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This holiday season, encourage employees to give exceptional customer service

It's no secret that companies find themselves under a considerable amount of pressure to respond to customer requests, concerns and complaints during the holidays.

It's no secret that companies find themselves under a considerable amount of pressure to respond to customer requests, concerns and complaints during the holidays. Naturally, the biggest shopping season of the year also carries with it increased customer demand for one-on-one attention that helps shoppers solve their problems.

A recent survey by call center solutions firm Aspect, however, found that customer service representatives are an unpopular group during the holidays. Nearly 75 percent of respondents felt November and December posed more of a hassle in terms of contacting customer service centers than any other time of year, while 91 percent said that businesses weren't prepared for holiday customer contact demands.

Some managers excuse poor service by citing high volumes of customer calls. However, in an interview with Marketplace magazine, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts pointed out the faultiness of this explanation.

"What unfortunately happens is we have about … 350 million interactions with consumers a year, between phone calls and truck calls … You get one-tenth of one-percent bad experience, that's a lot of people – unacceptable," he said.

Call centers take on much of the burden of high-volume customer contact during this season. In these environments, call center incentive programs can help managers reward employees when they rise to the challenges of holiday customer service and leave callers feeling good about interactions.

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