How to Make Customers Happy During the Holidays

The holiday season is a time to relax and enjoy a few days off. But for business owners trying to keep up with consumer demand, the months just before and after year-end can be incredibly demanding. What can entrepreneurs and managers do to keep customer service standards up to par and earn loyalty from buyers?

Fortunately, there are ways to make retail and wholesale clients happy during the busiest months of the year. In addition to sending confirmation emails, texts, and voice messages after every purchase, owners can make certain deliveries arrive on time, follow up with all buyers after goods arrive safely, offer occasional bonuses and discounts, and staff call centers with humans instead of robots. Here are some of the finer points of navigating the always challenging holiday buying season.

Send Confirmation Emails and Texts

Buyers like to know that you received their order and are processing it, especially when you are selling more during peak hours, they want to be sure their order did not get lost in the shuffle. There’s no more straightforward way to do that than with an automated email confirmation system. These inexpensive apps come in all varieties. Some are tailor-made for manufacturers who sell only to business owners. Others are more consumer-oriented and cater to merchants whose buyers are end-users of what you sell.

Don’t forget to use apps that send an email confirmation of receipt and processing and text the customer’s phone. Consider using an opt-in setup for texts because many people don’t want to receive phone-based messages. The same goes for email alerts and confirmations. Always ask customers if they desire the service. Most will, but it’s important to ask.

Use Fleet Management for On-Time Delivery

Whether your clients are wholesalers, retail merchants, or end-user consumers, on-time delivery is the single most important goal you can aim for. Nothing makes buyers more upset than having to wait past a promised delivery date for their goods. For owners of businesses that use vehicle fleets, it’s imperative to use sophisticated software programs. These adaptable, easy-to-use solutions let you track anything, enable live location sharing with customers when needed, offer custom reporting on every load and package, and help with route planning and dispatching chores.

Follow Up Makes the Difference

Follow-up is about more than just finding out whether a shipment arrived on time. The latest follow-up software apps help business owners assess their delivery system’s glitches, gather more information about buyers, get feedback for social media posts, and troubleshoot shipping snafus.

Include Free Stuff with Every Shipment

It’s human nature that people just love free stuff. Even your wholesale buyers appreciate things like gift certificates, coupons, free items that they can try out, cash cards, buy-one-get-one-free offers, and pretty much any swag you give them. Consider rewarding repeat or new customers with these kinds of freebies. However, some sellers include at least one bonus item with every shipment, even if it’s only a coupon for a future purchase.

Use Human-Staffed Call Centers

There’s nothing wrong with outsourcing our customer service call center function. These days, most consumers expect sellers to do so. In fact, many of your buyers probably work at home as service agents for retailers, doctors’ offices, and financial institutions. But, make sure to avoid robot-based call systems. They’re cheap and easy to set up, but consumers despise them.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.