Optimizing Your Customer Service for Post-Christmas Gift Returns

Brian Powers
Brian Powers

We don't wait to be a bummer already, but even though the holidays are just beginning for many of us, when it comes to your business, it helps to be prepared when the season of giving becomes the season of giving back.  

The stockings are emptied, and the tree now stands above a sea of ripped paper, discarded bows, and more than a couple LEGO men have already lost their hats (or heads). The gifts have been handed out and everyone is wearing their brightest smiles, thankful for friends and family and the excellent presents they have received. 

Or so we would all like to imagine. 

Unfortunately, and for countless reasons, millions of gifts are returned to the stores they came from in the final week of December and the beginning of January. In fact, in 2019, Oracle Retail and Savanta conducted a study of 16,000 individuals that revealed some startling facts. According to the study, as many as 77% of those surveyed expected to return at least some of their annual gifts.  

It also indicated that one in five individuals said that they would likely return more than half of their yearly haul 

What was among the most returned products? Around 68% of gifted clothing items are returned, and around a quarter of electronics go right back to the shelves to wear a badge of shame called “clearance” 

2020 and 2021 have been very different and highly challenging years, and we can expect to see some change in numbers due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the continued rollercoaster increases in online shopping, but we can still comfortably predict that returns will be no joke this year, once again. 


What this means for your customer service teams 

We know you don't want to be thinking about this already, but because of these facts and figures, it pays to be prepared for what may come.

As you undoubtedly know, post-Christmas returns can be an absolute deluge for your customer service teams; still reeling from that final wave of last-minute shoppers and procrastinating dads 

Today, around 90% of businesses maintain social media pages, and approximately 77% of messages to a company’s social pages are for customer service purposes. Since your social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, are going to serve as primary points of contact between your company and your customers, sometimes publicly and loudly, it is essential that customer service is able to put its best foot forward digitally. 

Following Christmas, the process of returning unwanted gifts is generally not a cheery one. Lost gift receipts, no gift receipts, missing chargers, cut tags, and other misfortunes small and large compound to make a frustrating two-or-so-week period all the worse. 

The key to succeeding without allowing your customer service teams to become bogged down is going to be working through an optimized moderation process.  

And of course, Facelift is here to help! We’ve got several ways to help you optimize your day-to-day community management flow, assist you in taking stock of performance, customer satisfaction, and more - even during times of peak insanity. 



We’ll help you keep things clear from the start 

Keeping our readers and clients on track with their social media efforts year-round is our number one goal.  

Facelift Cloud is an all-in-one social media management solution that will help you take control over your customer service even during the craziest times. 

Facelift Cloud can help you: 


icon_checklistManage all incoming messages across your social media platforms from one convenient place, and even sort them by responsible team member. 

icon_checklistGet an overall feel for your customers or followers via our comprehensive analytics dashboard

icon_checklistPlan and schedule all content across as many channels as you need.


We've also got a free, non-committal two-week trial that will let you get a feel for Facelift Cloud's basic features. The post-holiday gift return period is a big time for you to up your customer service game, and two weeks of convenience could come in handy. Give it a shot by following this link!  


Brian Powers
Brian Powers

More about the author:

A New Yorker in Hamburg, Brian is facelift's content marketing manager. With over a decade of experience in content and social, he is responsible for creating much of facelift's English digital content, in particular the facelift blog, guides and downloads, as well as the writer and co-director of facelift's YouTube series "The Socials".