Optimizing Your Customer Service for Post-Holiday Gift Returns

Brian Powers
Brian Powers

We don't wait to be a bummer already, but even though the holidays are just beginning for many of us, when it comes to your business, it helps to be prepared when the season of giving becomes the season of giving back.

The stockings are emptied, and the tree now stands above a sea of ripped paper, discarded bows, and more than a couple LEGO men have already lost their hats (or heads). The gifts have been handed out and everyone is wearing their brightest smiles, thankful for friends and family and the excellent presents they have received.

Or so we would all like to imagine.

Unfortunately, and for countless reasons, millions of gifts are returned to the stores they came from in the final week of December and the beginning of January. In fact, in 2019, Oracle Retail and Savanta conducted a studyof 16,000 individuals that revealed some startling facts. According to the study,as many as 77% of those surveyed expected to return at least some of their annual gifts.

It also indicated that one in five individuals said that they would likely return more than half of their yearly haul.

What was among the most returned products? Around 68% of gifted clothing items are returned, and around a quarter of electronics go right back to the shelves to wear a badge of shame called “clearance”.

The past couple of years have been have been very different and highly challenging, not to mention transformative for e-commerce and online shopping, and we can expect to see this trend continue in 2022. But regardless of where people are buying their stuff, we can still comfortably predict that returns will be no joke this year, once again.

What this means for your social media customer service teams

We know you don't want to be thinking about this already, but because of these facts and figures, it pays to be prepared for what may come.

As you undoubtedly know, post-Christmas returns can be an absolute deluge for your customer service teams; still reeling from that final wave of last-minute shoppers and procrastinating dads.

Today, around 90% of businesses maintain some form of social media pages, and approximately 77% of messages to a company’s social pages are for customer service purposes. Since your social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, are going to serve as primary points of contact between your company and your customers, sometimes publicly and loudly, it is essential that customer service is able to put its best foot forward digitally.

Following Christmas, the process of returning unwanted gifts is generally not a cheery one. Lost gift receipts,no gift receipts, missing chargers, cut tags, and other misfortunes small and large compound to make a frustrating two-or-so- week period all the worse.

The key to succeeding without allowing your customer service teams to become bogged down is going to be working through an optimized moderation process.

And of course, Facelift is here to help! We’ve got several ways to help you optimize your day-to-day community management flow, assist you in taking stock of performance, customer satisfaction, and more - even during times of peak insanity.


Tools to help make your community management easier

We've created a couple pieces of content with the express purpose of helping your social media community management personnel reach their full potential, and to simply make their lives easier.

The first is our community management checklist. With this list you can have a convenient daily overview of your social media tasks that will help keep your team ahead of the craze this winter, and able to maintain a high degree of customer service without getting bogged down or frustrated.

You can download this for free right here.

Second, we've created dozens of customer service templates for social media that you can also download. The templates are written with native English and feature blank spaces that your team can customize to suit your own company's corporate message architecture, or individual needs.

These templates are a great way to save time and energy during a CS rush, so visit this page and download yours now.

We’ll help you keep things clear from the start

Keeping our readers and clients on track with their social media efforts year round is our number one goal.

facelift is an all-in-one social media management solution that will help you take control over your customer service even during the craziest times.

facelift can help you:

  • Manage all incoming messages across your social media platforms from one convenient place, and even sort them by responsible team member.
  • Get an overall feel for your customers or followers via our comprehensive analytics dashboard
  • Plan and schedule all content across as many channels as you need.

We've also got a free, non-committal two-week trial that will let you get a feel for facelift's basic features. The post-holiday gift return period is a big time for you to up your customer service game, and two weeks of convenience could come in handy. Give it try. Start your 14-day trial

Brian Powers
Brian Powers

More about the author

A New Yorker in Hamburg, Brian is facelift's content marketing manager. With over a decade of experience in content and social, he is responsible for creating much of facelift's English digital content, in particular the facelift blog, guides and downloads, as well as the writer and co-director of facelift's YouTube series "The Socials".
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