For small and medium businesses with a strong e-commerce presence, capturing their share of the holiday customer pie from the giant online retailers is about the long haul of the holiday season rather than a few days. While online sales and queries will be high during the holiday season, the need for a strong business phone answering service goes well into the New Year to ensure ongoing customer loyalty.
The vast majority of small and medium-sized businesses that provide products or services increasingly rely on their online Website portal as the introductory, intermediate and closing encounter for their customers during the holidays and throughout the year. While this digital presence for a customer interface provides a way to capture the bigger sales boost during the holidays, it can easily be undone without the added customer service that knowledgeable human contact can provide.
It is the back-end system for processing orders and handling returns where small businesses can succeed or fail in terms of customer expectation fulfillment. As the busiest time of the year, phone answering services become crucial in these two areas where live agents can field customer order calls through a dedicated 800 number. In addition, having them available for online chat to answer questions and deal with the order process questions and the inevitable change or return is the one-two punch that helps these businesses fulfill customer needs during the holidays.
In addition to online chat and live order fulfillment being crucial during the holidays, they are more essential in the weeks following the holidays to efficiently deal with returns or purchase complications. This is where the potential for damaging customer loyalty that can translate into sales throughout the New Year are high.
Businesses can and do capture the customer during the holidays with specials and the human touch of a live agent of their business phone answering service and online chat. The real challenge is that delays become even more frowned upon when those customers must wait on hold after the holidays to deal with a return. Maintaining effective customer service across multiple channels requires a strong customer-centric culture.
An exceptional e-commerce presence and multi-pronged online marketing will only get a small business halfway to their goal in an era when brand loyalty has been supplanted by finding the best deal of the moment. It is the human interaction that will define whether the business makes it to their bottom line goal as a well-informed human voice via the multi-platform incoming customer service of a business phone answering service makes the difference in terms of reigniting brand loyalty.
By ensuring that customers are promptly, courteously and effectively taken care of via phone answering services as well as online chat, businesses pave the way for the baseline sales that will help carry them through the year to the next holiday season. By guaranteeing that every interaction has a positive and prompt request fulfillment, businesses can build on that base year after year and expand the use of their phone answering services to affordably handle the growth.