Take a look at tips, tricks, and skills that you’ll need to handle increased customer service demand this holiday season


During the 2020 holiday season, retail sales grew an unexpectedly high 8.3% over the same period in 2019 to $789.4 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. When we take a closer look at online sales alone, we see a 23.9% year-over-year growth in 2020. Despite economic uncertainty, online and other non-store sales reached $209 billion compared to $167.8 billion in 2019. 

Sure, the situation is different this year, and we can expect people to shift some of their spendings from online to offline. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see yet another increase in total retail sales, especially when you realize that 41% of consumers said they plan to spend more online than last year.

Now, dive deep into our articles and learn how to make the most of the upcoming holiday season!

Last year, we prepared the ultimate checklist for any and every ecommerce store to optimize their customer service. The checklist walks you through five different stages of the customer life cycle that includes awareness, consideration, purchase, retention, and advocacy. Go stage by stage, step by step, or pick and choose the points that suit you the most.

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You’re an ecommerce store owner waking up on the morning of Black Friday. You’ve been preparing your promotional campaign for a few weeks or even months ahead of time. Now, it’s time to get busy. You might want to consider hiring a few part-time employees or adding a chatbot to your live chat.

Keep in mind — Black Friday is only the beginning of a hectic time for ecommerce business owners between November and the end of December. Whether it’s additional hands on deck or a chatbot, they’ll both help you handle the increased volume of customer service questions.

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Deloitte predicted that overall holiday retail sales in 2020 would increase between 1% and 1.5% year over year. They must’ve been shocked when they learned about the 8.3% growth I mentioned earlier. If Deloitte were meteorologists, it’s almost as if they forecasted a flurry only to get caught in a blizzard. To give you some more context, “… [it] was more than double the 3.5 percent average holiday increase over the previous five years, including 2019’s 4 percent gain.”

The difference between last year’s forecasts and reality as well as the specificity of this year — people shifting parts of their budgets from online to offline — make the 2021 holiday season spendings even more unpredictable. This time, Deloitte indicates that “holiday sales could rise between 7% and 9%, reaching a total of up to $1.3 trillion.” When it comes to ecommerce sales, Deloitte predicts an 11%-15% year-over-year growth leading up to a $218 billion increase.

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When was the last time you felt appreciated as a customer or showed customer appreciation? How do you even do that? Do you just say, “Thanks for shopping with us!” Or is there some hidden meaning behind this term? 

One way or another, you need to be aware that appreciation plays a big role in the customer life cycle and turning your customers into repeat customers and advocates. Businesses should make an effort to get closer to all of their customers. There are countless ways to show customer appreciation this holiday season, and those who do it well will capitalize on it in the future.

Show apprecciation

Imagine you’re walking back home from work, and you meet two strangers at different times, each of them asking for help. The first guy goes, “Hey, you! Come here and help me!” while the other starts with “Hey there, can you help me, please?” Whom would you be more inclined to help?

Most people would naturally help the second guy. How you start your conversations determines how much the other person is inclined to engage with them. You could say the same about email subject lines. They are the most crucial part of your emails. Cole Schafer says, “Spend 80% of your time writing the body of your email and 20% of your time writing the actual subject line. Because if your subject line doesn’t entice the reader they aren’t going to open up your damn email.”

Woo your subscribers

There are a lot of customer service skills agents should master when working with customers online and offline. While you might need them all, a few of those skills will be more useful than others during the upcoming holiday shopping season. You still have some time to get ready, and if you think you and your agents need to brush up on your customer service skills, the Agent’s Handbook will do the trick. Now, take a look at what abilities you should focus on to get your business smoothly through the holiday period.

Got what it takes?

Thanks for reading and making it this far! Feel free to let me know what you think by replying to this email or getting in touch with me on LinkedIn. Have a great day!



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