Every business has ebbs and flows of customer activity; if you sell hammocks, you don’t see much business in winter.
This is especially true at the end of the year. Here at UserVoice we see a lot of activity in December as people prep to launch 2013 projects. Other tech companies see huge drops in activity as people focus on presents, family, and getting away from the computer.
How can we take advantage of these dramatic variations? Here’s a few suggestions…
If things are slow…
- Focus on improving your knowledge base. Many customer service folks have told us that writing documentation is one of their biggest challenges. Take advantage of this extra time to beef up your help docs…and potentially prevent up to 40% of tickets. [Tweet this]
- (PS: if you’re a UserVoice customer, you should join our Knowledge Base Challenge – you could win a prize just for writing documentation!)
- Take the time to really dig into your metrics. What are the common issues? How can they be addressed?
- Clean up problematic error messages!
- Improve new hire training practices. How can you better prepare them for their new position?
If things are busy…
- Again – work on improving your documentation! If this can prevent up to 40% of tickets, then it’s worth carving a few moments here or there to at least document common issues.
- Recruit other members of your staff beyond the customer support team to help out. This has three benefits: it gives you more resources to work with, it helps them develop a better understanding of the customers they’re working for, and you don’t have to hire low-quality temp workers. Customer service behemoth Zappos is famous for using this tactic (they even get executives to help).
- If your response times are slower than normal, update your auto-response to set a good expectation. As data has shown, customers’ satisfaction is based more on whether you hit the expectations that were set rather than actual response speed. [Tweet this]
Of course, there are plenty of other things you could do to handle ticket increases or decreases. We’d love to feature yours in this post, so please leave them in the comments or tweet us!
Zappos photo courtesy of Zappos.