The importance of customer service on Mother’s Day
With Mother’s Day looming in the UK (27th March) there’s still time (just) to order and dispatch your present. The event doesn’t just have a symbolic significance – it has grown to be a major sales opportunity for companies, with an estimated £1.34 billion spent in 2021 on flowers, gifts, and meals out.
Given that a large number of people can’t get to see their mother in-person on the day itself, they are having to put their trust in a company to deliver their carefully picked present. That means it needs to arrive on time and particularly in the case of flowers, undamaged and in good condition. No-one’s mother is going to be happy with a wilted or crushed bouquet, or one that arrives days after the event.
Delivering on the promise – Mother’s Day customer service
Getting it right is therefore critical for retailers and they need to be ready and able to cope with the sales peak that Mother’s Day represents. However, what sets Mother’s Day apart from other celebrations is that clearly it is always on a Sunday. That adds more difficulties for florists and retailers who may normally focus on Monday-Friday deliveries and require additional staffing for the day itself.
So how can companies ensure they get customer service right on Mother’s Day? Focusing on these four areas will provide a solid foundation:
1. Be planned and ready
It may be a last-minute rush for some consumers, but companies should be ready for Mother’s Day. After all, it happens every year! That means you can estimate demand based on previous years and use these figures to plan the resources you need to have in place. Whether that is agents on call to respond to queries or sufficient capacity to get any orders out the door and delivered on time. It is all about collaboration – working with your sales department to see how busy you are likely to be and having clear processes to consult with shipping companies if there are any unforeseen issues.
2. Be available, across every channel
We live in an omnichannel world. So, you need to have agents available to answer queries and provide support across every channel and touchpoint. In today’s hybrid world this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to open your contact centre. Agents can work from home and log on when required, which will be appreciated particularly by those that are mothers too. Look at how you can prioritise incoming interactions around Mother’s Day. For example, analyse incoming digital queries using AI or change your IVR menu to make it easy for customers to reach an agent quickly.
3. Be open and share information
Ideally customers don’t want to have to get in touch at all. But they do want the reassurance of knowing their present has been delivered. So, ensure that it is simple for customers to track their order. Equally important, proactively let them know by text or email when it has arrived. Provide answers to frequent questions, such as last ordering dates, through web self-service to further reassure customers that their present will be there on time.
4. Be empathetic
Companies may be dealing with thousands of orders on Mother’s Day. However, each one is special to its sender and recipient. So, train your agents to be empathetic and understanding when dealing with customers if there are problems. They need to be able to put themselves in the caller’s shoes and respond accordingly. Set out clear processes to escalate and solve any problems, even if they are out of your direct control.
Mother’s Day customer service poses a unique challenges for many companies. The stakes are high. Get it right and you’ll win a customer for life. However, failing to deliver on your promises won’t just cause immediate issues. Instead, it will damage your reputation and future revenues. After all, no-one wants to upset their mother…