The holidays are right around the corner and you know you’ve got to make the most of them, especially if you’re in the retail industry. One of the biggest ways you’ll win new business this season could be from word of mouth and there’s nothing that affects that more then great customer service. So here are 6 things you can do now, to be ready for the onslaught.

1. Hold Music – Have you listened to your hold music? Why not put some holiday tunes on there to get people in the mood. If you’ve got specials, you can record yourself, save it as an mp3. and upload it to your iTunes. We play our hold music with our iPod.

2. Call Your Own Number – When was the last time you called your own phone to see what your customer’s experience is? If you’ve got a phone tree, make sure the extensions work.

3. Experience What Your Customers Will – Go all the way through your purchase process and send yourself one of your products. This way you’ll experience first hand what your customers will this season. You’ll surely see obvious changes that could make a big difference to your customers.

4. Spice Up Your Packaging! – If you can throw some goodies into your packaging to give it some extra flair do it. Do some severe quality control if you’re gift wrapping. No one wants to give or get a poorly wrapped gift.

5. Script for the Phones – If you’ve got people other than you answering the phones, make sure they make the most of the call time. Upsell your sales or your products while you have a customer on the phones for any reason.

6. Live Chat – If you don’t have it and you can man it (or have an intern man it) at least for a good portion of the day, get it. It’s important to have because for the most part people don’t really like being on the phone with any company if they don’t have to. Velaro looks to be about $52/month/person, BoldChat is about $29/month/person. The cool thing is, if you’ve got people browsing around on your site for a bit, you can even pop up a proactive chat window and see if they need help.

Capitalizing on these touchpoints is one great way to convert new customers and keep existing ones coming back. What are you doing to get holiday ready now?

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