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Quick facts

  • 35% of people have lost their temper whilst interacting with service. – American Express
  • 91% of unhappy shoppers will not do business with your firm ever again. – Lee Resources
  • “Customers do not expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.” – Donald Porter
  • Majority of first-time customers are in the process of fulfilling particular needs, and are not interested in long-term engaging relationships with a brand.
  • Returning customers are far more profitable than newly acquired customers.
  • Marketing Metrics explains that you are 50% more likely to sell to an existing customer than a new one. In fact, marketing to a new customer is nearly seven times as expensive as maintaining an existing customer.

What all of these tell us is that while you may want to continue to bring in new customers, your success is greatly determined by your ability to increase your repeat customers. On average, your loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.

When it comes to client/customer service, apart from offering top-notch services, have you thought of how to ensure that you retain your customers to guarantee continuous patronage? The first impression matters a lot. Your company may not be one of the best in town but how a client perceives you trumps how good your product or service is. Here is a guide on how to properly handle your client support structure during the holiday period and keep customers happy in a very efficient and effective way.

SMEs Nigeria

  • Be humanistic in your approach as it’s the holiday season

35% of people have lost their temper whilst interacting with service. – American Express

If you put your focus towards the customer and upon the problem, they are facing, then you are giving emphasis to a very humanistic approach to solving issues. Remember, emotions will run high during the holiday season as people would like to get/resolve things in a very short span of time. Hence, a little empathy here and some sympathy there will not hurt.


Your team has to be prepared for some wrath and harsh words from your shoppers. Many may just be upset or angry about a minuscule thing, but it will be your team’s duty to solve it. So, you might as well train your team to rectify and tackle the issue with a smile rather with than a grumpy and not-my-problem type of attitude.

91% of unhappy shoppers will not do business with your firm ever again.- Lee Resources

All you need to do is provide your customers with some support that they dearly need during the time of crisis, hear your clients out wholeheartedly, say sorry for the convenience caused, resolve the problem quickly without any hassle, and say a thank you for choosing your firm.

Standard chartered

[READ MORE: How your business can provide superior customer support during the holiday season (Part 1)]

Standard chartered

“Customers do not expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong” -Donald Porter

  • Make sure your customer support team is properly trained in advance, both in how to deal with difficult customers and of course on proper use of their customer support system.
  • Let your customers vent, and acknowledge their frustration. Most people, when they are upset or frustrated, just want to be heard. Give them that holiday gift with an empathetic ear and never minimize their concerns.
  • Stay customer-obsessed. This includes empowering customer service agents to make decisions, reducing on hold times and transfers and always focusing on what your customers want.
  • Offer omnichannel and self-service customer support options so everyone can get the help they need, when and where they need it.
  • Always under-promise and over-deliver. This helps manage customer expectations and sets the stage for a positive customer experience.
  • Know when and where to draw the line with abusive or unreasonable customers – your support team is just as valuable and they need to know they are respected and supported by management.
  • Let Customer Help Themselves

Creating a knowledge base of all the frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to topics customers need help will help in reducing the influx of customer queries. Additionally, you can create documents or publish blogs on your website to make the customers aware of any policy changes and help them help themselves.

  • Listen and Stay Positive

The holiday season is all about fun and joy but it can also be a stressful time. You need to make sure that your front-end employees have positive attitudes when dealing with disgruntled customers. Not only that, the executives handling other channels such as social media, voice, email, etc. should also use happy and cheerful tones in their messages. The customers might not be able to see these employees, but that does not stop them from leaving an impact.

  • Give your customers a reason to come back.

Don’t ever make your customers feel neglected. Make them feel important and attend to their needs. Listen to them and consider their concerns. Sometimes the best improvement comes from your most loyal and avid patrons.

SMEs, business

It’s all about the experience that your customers get when they purchase from you. Make sure that you have planned for the holiday rush thoroughly and have gotten everything, from your store and tools to your staff, in good shape. And if you can, give them a little something to show them that you value them. A personal touch to your customer service can go a long way.

  • Reward customers for desired behaviours

One sure-fire way to build customer loyalty is to reward customers for engaging in behaviours that help grow your business. For example:


[READ ALSO: Understanding price multiples and how to use them for stock selection]

  • Making a purchase
  • Following your brand on social media
  • Sharing product pages with friends and family
  • Publishing product reviews
  • Spreading positive word of mouth online


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