushing solutions without hearing the problem first.