Life is full of ups and downs.
The same is true in business.
It’s no news that business owners experience periods of lows and highs. While many businesses may experience a peak every weekend, some others experience it during holidays.
For instance, people buy more toys during the Christmas holidays than every other time of the year. Most restaurants experience a surge of diners during valentine seasons than other seasons.
Whatever your industry is, you know what your peak periods are and when you have the highest surge of customers.
But the question is not whether it happens; the question is how do you deal with it?
The major challenge with peak periods (and the reason I wrote this post) is the drop in customer experience. A lot of brands lose loyal customers every peak period. This is because the customers do not get the same experience they get on off peak periods.
In this post, 6 bullet points later, you will learn how to better prepare for peak periods.
When I was in elementary school, I joined the boys scout. I loved it because of the adventures and camping. But most of all, I loved their motto: Be ready!
They say preparation + opportunity = luck.
You can only effectively tackle a challenge you are prepared for. Huge brand names don’t win because they have a big budget, but because they are always ready.
And the best way to prepare?
Data is crucial in your preparation. It helps you look into the past to predict the future and prepare for it in the present.
Therefore, go through previous data to see how much demand you had in the past year(s). And then put the necessary things in place to meet same demand or higher.
You can use a robust Wi-Fi marketing and analytics software like Spoton Wi-Fi to gather accurate customer data. The data will tell you what times of the year you have your peak periods. This will then enable you to prepare accordingly when a peak period approaches.
Get Extra Hands
No, I don’t mean that literally.
I mean know when you need help and get some.
You can pick up your shoes, keys, mobile phones, or even a TV set by yourself. But when you need to move a grand piano, you need to get some extra hands.
At peak periods, staffs handle more customers than usual and this significantly affects their energy levels and output. And because of the increased workload, they may become easily irritable and may be rude to customers.
Don’t blame them, just hire some extra staff when you see peak season approaching.
But how do my part-time staffs offer the same experience as my core staff?
Since the data alerts you to upcoming peak periods, you can provide training for the part-time staff. This is why preparation is key.
You should have a training program designed and published in a central knowledge base. The part-time staff will go online a month or two before they are hired and take the training.
This will help get them ready before the surge hits. And also gives you time to furnish them with any additional information they may need to provide great service.
Spread Your Resources Wisely
Customers contact brand more in the present day than they did 5 years ago. And thanks to technology, they can now do this through multiple channels.
Consequently, the number of queries has gone through the roof. Customer service agents are up to their necks in queries.
Customers contact brand through some channels more than others. For instance, email is the most used channel of interaction between customers and brands.
And so while some service agents are cooling their heels, others don’t even have enough time to blink.
With this being the case, you need to put your money where your mouth is. By that I mean you should allocate more resources to channels that meet your customers’ needs the most.
Furthermore, you may want to train your staffs to improve their omnichannel communication skills. This will make every customer service agent useful during peak periods.
Put Your Customers First
Customers want to do business with brands that make the process a cinch. However, this is usually not the case during the rush seasons.
Giving the overwhelming number of customers, customer service becomes slow and tedious. This gets many customers angry, and some to take their business elsewhere.
To prevent this, therefore, you need to look at your business from your customers’ perspective.
First, you need to get more hands on deck. Second, you need to shorten the contact process. Many brands have heaps of policies that make customer interaction a tedious affair.
Do you want to be your customers’ favourite brand?
Then think from the customers’ point of view. Ensure you provide consistent, accurate, and FAST response to their queries even in peak periods.
Work As A Team
Customer service is as much a contact sport as football is.
The reason many companies fail during peak periods is because they are divided from within. Their departments function as individual units with little or no interaction with each other.
As a result, they provide inconsistent response to customer queries across different channels.
If you want to shine during peak periods, you need to break down interdepartmental barriers. Get everyone to work together and share information. And yes, this includes suppliers and third party delivery companies.
For instance, everyone in the company should be able to track where a customer’s item is in the delivery process. So that if a customer happens to run into any of your staffs, they’ll receive a satisfactory response.
Listen First To Understand, Then Act
Listening is an important precursor to understanding.
And it’s a continuous process. For as long as you are in business, your customers will continue to make increasing demands. Therefore, you need to learn how to listen effectively.
To listen effectively, you need to study customer interactions with your brand. Using the right tools, you can analyse keywords as well as the emotions contained in your customers’ conversations. You can ‘hear’ what they are saying and act accordingly making the right adjustments.
Furthermore, you want to look into previous data to see how customers reacted during the peak periods. This will help you better prepare for the next peak period and prevent you from repeating past mistakes.
Peak periods are inevitable in any industry. And so, it’s in your best interest to prepare for them. Customers don’t care how you do it; they just want great customer service.
These 6 tips will help you overcome challenges brought on by customer surges. They will also help you provide the same level of customer service all year round.
Remember, data is your best friend in business.
With the right data, you can predict the next peak period and prepare for it. Therefore, you need to get your hands on some quality customer data.
There are two ways to do that:
You can either hire a traditional marketing company who will charge you so much for choppy, inaccurate data.
Integrate Spoton Wi-Fi with your social Wi-Fi system and collect valuable customer data from the comfort of your office chair. The data you collect with our software is reliable and will help you accurately predict coming peak periods.
You can use the data to create effective marketing campaign that will have a huge positive impact on your ROI.
Want to know more?
Contact us right away, we will be happy to help you know your customers better.POSTED ON February 27, 2020