- Give extra focus to customer service tasks
At this point, if you keep your own stock, all your inventory should be well-prepared. All ordering tasks should have been completed weeks again in preparation for this time. Now it's important to focus on more important things such as providing great customer service. You will surely notice an influx in new customers during this time. This is your chance to show them that you run a reliable and detail-oriented operation in hopes of turning them into a lifetime customer. Make sure to respond to emails in a timely fashion and pay attention to their specific requests. Going the extra mile on an order - such as including a gift message in boxes, even if it's not a typical feature - will mean the world to your average customer and they will take note and remember you in the future. These are stressful times for buyers, too - as you are probably aware - and if they catch you going out of your way to help them out, they will be back.
- Be on top of inventory status and shipping
Depending on what you're selling, it's likely that a very large proportion of the orders you are currently filling are meant to be gifts. The very last thing a customer wants to hear after placing their order is that the item they selected is out of stock or will not make it in time to give the gift. These are things that can be a huge detriment to your company's reputation if you don't stay on top of them. Make sure you have accurate stock counts for each item, if you're using a drop shipper you will want to make sure they have all products in stock, too. Also ensure that you have estimated shipping times set up on your site. Most shopping cart solutions have very powerful tools that can instantly calculate shipping costs and delivery dates, one we highly recommend is 3DCart. Finally, once you receive an order, ship it ASAP to ensure a timely delivery.
- Communicate with customers
This relates a little to our first point but we felt it was necessary to dwell a little further. Communication is key with customers, especially during this hectic time of the year. I recently placed an order for my mother from a store online. I received about 5 notification emails that detailed each step of the order process. First, they confirmed they received my order. Next, they told me my order was processing, then that it had shipped. I then received an email alerting me that my order had been delivered. Two days later I received another email asking about my experience and encouraging me to contact them if I had any problems with my order. I was very impressed with this process and I will be ordering from this store again in the future. As I was out buying my other gifts I was receiving consistent confirmations that this product was being delivered and it really gave me a lot of confidence in that particular company.
We truly hope these tips help you this holiday season and continue to help you for many more to come!