Business Practices | | Published June 22, 2012

Summertime Is No Time to Slouch on Customer Service

Unless you own a landscaping business or a beach resort, chances are your store or service based business is experiencing the “summer slump blues” this time of year. When it happens to you, you may want to think you’re doing something wrong. However, it’s generally not the case. People are out at the beach or driving around the country, and may not have time or money to spend with you.

With that in mind, you may also experience a dip in customer service issues. Less people buying means less people calling customer support with issues, right? This could give your customer support team an opportunity to relax, hang back… and lose focus! When business picks back up, you want to assure they are not confused and disoriented from being out of practice. So just because you’re not slammed with customer service issues doesn’t mean you should take it easy. Here are a few tips to keep you and your employees on their game.

Test Runs

While your customers aren’t actively calling or emailing with issues to resolve, take time to dream up what they COULD be contacting you about. Doing test runs and performing future problem solving like this can greatly reduce the time it takes to troubleshoot during a real problem. It also could lead to discoveries about what you’re selling, resulting in a better product.

Gather everyone together for a group meeting to brainstorm, or have them do so throughout the week. Have each team member come up with a handful of “future problems,” even if they seem completely nuts. (Zombie apocalypse, anyone?) The better prepared you are for every possible problem the better.

Review the Past

Another thing you can have your team do is go over their past cases. Often, they will see a pattern. Certain problems and issues will have come up repeatedly. Have the team members add up which problems were the most prevalent. There’s no substitute for harnessing the memories of your CSR’s.

Now, what can you do with this information? This may point to greater problems with your company at large. If for instance customers call up about confusion with your software installation process; the instruction manual may be incredibly difficult to navigate. You and your team may understand it, but first time readers and users may not. And viola! You’ve solved a customer service problem and a product issue, all in one go.

Review Your Process

Speaking of the past, it may be time to review your customer service process. If business has been crazy, it may be overdue. Do you remember the last time you really looked at how you serve your customers?

One great thing you can do is email customers who’ve been through the process. They’ll be able to tell you honestly where things went wrong. Try sending out a few (non-spammy!) emails and ask if they wouldn’t mind answering a few questions regarding their experience.

Heck, if they’re local, do like Domino’s did and bring them in directly for a focus group conversation. When you get people together in a room, they’re more likely to discuss between themselves the ins and outs of what they really think. This way, you may get a more reliable idea of where to change things in your customer service process.

Yes, it’s summer time, but unfortunately that doesn’t mean your customer service can take a vacation. Follow this advice and your customer support will be in tip top shape when your customers start spending money with you again. is an award winning helpdesk solution designed for B2B technology companies. Our advanced customer self service tools allows you to provide excellent customer experience management.