Navigating Your Holiday Subscriber Support

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Navigating Your Holiday Subscriber Support

holiday-support-representativeThe holidays are not like any other time of year when it comes to customer service strategy. The season is more stressful for you and for your subscribers. Subscribers will call your office at all times day and night - think Christmas Eve or New Year’s Day and you need to deliver a great customer experience on every one of those calls. You can’t be “Closed for the Holidays”.
Here are some useful tips for holiday customer service to prepare you for the holiday window that lasts until the New Year.

Prepare for an Upsurge in Call Volume Crush
According to Forbes, there is an increase in customer support calls by 5-10 times as you inch closer to the holidays.

The first step to preparing for the holiday avalanche of support calls is to assess the workload and capabilities of your existing staff. You may have to decide on the need to hire more team members or outsource to a third party in order to resolve the large number of incoming customer issues of all varieties. These support calls are going to come in fast and furious. Your staff needs to know the answers to questions about setting up new service, turning on new laptops and tablets, accessing WiFi and network passwords, streaming movies, network speeds and more.

Answer Frequently Asked Questions
You can help your subscribers and provide some relief to your overworked staff by having common questions answered and available on your website or social media pages. Get started by scanning through the type of questions asked last year. Review the top questions asked. 

For phone calls, create a “cheat sheet” for your staff to have on hand with responses to similar customer questions from years past.

Focus on Your Staffing Needs 
Holiday season requires all hands on deck, but you don’t need to recruit and hire full-time support employees. You can outsource your front-line subscriber support to an external agency full time or for holiday help. Looking back over your historical data can help you decide your personnel needs for the season.

In-house you’ll need to rotate holiday customer support staff. It becomes very stressful for your employees to be on duty during the Holiday season rush. It’s important that your front customer support staff get time off so that they can strike the balance and keep the support excellent.

Communicate on Preferred Channels
By 2023, messaging will be the number one B2C communication channel, making up 61% of total interactions.–Hubtype

Customer needs and preferences change during the holiday season. For most of the year, customers are comfortable using online self-help to have their questions answered. But during the holiday season, they want to dial a phone number and talk to a customer support person who can solve the problem quickly. The most important goal of customer support is to respond to a customer inquiry with speed. Having support staff always on and knowledgeable can lead to faster resolutions, reducing churn and building loyalty.

Being available on all support channels, phone call, social media pages, website, and chat line might seem the best thing to do, but it will stretch your limited in-house staff to cover them all. Look at the trends during the previous holiday season and identify your channels that received the most requests for help. Based on this, turn off the least used support channel and have your team concentrate on handling support requests on the most used channels.

Turn on alerts: If your staff has to be away, keep your email notifications on to update your customers when needed. Always keep knowledge base resources handy so that you can route your customers with links to relevant articles.

Small company and holiday customer support management: If you’re a small company (meaning just one person replying to the messages and resolving the requests), it’s essential not to impose unrealistic deadlines. Do not promise 24 hours to resolve issues, instead, help your customer support staff save time by using some canned responses to most often questions asked. Use of the cheat sheet is a good idea here.

Customer Service is Not Just for the Holiday Season
Every business needs a first class holiday customer service strategy, but it’s not restricted to the holiday season. Ensure your support team has all the resources needed to deliver quick and effective solutions to customer issues throughout the year. Talk to your staff to understand what the needs are, whether it’s more training, additional personnel or multiple phone lines. Your customer support staff is the front line for your reputation. Don’t make it an afterthought.

About the Author: Marsha Hemmerich

Marsha brings thirteen years of experience in the broadband industry as a Marketing Specialist and Technical Writer.

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