Managing support in e-commerce during the holiday season

Ho-Ho-Ho, ‘Tis the season we’ve all been waiting for!

As the holiday season approaches, people are just about ready to go on their shopping sprees. Both online stores and brick-and-mortar ones are about to be flooded with customers, left, right, and center. 

With these heightened demands, will come a greater number of customer complaints and expectations of better service during these happy times. The pivotal question now is, are you prepared to navigate this crucial season seamlessly? Because it is the festive season that makes or breaks it for customer support teams. 

Let’s explore strategies to augment support teams and ensure a joy-filled customer experience during the festive season.

Shopping trends in the holiday season

Before delving deeply into strategies to strengthen customer support, it’s crucial to understand the scenario of shopping during this season. Take into account the following statistics depicting the customer shopping trends:

Prepping customer support for the festive season

Source

According to a survey by Statista, it was anticipated that U.S. consumers would increasingly turn to online shopping for gift-giving occasions, with Christmas being identified as the predominant e-commerce holiday. As per the survey findings, approximately 75 percent of shoppers plan to conduct their Christmas shopping through online platforms.

With such a significant number of customers opting for e-commerce platforms for a single occasion, it becomes a pivotal day for all retailers. Handling support during the holiday season can be daunting due to factors such as high sales volumes resulting in increased support requests, and limited staff availability.

Therefore, emerging with a robust CX strategy is imperative for every retailer. We’ve compiled a list of measures that support teams can undertake to enhance their capabilities during this crucial period.

  • Robust Omnichannel Support

It may come as a surprise, but according to McKinsey, businesses capable of tailoring the customer experience across both physical and digital channels can realize a revenue boost ranging from 5 to 15 percent across their entire customer base.

The holiday season is one of the most critical times when an omnichannel support strategy can be pivotal. Why, you ask? Imagine this – Karen bought ten perfume bottles out of which 2 were broken! Karen is not amused at all. Now what would Karen do? Karen writes an email to the brand, she calls the store eleven times, and she’s told to have patience as they’re looking into the matter. But Karen is running out of patience. Meanwhile, she decides to take the matter into her own hands, she writes about this on all the major social media platforms. 

Now imagine the support team’s situation. They will be bombarded with queries left, right, and center, with no proper allocation. Here’s where omnichannel support steps in. 

With omnichannel customer support, a platform such as Kapture CX helps to consolidate all the queries across different channels on a single unified platform. As soon as the tickets are raised, agents can see all the previous tickets on the same interface, avoiding all confusion, and leading to seamless query resolution.

Source

The size of the worldwide market for customer self-service software reached USD 7.12 billion in 2019, with projections indicating a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.1% from 2020 to 2027. 

The market’s expansion is expected to be fueled by organizations’ strong focus on providing seamless access to the right information at the right time, aligning with efforts to enable self-service, thereby enhancing productivity and operational efficiency.

By enabling customers to find solutions to their problems on their own, companies can save a lot of time, effort (of agents), and operational costs involved. 

Some of the most common examples of self-serve are FAQs, community portals, and knowledge base or help center content.

  • Arm your agents with the best

Given the overwhelming volume of inquiries during this crucial period, it is essential to make the most of automation, and provide appropriate tools to augment customer support.

That’s where an AI-driven, enterprise-grade omnichannel customer support platform, such as Kapture can be a differentiator, allowing your business to effortlessly design impeccable customer experiences.

Some of the important features that help seamless query resolution include :

  1. A comprehensive ticket display that shows all information on a unified dashboard, including previous conversations, ticket history, etc., enabling agents to deliver quicker resolutions.
  2. Canned responses for swift replies.
  3. Capability to comprehend the native language of customers for smooth and faster resolution of queries.
  4. With the side conversations feature, agents can forward relevant information to the department responsible for taking care of the ticket swiftly and with ease. You can also create sub-tasks, for better interdepartmental communication- adding accountability, and insights to improve the productivity of different teams.
  5. An up-to-date knowledge management system empowers agents with the right information at the right time, allowing them to resolve customer queries effortlessly.
  • Leverage AI to the fullest

Artificial intelligence has transitioned from a future concept to a current reality, actively contributing to customer support automation. Leveraging a platform such as Kapture CX, which is backed by AI and ML, enables agents to effortlessly manage the high volume of queries encountered during the festive season. Here are some AI-powered functionalities that Kapture CX offers:

  1. OpenAI Integration: With seamless integration with OpenAI, assist agents by providing a brief summary of each conversation, facilitating faster and contextual resolutions, leading to increased Customer Satisfaction (CSAT). Enable agents to rephrase and fix responses, making them free from any type of grammatical errors. OpenAI helps provide a strong recommendation engine, which provides robust and relevant recommendations to form answers, leading to fast query resolution. 
  2. Kapture CX’s Agent Assistant: Empower agents with an intelligent chat assistant. Guide them through the ticket resolution process and generate contextual responses and recommendations in real-time conversations. Powered by ML capabilities, action-oriented recommendations are displayed to the agents in actual time to send responses. With actionable answers to questions that agents might not have the answers to, the agent assistance window helps ensure quality resolutions across the team. 
  3. Intelligent Chatbot: With natural language processing,  determine the intent of customers’ messages and seamlessly assist consumers in resolving queries or escalating them to a live agent. With around-the-clock availability and a variety and depth of alternatives, empower customers to solve their queries by themselves by conversing with the chatbot without a real agent’s intervention.
  4. Automated ticket management: Backed by ML, Kapture CX can automate ticket assignment so the right ticket goes to the right agent offering instant resolutions. Filter incoming tickets using keywords, ticket sources, and customer types and direct them toward the right queue. Route tickets to the right support agent based on skills, availability, priority, PIN code, product category, and round-robin basis.
  • Train your team well

“Make every interaction count, even the small ones. They are all relevant.”

—- Shep Hyken

Equip support teams with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the festive rush. Conduct targeted training sessions that focus on the specific challenges and queries that typically arise during this season. This ensures that support agents are well-prepared to handle a variety of situations, providing accurate and timely assistance to customers.

Wrap-up

Empowering teams to navigate support during the holiday season is a strategic investment in customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. 

By anticipating customer needs, providing personalized experiences, and leveraging technology, businesses can ensure that every customer interaction leaves a lasting positive impression. 

This festive season, let your support teams be the beacon of delight that sets your brand apart.

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