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How Customer Service Teams Can Avoid Staffing Challenges Ahead of the Holidays

Meghan Huston
As the holiday season approaches, a record number of workers are quitting their jobs. Customer service teams, too, are starting to feel the hiring crunch.
Image from marketplace.org

As the holiday season approaches, a record number of workers are still quitting their jobs. Customer relationships are on the line, and businesses need to know how to maintain happy customers and customer loyalty.

News outlets first warned of a Great Resignation in the spring of 2021, in which millions of Americans, burnt out by the pandemic, stopped showing up for work. But months later, the crisis has hardly abated. In August, 4.3 million workers left their jobs—up from the 4 million who quit in April. Hiring challenges have radiated from the retail and service sectors to all industries, from marketing and PR agents to airline staff.

Customer service teams, too, are starting to feel the hiring crunch.

In customer service, the crisis does not seem likely to fade soon. Onboarding takes employers 34 days on average to hire new customer service reps—a delay that means brands can’t hit their support department staffing metrics without advanced planning.

The holiday shopping season is only magnifying these shortages. In regular holiday seasons, retailers need to increase their frontline employees to meet customer expectations and demand. Target aims to bring on 100,000 seasonal workers in the coming months to avoid customer issues and deliver top-notch team performance. But this time around, the long hiring timelines and decline in customer support team members make those targets especially difficult to reach.

Companies across e-commerce and retail have stepped up their high-quality perks and pay to recruit and retain workers. Amazon is actively hiring warehouse and delivery workers and has bumped its pay up to $18 per hour in many warehouse and transportation jobs. On top of offering to cover the costs of college tuition and textbooks for workers with an eligible skill set. Others, like Chipotle and Papa John’s, are frontloading their workers with large signing bonuses.

To bring on more workers in time for the holidays, customer success executives could consider these tactics to ensure great customer service:

Schedule a demo here to learn more about how Chatdesk Teams can help you provide excellent customer service and combat the holiday season!

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