Edee Carey2022-09-21

Customer Service as a Tool to Maximize Black Friday

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and both consumers and brands are excited. From a consumer perspective, the autumn season ushers in opportunities to capitalize on special promotions and discounts. Notifications have been turned on, and online shoppers are routinely checking their mobiles for special offers.

Even with all the discounts and strategically placed ads, however, the challenge to convert consumers from browsing to purchasing remains.

This is where outstanding customer service can make all the difference. Especially when it comes to making a success of retail’s biggest days in the calendar: Black Friday and Cyber Monday!

Why Exemplary Customer Service Matters

Product, pricing, and promotion are key components of eCommerce success. But service shouldn’t be an extra add-on, it plays an integral role in the customer journey. Brands can boost customer satisfaction, loyalty, and increased lifetime value by including customer success in their long-term strategy.

In fact, current research has underscored that customers prefer brands that continuously provide value beyond the initial purchase and focus on their needs. These customer service statistics clearly illustrate how customer experience is evolving and what consumers expect:

Global spending on CX is estimated to reach $640 billion in 2022 alone.

74% of customers end up switching brands if the purchasing process is too difficult for them.

If the company’s customer service is excellent, 78% of consumers will do business with a company again after a mistake.

32% of customers will abandon a favorite brand after one poor customer experience.

93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service.

Preparing Your Brand for Black Friday

Whether it's in a brick-and-mortar establishment or an online one, consumers expect the same level of great service. But when they shop online, these expectations grow, and there is a need to communicate through channels that retailers may not have used before

The age of digitalization has made availability more important than ever when it comes to customer service. Whenever they want, wherever they are, and on whatever device they prefer, consumers bank on being able to interact with brands for 24/7 support.

With mobile messaging, you can reach consumers at the most popular touchpoint of our time – the smartphone. Now, more than ever, customers are more likely to communicate with companies via messaging - such as WhatsApp, SMS, Viber or RCS. Engagement is also a factor in driving quality customer service, with the adaption of chatbots becoming a necessity to handle queries at scale while offering meaningful interactions to loyal customers. LINK’s conversational platform, Xenioo, is a prime example of facilitating these two-way conversations between customers and brands.

Remember, it's a hectic weekend for everyone during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Brands are busy planning sales and prepping orders. Customers are frantically trying to find the best holiday deals. There are inevitably going to be glitches in a shopping event this large. But preparing a customer service plan in advance will ease any problems that may arise.

Check out our tips below to future proof your customer service plan before the Black Friday craze kicks in.

Top Tips to Deliver Top Customer Service on Black Friday:

1. Communicate with Customers in Advance and Keep it Personal

As the holiday season picks up, customers primarily plan their larger holiday purchases around Black Week, when there are a variety of campaigns and special offers available. Thus, your brand should communicate offers in good time – before your competitors - so that customers come to you for bargain hunting on Black Friday.

2. Don’t forget about personalization!

A personalized customer service philosophy comes down to treating each customer as an individual and remembering who they are. Make every customer feel like a VIP by leveraging user data and analyzing customer profiles to customize the experience.

3. Optimize an Omnichannel Experience: Utilize Chatbots and Live Agents with Seamless Handover

An omnichannel experience boots customer loyalty when it’s a positive experience from beginning to end. By connecting all customer touchpoints, brands are empowered to increase both sales and customer satisfaction. In order to provide faster response times, staff your customer service team appropriately coupled with the use of live chat.

It’s important to recognize that all channels are key in delivering quality service. Chatbots may still encounter problems even if they are designed to meet a particular need. A handover should be established to avoid frustrating clients with lengthy chats with chatbots that cannot resolve their issue. The conversation can then be easily moved from chatbot to agent.

4. Availability and Quick Response Times

Ensure you and your team have a plan for responding to customers in a timely fashion as part of your customer service plan (see point #2 above!). During a fast-paced event like Black Friday, you are more likely to lose sales if you take too long to respond.

Identify the most frequently asked questions by customers

It's a safe bet that your team gets asked the same questions repeatedly during Black Friday. Include responses to common questions in your customer service plan to make their jobs easier (and responses faster). Frequently asked questions include shipping costs, delivery timeframes, return policies, etc. Also, these answers can be posted on a FAQ page so customers can find them on their own.

5. Remember to follow up

Don't let too much time go by before following up with customers. Customer follow-up and asking about their experiences or requesting positive and negative feedback shows customers you care about their experience. It is also a great way to retain customers and boost new opportunities by upselling or making a new sale.

6. Stay GDPR Compliant

For any business, understanding GDPR, privacy, and its role in customer service is crucial. Nowadays, companies are required to collect data in a more secure way, informing the customers that their personal data is being collected, as well as the purpose of it. Consumers expect privacy, and staying compliant with GDPR helps mitigate any potential issues that could cause backlash for brands. Having a secure option to opt out, being transparent about how data is being used, and collecting specific information are all best practices in providing safe and quality service. Gain a better understanding of GDPR, and read more about how it affects your brand and our top tips on our LINK Blog.

When your customer service team can effectively perform their jobs during busy calendar periods, they will be better able to deal with retail customer service demand on a more consistent basis.

LINK’s offerings focus on delivering messages across channels so that when your customer switches between them, you can keep the conversation alive and offer excellent customer service.

Get in touch to learn more about LINK’s offerings!