3 Ways to Prep Your Business for the Holiday Season

November 27, 2019
 • by 
Tessa Austin

The holiday season has officially begun. For nearly all industries from retail to real estate, this means more customers and hopefully, more sales. Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and other peak shopping events are just around the corner, and businesses need to prepare for the increased traffic to make the most out of them.

There’s so much to prepare – email campaigns, promotional deals, and of course, anticipating a higher need for customer service. The influx of customers in addition to all the marketing activities that need to be prepared puts pressure on your business, and your ability to address all of these demands can make or break your performance over the holidays. Luckily, you probably have an advanced CRM system and process automation software to help you through all of these tasks. These tools will be the shining light at the top of your holiday strategy, ensuring excellent customer service and smooth processes. Though you probably know the general ins and outs of your software, you may be unaware of ways you could use them to their full potential. Here are some great ways to maximize your business tech to handle the high traffic this holiday season:

Prepare chatbots

Studies show that an important aspect of customer satisfaction is the speed at which customers receive a response, and customers are starting to expect 24/7 customer service online. Particularly in the world of eCommerce, having an online customer service presence that can respond to multiple requests quickly is vital in maintaining heavy traffic without a decrease in efficiency. In addition to providing a FAQ page to address common questions and concerns, AI-powered chatbots are an excellent tool for companies hoping to provide near-instant communication to customers with inquiries around the clock. By implementing a chatbot on your website, you can save the manpower of your customer service representatives for more complex cases and ensure that customers receive the quick response they typically expect.

Some companies are concerned about the robotic tone of AI and how this may influence customers’ perception of their service. But AI chatbots have come a long way in recent years in regards to the sophistication of conversation they can handle, making them a great solution for questions and potential problems that are relatively common and can be solved within just a few steps. Additionally, many shoppers come to expect to communicate with chatbots now, and younger generations often prefer it. During the holidays, you can expect an influx of inquiries from your customer base due to increased traffic, and a chatbot can alleviate the need to hire a larger service team while maintaining excellent customer service for your business. Your service team will thank you for reducing their holiday workload!

Check and perfect your workflows

There’s a lot to be done over the holiday season – marketing campaigns, emails, and requests for leave from employees looking to spend time with their families. For all of these processes, you likely have workflows for your team to follow to ensure everything is done properly and in a timely manner. Hopefully, you also have business process automation software to implement the best workflows possible. If you don’t, you’re missing out on efficiency within your business processes!

Using an advanced low-code process automation software can ensure you create optimized workflows quickly and easily, automating important tasks within several departments. In addition to using to create and collaborate on workflows, going back to look at the workflows you’ve created is also important. Double-check your processes before they begin to handle the heavy demand over the holidays. Reviewing them again after some time might help you identify further areas for improvement, and find potential bottlenecks that were missed beforehand. Employees using these workflows might also have a new and better perspective on what could make them better. Reviewing your workflows before the holidays kick into full gear will let you rest easy knowing that your business processes are as efficient as possible.

Go mobile

Your CRM system is likely going to be used at maximum capacity this season – sales, marketing and service teams will all be busier, and they rely on an excellent CRM system to help handle their tasks and optimize their work. Most CRM systems including the one we provide here at Creatio should give your team the option to utilize key features of the CRM software on a mobile app. Having access to contact information, calendars, and other features of CRM allows employees to work on the go when needed. This improves efficiency and can help your team get their work done faster despite the increased workload. For field sales in particular, going mobile with your CRM can prove vital in increasing successful sales and improving customer service.

Before the holiday season really kicks into gear, encourage your team to use your CRM system via their mobile phones. This will give them a better idea of the most useful features on mobile to improve how they work and prevent the need to work overtime to handle the hectic workload. It can also provide more opportunities for sales, service and marketing teams to collaborate together to provide an all-encompassing customer experience over the holidays.

Conclusion

The holidays are a festive time, but for businesses in nearly all industries, they’re also a very busy time. Marketing, sales and service teams will all be put to their limits with holiday-oriented campaigns and an increase in customers. This in turn means that these teams will be turning to their CRM system to help them through the heavy load of work, so ensuring that your CRM is ready to go can help alleviate some of the stress and hustle from the holidays. With chatbots ready to go on your site, your customer service will be fully prepared for the demand more traffic puts on them and the likelihood you’ll need to hire a larger team is reduced. Optimizing workflows means that every department from marketing to HR will be able to prioritize their tasks and complete processes fast enough to keep up with the holiday rush. And lastly, making sure your team knows the capabilities of your CRM’s mobile features will allow them to work more effectively on the go, helping with holiday field sales and ensuring all teams can manage their time better throughout the workday no matter where they are.