Business Practices | | Published December 06, 2012

Why Customer Support Is So Stressful During the Holidays

Many think of customer support being a huge hassle after all the holidays are done. After all, that’s when thousands upon thousands of people are trying to exchange or return items all across the land at the same time. They got a terrible tie for Christmas and by hook or by crook they’re going to return it!

However, that’s not the only stressful part of working customer service during the holiday season. The lead up to the holidays is arguably just as stressful but for different reasons. During these busy times, customer experience management is more critical than ever! Here are a few things to look out for these next couple weeks.

Last-Last-Last-Last Minute Transactions

One would think with all the extra weeks and months shoppers have to get their holiday purchasing done there would be virtually no last minute rushes. Of course this is absolutely NOT the case and we still see tons of people rushing to the counter (virtual or physical) every year the day before the presents are needed.

What this means for customer support members is that they’re typically bombarded with requests from customers who want to make sure their items arrive on time. Even if you have a posted date and time that all items must be ordered to get to a location by Christmas day, customers will still attempt to bargain with you to make an exception.

Even worse are the last minute exchanges. A mom may find out at the eleventh-hour that their son wants the blue Power Ranger and not the red one like he mentioned a few months ago. Suddenly, her entire Christmas is on the line, and you’re her only hope!

Looking for Deals

Have you ever gone into a store to find something advertised on sale and ended up disappointed it wasn’t on the shelf? We know it won’t help, but we usually ask the salesclerk if there are any more “in the back” just in case. You have to at least try, right?

Likewise, customers are looking for the best deals as they finish out their lists for friends and family. So when they stumble upon a good deal, they want to make sure there isn’t a hidden one waiting somewhere. So they’ll call or email just to see if maybe there’s a coupon or free shipping somewhere “in the back” even though they’re likely to be disappointed.


Nearly everyone is stressed right before the holidays. There’s a lot of shopping, running around trying to find the perfect gift, money to be spent on a bunch of stuff that may or may not be able to get out on time, decorating to be done, plus tons of food to cook. It really is a hectic time and it’s hard to take a moment to even breathe.

That’s why you’re most likely going to find some customers calling up or blowing up for seemingly small things – they just need to vent. They’re not angry at you, at the company, nor are they really even angry about the situation; it’s just a build-up of the past few weeks (or months!) and they have to let some of it out. Remember to simply smile and try not to take any of it personally and you should be just fine. is a leading web based help desk company that helps companies around the world excel at customer experience management. Please click here to learn more about our helpdesk software solutions.