Recent research by Zendesk found that support tickets can increase by around 42% during the holiday season. We are in the middle of the holiday season now so how can your customer support team deflect some of those tickets and cope during the rush? The Zendesk team published some of their ideas on a great blog here. These are the most compelling ideas from the Zendesk list:

  1. Build a great FAQ list; most customers try to fix problems themselves before ever contacting the customer service team on any channel. This means that if you have posted solutions to common problems on a FAQ list with good keywords then a customer asking a question on Google should easily find the answer, fix the problem, and feel happy – and never once call the customer service team. In some cases it can be appropriate to record video content and short tutorials so customers searching online find this helpful content on sites such as YouTube.
  2. Employ bots; try testing bots on channels such as online chat, so simple questions are answered automatically. Ensure that customers can always transfer to a real person easily to ensure satisfaction is high, but don’t rule out bots as unhelpful. Zendesk cites the example of Dollar Shave Club who found that bots could handle 20% of the customer questions automatically – that’s a lot of effort removed from the support process.
  3. Use chat and connect it to your CRM; make sure that advisors get credit when their chat helps to secure a sale and ensure your CRM is hooked up to chat so advisors can pick up on support tickets that require a follow up message. Thinking about how to integrate chat more tightly into the contact centre can really be helpful as it is a powerful channel for customers shopping or browsing on mobile devices.

Zendesk has a few more ideas listed on their blog, but I thought that these are the most compelling. In particular, the point about giving customers information so that they never even need to try contacting the customer service team. The Dell computer company is a great example of a brand that employs this process – search for a problem with any Dell computer and you will probably see a Dell video on YouTube explaining how to resolve the problem. Those videos are all produced in-house at their own TV studio and not only help to keep their customers satisfied, they drastically reduce the number of customers that need to get in touch with the brand. Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment here, or get in touch on LinkedIn.