The holiday season is a game changer for eTailers. More shoppers are heading online to avoid the rush. Dealing effectively with customer support, before, during & after the annual splurge, is vital to your continued success. By providing first class support, sellers stay ahead of the rush and turn killer service into sales.
The message is, don’t forget customer support because every query is vital to your business, customer service has a direct impact on revenues. For Amazon & eBay sellers a fall-off in customer response times and feedback scores means seller rating will fall – this impacts both holiday and post-holiday sales.
Keep customers happy
Your resources will be stretched to breaking point over the holidays. Expect a spike in queries on products, payments, delivery times, gift card procedures and returns policy. Sellers who win, solve problems quickly and simply, they remove obstacles and confusion. By responding quickly and accurately, sellers immediately turn queries into sales. You’ve done the hard work by offering a great product at a competitive price – don’t miss out by failing at customer service.
Some Interesting Holiday Facts and Figures
Between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday last year in the United States total online sales grew to $9.6bn – a 20% year-on-year increase. For the leading market places, Amazon & eBay, Black Friday global sales increased by 76.91% and 76.32% respectively. In the UK there was a 60% increase in Black Friday online traffic with £810m in sales. (Custora E-Commerce Pulse)
Empower your customer support team
Consumers demand convenience and have high expectations of service. By not having adequate systems in place to manage support activity we increase unwanted stress. We’re already flat out tracking orders and responding to incoming messages – we make it even harder by not preparing properly.
Over the holidays consumers do research without having specific purchases in mind. They make more information requests. Being swamped can lead to simple mistakes. Great service is about being organised, accurate and consistent. Knowing when buyers have placed separate orders, for instance, helps us keep track and avoid costly errors. Don’t forget Amazon’s 24-hour response guideline.
Encourage customers to come back
By communicating better we increase upselling opportunities. When we meet customers’ expectations they’re more receptive to our sales messages. By resolving problems, answering queries and providing insights we gain trust & credibility. Get service right and the holiday rush is a major opportunity to upsell, to increase loyalty and repeat business.
You’ll be processing more returns and refunds in the aftermath of the holiday sales – it makes sense to put systems in place now. Don’t forget about the January sales either – play holiday season right and the ‘slow down’ might not be so slow.
The increase in holiday traffic and sales really compels sellers to review their customer support procedures. By taking a strategic approach, by providing a consistent & rewarding consumer experience, sellers convert queries into sales.
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