How to Prepare Your Freshdesk Support Portal for the Holiday Rush

Are the support team, website, and Freshdesk portal ready to handle the customer influx of the holiday season? That’s the question we ask ourselves every year before the peak period starts. During the holiday season, the incoming traffic may increase by 10 times, whereas ticket volumes can increase by up to 50%, making the life of your agents exhausting and stressful. And if a burned-out agent makes the customer wait too long or offers a substandard support experience, you may risk losing a customer forever whilst damaging your company’s reputation.

Companies often try to fix this problem with financial incentives for existing support agents and by hiring extra staff but all these can eat up a good portion of your budget. However, an efficient yet economical solution is often neglected — self-service support. We use the Freshdesk portal on a daily basis as one of the support channels but often overlook its preparation to handle the holiday shopping craze. This article is aimed at bridging this gap and helping you make your support portal a one-stop shop for redundant questions that can reach you during the holiday season.

Did you know that Freshdesk users have deflected up to 40% of tickets after setting up a knowledge base?

– Aparna Chugh, Product Manager at Freshworks, a speaker at Refresh 18

10 Tips to Optimize Your Freshdesk Support Portal this Holiday Season

#1 Minimize risks

Optimize and double-check everything that might go wrong or annoy your customers: page load speed, mobile-friendly design, graphic elements, content, broken links, dead clicks, and unresponsive buttons. Make sure your support center will cope with the holiday-level traffic and won’t go down during the holiday flurry.

#2 Have an Up to date Knowledge Base

A customer is highly likely to look for self-service before he reaches out to your support team. Look through frequently asked questions over previous busy seasons and either create articles for them or make them more prominent and easy to find. Also, brainstorm possible requests with your team and make sure the answers are available at your support center. Moreover, during the holiday period, people often shop for unfamiliar products and thus they’re likely to have more questions, some of which can be unusual for your day-to-day operations. Of course, it’s hard to have a ‘one size fits all’ knowledge base, but a prominent search bar can help both old and new customers get to the required information in a fast and hassle-free manner.  

#3 Make Sure the Support Portal is Professional-looking

Your customer experience depends on the design of your support portal as much as it does on your website”. This becomes even more important over the holiday rush when your customers need you the most. If during the year you are more focused on loyal customers, the holiday season brings plenty of new visitors who are unfamiliar with your products and/or company as they’ve never shopped for your products before. And the smallest of inconveniences or confusion can make them go to another competitor. If for example the support center has little to do with the main site in terms of appearance or doesn’t look trustworthy, you are very likely to lose your potential customers who could have brought you recurring revenue.

#4 Improve Navigation

During the holiday hustle customers are short of time, anxious, and make quick decisions. Make sure all information is easy to find. The harder it is to get to articles, the lesser are your chances of converting a prospect into a customer. To do this, you can add side navigation, table of contents, previous/next buttons, and related articles. Also, make sure your search bar is prominent and effective.

Freshdesk support

Side navigation on the Freshdesk support portal

#5 Create Promo Sections 

Offering discounts or seasonal offers? Create a dedicated section for them and address every concern a user with zero experience might have. If you are pitching new products or going to highlight your bestsellers, add detailed information about them on your knowledge base. Your promo information sections can go a long way in deflecting repetitive questions from customers.

#6 Sound like Your Customers 

Using technical jargon is only going to make it harder for your customers to understand and navigate. Use terms that your customers are familiar with. One way to do this is by analyzing requests in your help desk and related search queries.

#7 Highlight Important Information

Vital information like delivery terms, account-related information, payment issues, exchange or cancellation policies, etc. should be easy to find.

fresh desk support

You may highlight important information in your knowledge base with callout blocks, e.g. something that you provide for free

#8 Ramp up Your Agents for the Season

Get a few hands from other departments in your organization like the product, sales, and marketing. Day passes in Freshdesk help you to add extra agents just for a day, without you having to purchase an additional agent seat for a whole month.

#9 Promote your Knowledge Base more Heavily on Your Site

A chat window and a well-organized help section will allow your visitors to find a self-service option faster.

#10 Add a Holiday Cheer

Spice up your support portal with festive decorations to make your visitors feel the holiday spirit and want to continue shopping on your website.

These recommendations are related to testing minor changes in your support center. If you are planning to change anything big regarding functionality, don’t do it just before the holiday rush starts. Making your customers angry because of bugs and other flaws isn’t the right way to benefit from holidays.

What Questions are Frequently Asked During the Holiday Season

We’ve compiled a list of questions that you can add to your Freshdesk support portal and save a lot of time:

– What is your delivery time during the holidays?

– What shipping/payment options do you offer?

– What are the shipping costs?

– Do you offer free delivery on large orders?

– What is the last date for on-time delivery?

– Do you provide rush shipping?

– What is the difference between products/versions?

– Are there any promo codes?

– What are support hours during the holidays?

– What are the opening hours of your office?

– What are your cancellation/exchange/return policies?

– Do you offer gift wrapping services?

– Can I add a gift card to my order?

– How do I use the product?

The Result of a Well-prepared Freshdesk Support Portal

Customer expectations and speed of the decision-making process rise dramatically over the holiday rush, and you should prepare not only your agents but also your knowledge base. Otherwise, your profits will go to your competitor.

An optimized and customized Freshdesk support center will make it easy for customers to self-serve. Human agents will have more time to focus on more complex inquiries and will accommodate more clients.  

How much do you rely on your Freshdesk support portal during the holiday season? What do you do to prepare it for the surge of customers?