Holidays are a time when many of us try to get away from it all. But for companies in the holiday industry, such as Schiphol Airport and other travel companies, it means a flurry of activity. Customer service teams can be overwhelmed by an avalanche of questions and problems. As a business, how do you stay calm, keep your customers happy, and your team in good spirits?
Keeping your customer service flexibel and sharp
Know what’s coming:
Preparation is half the battle. Look at your data from previous years and see when the rush peaked. Are there certain days or weeks that are always busier? With this knowledge, you can plan ahead, hire extra staff and prepare your team for what’s to come.
A flexible schedule can really make a difference. Make clear arrangements about who can take time off and when, and who is on standby if things suddenly get busy. This provides clarity and ensures that your team feels supported even when things get hectic.
The right channel:
Not every question needs to be answered immediately by an agent. Encourage customers to use the right channel. Is it a simple question? Then direct them to the FAQ section on your website. Do you have a chatbot? Then let it handle the initial questions. This way, you keep the lines free for the really difficult questions.
Keep your finger on the pulse:
Keep an eye on how things are going. Are there more questions than expected? Get extra help onboard quickly. Satisfied customers and a happy team are the result of a good balance and quick adjustments when necessary.
Make sure you are prepared for the unexpected. We have seen firsthand that strikes, wars and pandemics can disrupt operations. Thinking about what you can do in advance will ensure that you are more in control when something does happen. You can think about adapting voice response systems, prioritising certain questions/customers (temporarily), or having colleagues help out with simple workflows.
Talk to your team:
Good communication is worth its weight in gold. Discuss holiday planning well in advance and make sure everyone knows where they stand. Also, have regular check-ins to see how things are going and if extra support is needed.
The holiday season is a crucial time for both your clients and your team. Good preparation and ongoing coordination will ensure you get through this busy period with flying colours. You’ll be there for your customers when they need you most, and that’s when your business really shines. And remember: a happy customer will share their positive experience, and that is the best advertising there is!
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