It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but the winter holiday season is also the busiest time for many businesses. Holiday spending in 2017 was higher than any point in the 21st century. In 2018, the National Retail Federation expects the total holiday spending to grow by roughly 4.5%, between $717.45 billion and $720.89 billion. That’s about $1,226 to $1,536 per shopper.

But if you want to capitalize on the unique sales opportunities that the holiday season presents, you have to offer more than just great deals. Your customers are overwhelmed and if you provide great customer service this time of year, your business can reap the benefits well after the bells stop jingling. However, trying avoiding poor customer service alone won’t cut it. You also need to create something positive.

Keep Holiday Customers Coming Back

Bringing new customers to your business with holiday deals is only half the battle. If you make your customer service shine during the winter rush, you can build your regular customer base. While cost is still a determining factor in which brands consumers choose, customer service is catching up.

In fact, some experts believe that the way brands treat consumers will be the top reason people choose one brand over another by 2020. Get ahead of the trend by letting your holiday shoppers see that you care about earning their business.

Furthermore, 69% of adult shoppers in the United States say they seek out brands that offer consistently good customer service. So, each time your team impresses a consumer, you deepen that relationship and make them more likely to return. If your customer engagement is really great, your customers may also refer their friends.

Get Word-of-Mouth Clients

Focusing on customer service and engagement with current customers doesn’t mean that you ignore new business opportunities. In fact, building a loyal customer base through great service can help people discover you. 72% of consumers say that they use online and social media reviews to make spending decisions.

Online and social media not only give your customers the opportunity to help your business, but it also gives you a platform for reputation management. 83% of people who complain to a company online and receive a reply either like or love the reply. Other people then see the reply and notice your engagement with the customer. Providing these public responses can help take your business to the next level with your prospects.

Increase Profits

It stands to reason that the more customers like doing business with your company, the more money they spend, and the more profits you make. However, the statistics are so staggering that they deserve emphasis.

If your customer service helps you retain even 5 percent more customers than before, you can expect profit increases between 25% and 95%. With rates like that, it’s well worth the investment to fully staff and train your team to provide the best customer service, especially during the busiest time of year.

More Opportunities to Excel

Whether your customer service team interacts with consumers on the phone, over an online chat system or in person, you may see more customers during the holiday season than at any other time in the year. If you think of each customer engagement as an opportunity to develop a relationship, you can see that the festive season can bring goodwill to your company.

Customer service departments for online retailers see as much as 80% increases in volume during the holiday season. So, if your company receives 100 calls or chats with customer service during the year, you can expect to have 180 opportunities to impress clients throughout November and December. On Cyber Monday, this increase can get up to 264% of normal operations.

Brick-and-mortar retailers are also familiar with increased volume during the final months of the year. Black Friday is the most striking example. Each person lining up to get the best deal the moment your doors open represents a chance to make a great impression.

Through reputation management, consistent customer engagement and excellent customer service, you can keep new customers coming back throughout the year and expand your business. Although the season can be stressful for any company, be sure to focus on making customers happy and you can have a jolly year.