A Smile Goes a Long Way with Those Frenzied, Last Minute Shoppers

bigstockphoto_Young_Woman_Signs_For_Delivery_6316259Every one has a procrastinating inclination and at the holidays, with everything else going on, more than a few of us choose to wait until the last minute to buy our holiday gifts. The advent of e-commerce has been both a blessing and a curse for the procrastinators. On the one hand it lets them buy gifts almost up to the final hour, an option they didn’t have in the ‘olden days.’ But on the other hand, they use that convenience as an excuse to procrastinate just one more day, one more hour, one more minute. After all, e-commerce does a lot of things but it can’t cure procrastination.

And now, its down to zero hour – just a few short days left until it’s too late to shop and have gifts shipped in time for the holidays. You can be sure your customer service and warehouse staff are dealing with the last minute shoppers this week, some of which will be merry in their procrastination but many others who will be quite grumpy because they know, once again, they have put it all off to the very end.

So how do you satisfy that customer? How do you convert them into more than a holiday shopper? How do you create a shopping experience for them that makes them come back in January, February, March and so forth? How do you ensure they are smiling when they receive their package. We think it’s pretty simple at Distribution Direct – initiate the smile yourself and maintain it through every step of every transaction.

From our staff to yours, here are a few tips for how to make a smile go a long way during this crazy, hectic week for online shopping and e-commerce:

  • Disarm grumpy callers to your customer service line by answering with a smile and genuinely asking them how you can help them with their last minute shopping.
  • Help the clueless, last minute shopper by providing simple and affordable gift ideas on your website, in promotional emails and as you answer phone or email inquiries.
  • Defuse customers angry that their package hasn’t arrived yet by kindly offering to help them track their package and following through until the customer has their answer.
  • Nip any order fulfillment mix ups that could set off customer complaints by doubling up your quality control efforts this week and communicating that ‘extra mile’ to your customers as you wish them a happy holiday.
  • Answer email inquiries as promptly as possible in a friendly yet professional tone that reveals your business’ desire to be helpful down this holiday stretch at all costs.
  • Add an extra touch to the packages shipping out of your warehouse with a holiday card or sticker that is the first thing that greets the recipient when they open it up upon arrival.

Is all of that a tall order this week? It is, but the results will be worth it. And if you need some ideas for motivating your staff for all this ‘smiling’ – check out last week’s Just out of the Box blog Handling the December Rush So You Have January Customers.