Before anything else, preparation is the key to success. –Alexander Graham Bell
Summer has ended and fall is in the air.  That means that the busiest time of year for customer service, the holiday season, is rapidly approaching.  Is your team ready for the increased workload that’s soon to begin?


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The holidays are quickly approaching.  Are you ready?

The holidays are quickly approaching. Are you ready?

Not only is the holiday season the busiest time of year for us in customer service, it’s also the most stressful for our customers.  Thus, we need to be as prepared as possible to deliver the service that they expect and deserve.  It’s time for us to brush up on the basics: phone manners, product knowledge, and listening skills.  A solid foundation will enable us to focus our time and energy on personalizing each customer experience rather than scrambling to put out fires we’ve created.


Even with the best training in place, the increased caseload coupled with the higher stress level of customers during the holiday season poses challenges for even the most seasoned representatives.  Staying fresh, calm, and upbeat can often become our biggest challenge.  Implementing external rewards are an easy way to maintain motivation.  They need not be elaborate.  Bringing in lunch, hosting contests for gift cards, awarding company-wide recognition, or setting up an ongoing “white elephant” gifting game are all simple ways to infuse fun and excitement into this time of year.

Plan Ahead

Knowing that both sales and service volume will increase, now is the time to update and add to FAQ areas of the website (and ensure they are easy to find for customers).  It’s also time to look at staffing levels and scheduling.  Is there a more effective way to cover the caseload?  Are there any people currently serving in another department that can temporarily move into customer service on the unexpectedly heavy days?  Instituting automated “request received” emails will also help to reassure customers that you are aware of their needs and will respond to them as soon as possible.

With proper preparation of ourselves, our processes, and simple ways to keep up our motivation, the holidays need not be the time of year customer service slides in quality.  The work we put in today will serve to set us far apart from nearly every other company, as the gap between their service quality and ours widens during the holidays.  This commitment to our customers and their experiences with our companies will foster stronger relationships and cement our brands as ones of true value.

Proper preparation prevents poor performance. –Unknown