Tis the season to be jolly, it’s also the season where your website could pick up a lot of extra traffic so here are a few tips to help you keep your website up and running over the festive period
Make sure your site is running quickly
People won’t hang around and wait for slow pages to load so make sure that your site is up to speed and running smoothly.
Look into compressing your files:
Run a page speed test to see how long it’s taking your page to load:
Add some seasonal designs to your website
There’s a list of JQuery plugins and tutorials at JQueryRain.com so you can add falling snow to your website.
Sitepoint has a list of 10 JQuery Christmas Effects including Christmas Lights, Advent Calendar and a Santa Cursor.
You can also go down the simple route and add something like a Santa hat to your logo, or Christmas up your header (see my example in the image below).
Whatever you add though, make sure that it doesn’t detract from the content on your website. Falling snow can distract people from being able to read your content so you may want to keep it to a minimum!
Special Offers or Seasonal Promotions
If you’re running an e-commerce website, think about adding free gift wrapping to all orders over a certain size, or put together gift bundles for people to buy.
Don’t forget to do upsells and recommendations. At Christmas people will be more likely to upgrader product choices if it’s presented to them.
Be clear about delivery dates, and keep people informed
People won’t buy if they’re not sure the item will arrive before Christmas. Make sure you have an express delievry option that people can choose. Notify your customers by email when items are dispatched and what the extimated delivery date is. That will stop them clogging up customer support with simple queries.
Have a Customer Service Plan in Place
The last thing you want is for your customers to take to social media to publicly complain when they have a problem because no-one is available to help them over Christmas.
If you’re a small business you’re not going to be able to employ people to man customer support over the holidays while you take a (much needed) break.
Look at creating a section of your website for Frequently Asked Questions. Most queries tend to follow the same patterns (when will my item be delivered, how can I recover my password) so hopefully this will filter out the less than urgent enquiries.
For more serious issues you can provide a email address for people to use. If you use this option I’d recommed setting up an auto-responder so that your customer knows that their email had been received. Also let them know that you are operating on shorter working hours over the holidays but their query will be dealt with. You could also look into providing an online helpdesk system to assist you in managing support tickets.
If your website has quite an active community, think about adding a forum so that users can help each other. This fosters a further sense of community and also takes some of the pressure off of you to deal with all the enquiries.
Don’t forget your social media
Let all of your customers and visitors know via your Blog, facebook page, Twitter etc. what your special deals are, how to get hold of you over the festive period and when service will be back to normal. Being informed will often stop people flying off the handle if they have a problem with something.
Don’t forget to enjoy the festive period
Hopefully with the above in place, your websites will pretty much manage themselves barring the odd issue. Don’t sit staring at your email client or phone just in case a support email comes in. Check email at set times and enjoy the rest of the time with your family. Unless you’re looking for a reason to get away from them – but that’s probably a topic for a whole different blog post!