Summer is coming yet again, and with it a projected 7% increase in consumer spending at restaurants and bars and a 10% increase for online sellers and catalog shippers. Although warm weather brings more consumer spending, it also means increased demand on your customer experience. Here are three ways to keep from getting burned by a bad customer experience this summer.

1. Keep your cool during customer engagement

The dog days of summer tend to bring out the worst in everyone — heat causes the heart rate and blood pressure to rise, which can make people more irritable and prone to overreacting — and your customers and customer service reps are no exception. Customers are less likely to tolerate your CX sins, so now is a good time to identify and eliminate as much friction as possible.

At the same time, your customer service representatives are going to be less equipped to diffuse a heated customer interaction. Keep the air conditioning on and make sure they’re staying hydrated — even mild dehydration, losing just 1.5% of the body’s normal water volume, can make people feel fatigued and tense.

2. Expect consumers to share more on social media and review sites

Human interaction peaks during the summer months, compelling consumers to start conversations and share their experiences more readily. In fact, 57% of people say they share and post online in the summer more than any other season, which means a negative customer experience stands a greater chance of making it onto social media or the organic search channel.

3. Make social proof a part of your customer experience strategy

A recent study showed that warmer temperatures increased participants’ feelings of social closeness to others, which lead them to assign greater value to those other people’s opinions. In other words, people are especially receptive to other people’s recommendations in warm weather.

Negative reviews, even in small quantity, can be devastating for brands trying to earn more customers. Trouble is, angry consumers are the most motivated, so their experiences are the most likely to show up. Working with a trusted third-party review site like lets you collect reviews to paint a more complete picture of your customer service and respond quickly to resolve customer complaints and request an increased star rating. Our partnered brands have reported as much as a 40% increase in volume of customers as a direct result of the ConsumerAffairs for Brands partnership.

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