By now, most businesses have been preparing for the holiday season for months, and for good reason: it's the busiest shopping period of the year, with more than $843 billion set to be spent in the U.S. alone in November and December.
That shopping volume affects more than just sales. The holiday season means more questions from customers, more rush shipping, more returns… essentially, it all boils down to one thing: more work for both store associates and company support teams.
That support ticket and call volume might rise during a busy season isn't exactly news. But what might be is that the majority of people contacted customer service directly during (or immediately after) the holiday season in 2020* — costing companies a serious amount of money, with the cost of the average support call coming in at $7 for B2C companies and $13 for B2B companies, according to the Harvard Business Review.
Not exactly the kind of news that gets you in the holiday spirit, is it? But at the same time, there is a silver lining for businesses. More customers today say they prefer to self-serve their own issues, and it looks like they're already trying to do so through search — with on (and off) site searches spiking across numerous verticals during the holiday season. That's right: the "most wonderful time of the year" is also the season of search — and we've got the stats to prove it.
In that vein, here's what businesses need to know to deliver a better customer experience, this holiday season and beyond.