The holidays are already here. And before you know it, they’ll be gone. Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and more (did you know that December 18th is now known as Free Shipping Day?). It’s the ultimate time to reach new customers and increase your profits. Are you doing everything you can to optimize customer communications during this critical period?
As online shopping growth continues to grow toward an expected 57% increase by 2018 (and that’s just in the US), it’s also become more competitive than ever. All around the world, the winter season inspires numerous celebrations. What better way to join in the festive spirit than offering your web visitors an interactive experience that’s customized to their every need?
Today we’re excited to share some holiday live chat tips for small businesses. If you’re already using live chat on your website, then these tips will help you increase both sales and customer satisfaction. If not, then our number one tip is to try live chat software today. Your customers will thank you!
Scale Up Support
We’re smack in the middle of the busiest shopping season of the year. Scaling up support is essential. But what that means is different for every SMB:
- Depending on your particular business and customers, scaling the smart way can mean either moving toward 24/7 real-time chat support, or adding more channels (deeper social engagement, new social media sites or groups, email, telephony).
- Have you had an amazing year with revenue to spare? Then scale in every way possible: add more agents, extend their hours, and add new channels for customer support.
- Despite the importance of scaling up support, quality always trumps quantity. It is better to have one informed, polite, enthusiastic support agent than 3 under-trained, under-motivated agents. If you need to wait until next year to add more agents, use this year as a learning experience. Focus on optimizing what you already have.
Scale Down Expectations
I know what you’re thinking: “Scale down expectations? But this is supposed to be our biggest sales season ever!”
What I mean here is that you should scale down expectations in terms of web activity (ie. shoppers on your site). Holiday sales don’t happen consistently every day throughout the holiday season. While it’s important to scale up support, it’s just as important to make good use of your “downtime” during the holiday shopping season. In fact, holiday shopping downtime is the perfect time to create some new chat triggers and proactive rules. Marketing automation helps to increase live chat conversions. In the heart of the holiday shopping season, you’re likely to have your best ideas for where and how to reach your target audience.
On a related note, don’t forget about your current customers. Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. If you’re expectations are totally focused on customer acquisition, you’re missing the boat. Show your current customers how much you love them. Send holiday newsletters. Reach out just to say “thank you” or ask “how was your experience?”
The holiday season isn’t the best time to build new integrations or other technical partnerships, but it’s the ultimate time to act on affiliate relationships in your industry, whether that means reaching out to new affiliate partners or focusing on the partnerships you already have. Wondering where to start? Check out Carolyn Kmet’s recommendations on 5 Ways to Engage Affiliates for Final Holiday Sales.
Partnerships are easy with live chat software. Your customer support staff can share visual content and affiliate links (or internal discounts related to your partnerships) during chat sessions. Many ClickDesk users even create chat shortcuts with affiliate links and information pre-populated. This is an especially useful technique if you run multiple websites with a shared support staff.
Hint: Localize your partnerships for ultimate ROI
Have some holiday live chat tips of your own? Send us a note anytime. We’re listening!