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How to Enhance Your Online Customer Service During Black Friday and Christmas

Thursday 20th October 2022

Blog Author Beth Perrin by Beth Perrin

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How to Enhance Your Online Customer Service During Black Friday and Christmas

Thursday 20th October 2022

No matter the season, the importance of online customer service can’t be underestimated (that’s why we’re proud to operate 365 days a year!), and it’s vital to be there for your customers whenever they need you. However, when Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas are approaching, the need for first class support becomes even more crucial, as large numbers of festive shoppers start heading to their favourite stores to grab bargains and search for gifts for their friends and family - both online and in person.

The standard of customer care provided throughout this period greatly impacts subsequent brand loyalty, with 90% of people who receive ‘excellent’ service on Black Friday choosing to shop with that retailer again. That’s 37% more than those who receive ‘okay’ service.

Read on to learn how to enhance your online customer service through a variety of different channels and processes during these two major commerce events.

Christmas gifts on laptop keyboard with shopping website on screen


All Hands on Deck

It’s a good idea to expand your customer care team before the Black Friday and Christmas rush begins, in order to prevent your current staff from becoming overwhelmed by the sudden rise in message volumes. The average retailer experiences a whopping 75% increase in customer requests during the Christmas period, so it’s definitely worth scaling up your team for the season. Around a third of the hiring that happens at this time of year is for customer support staff, confirming that it’s a common option for businesses.

Alternatively, consider outsourcing your social media customer service or Live Chat to an external agency like 3sixfive. Our dedicated team of experts will take control of your social media pages or website Live Chat plugin and will respond to every enquiry promptly, using your brand’s tone of voice for a seamless experience. It’s the perfect choice if you don’t have enough time or resources to handle your customer service in-house, leaving you to focus on what you do best.


Know Your Content

If your brand’s social media content is written, scheduled and published by a separate department or agency, your customer service team should be notified of any upcoming posts which are likely to influence comment and message volumes.

Sale announcements, stock alerts, competitions and product teasers can spark lots of conversation amongst your audience (which is of course a great thing!), but can quickly become overwhelming for your customer care agents - particularly if they weren’t aware in advance. The same goes for your website. If a seasonal deal, discount or promotion is being added to your online store, it’s best to inform your customer service team beforehand so they can prepare for a potential influx of Live Chat requests.

That’s why cross-department communication is so important during busy periods like Black Friday and Christmas. In fact, 97% of employees and executives believe that a lack of alignment between teams impacts the outcome of a task or project.


Offer Personalisation

80% of customers are more likely to buy from companies that provide personalisation, so tailoring your service to the individual needs of each customer should be a key consideration for your business this Black Friday and Christmas. Live Chat is a great place to offer this, as it enables you to suggest items that directly suit customers’ preferences and give them access to exclusive product bundles while they’re right there on your website.

If it’s displayed on the platform you’re using, you should use the customer’s name when greeting them. Before replying, scan through your previous messaging history with the customer to prevent them from having to repeat information they’ve already shared, which 75% of consumers agree is a major frustration when speaking to a company.

Never be tempted to copy and paste a generic, templated response to multiple customers, especially in public comments on social media where users can see everything that’s being said. This is a common mistake which gives the impression that a business doesn’t value its customers, and doesn’t care about resolving their specific concerns.

Consider signing off each message with your own name or initials to further humanise your brand and add a point of reference for the customer too.

Christmas shopping with credit card


Review Management

Online reviews are often overlooked within brands’ customer service strategies, but managing and responding to them is a key activity that can rebuild damaged relationships (in the case of negative reviews) and demonstrate gratitude (in the case of positive reviews). Not only does responding to customer feedback help to boost your ranking in local search results, giving you an SEO advantage over your competitors, it also shows prospective customers that your business is active online and is interested in hearing what people have to say about it. Plus, 7 in 10 people agree that a brand’s response to a review can change their perception of it, proving that the way you handle your feedback really does make a difference.

This doesn’t only apply to eCommerce brands - those in the hospitality industry can benefit massively from monitoring their reviews too, especially if they’re hoping to boost Christmas dinner reservations or festive getaway bookings. 94% of diners read reviews online before deciding where to eat, and 4 out of 5 people believe that hotels that respond to feedback care more about their guests than those who don’t.

As well as responding to your existing reviews, remember to encourage new customers to leave their own feedback for future customers to read. This can be achieved by:

Sending out reminder emails following a purchase or visit

Asking them through conversation on social media

Providing incentives such as prize draws, giveaways or discounts on future purchases

Adding a reminder to the back of your physical receipts

Sharing and promoting other customers’ reviews (just make sure to ask permission before publicly sharing any reviews that show a customer’s personal information or contain their photo, in order to comply with GDPR guidelines)


Sentiment Analysis

Tracking the sentiment of your customers’ comments and messages is another important activity to carry out during the Black Friday and Christmas period. This involves analysing all conversations and sorting each message into one of three categories: positive, negative or neutral, in order to find out how people feel about your brand and identify areas in need of improvement.

Sentiment monitoring will also allow you to keep an eye on recurring enquiries and question topics so that you can provide your customers with more comprehensive information in the future, perhaps by assembling an FAQ section on your website.

Sentiment analysis, also known as opinion mining, is most commonly carried out by AI, but here at 3sixfive we know that real people can understand and interpret language much more accurately than bots and computer algorithms. That’s why we developed Human Insight, the first and only human-led sentiment analysis service. Our detailed reports have helped brands reduce negativity by implementing both big and small changes to their products, processes, marketing campaigns, offers and more - and the data we collect empowers businesses to give their customers what they really want.



Black Friday and Christmas are fast approaching, but if you haven’t yet prepared your customer service strategy for this busy period, don’t panic - there’s still time to level up your team or request some extra support from our social media specialists, whether that’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Live Chat or another communication platform. If you need a recap of the basics, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Customer Service - then discover how to boost your customer satisfaction even further with our additional tips and tricks.