How do you deal with a sudden increase in customer demands? 

Getting a spike in orders can be a good thing. However, it can also be challenging. 

An uptick in customer demand tests your ability to handle multiple customers simultaneously and fulfill orders amid high demands. At the same time, it can also push your customer service capabilities, inventory levels and your team’s morale to their limits. Without enough stock to handle such a surge, you may end up losing your customers to your competitors.

But with an effective customer demand planning process in place, you can provide a satisfactory experience for your customers. It can also be a rewarding endeavor for your business. Aside from your financial gains, it lets you win your customers’ loyalty and enhance your team’s ability to work collaboratively and efficiently.

As a start, find out below the common reasons for the increase in customer demand and seven (7) ways to handle it.  

Are you ready to handle an uptick in customer demand?

What causes an uptick in customer demand? 

The reasons may vary depending on the nature of your business and the types of products and services that you offer. Below are some common reasons that can cause an increase in consumer demand. 

  1. Holidays, weather and events: Seasonal items sell at higher volume during specific times of the year. During the Christmas season, for instance, demand for traditional gifts and summer clothing may spike sharply.
  2. Promotions: Promos like product discounts, flash sales, free shipping, and giveaways can also trigger an increase in sales. 
  3. Changing customer demands: Consumer behaviors evolve over time due to changing market conditions, trends and their country’s economic stability. If this change leans favorably toward your products, then it’s possible to see an uptick in demand.
  4. Foot traffic: Relocating to the place where your target customers are situated is another factor influencing an uptick in demand. With proper promotions, quality products and excellent customer service, you can attract potential customers from your locality and increase the demand for your products.
  5. Product/Service advertisements: A wider audience may also become interested in trying out your brand when you advertise it on digital platforms like Google, Facebook and Instagram.


 Read Also: What are the 5 Stages of Business Growth?

7 ways to handle an uptick in customer demands 

Your business’s peak seasons can also be the busiest time for your team. To manage demand while ensuring that your team members are in good condition, it’s crucial to prepare in advance.  


Before your peak seasons: Prepare early

Your effectiveness in handling an uptick in customer demand must begin before the event occurs. Here are some activities to consider. 

1. Forecast your business’s seasonal demands 

Forecasting your seasonal demands is an ideal way to optimise your inventory. This gives you an outlook of when to stock up, what products you need and the number of people you need to be working on the front end and the back end. 

Here’s the catch: predicting seasonal demands can be more complex than you think. Seasons may vary each year, and annual trends may affect which kinds of products will be in demand.  

A way to make this process easier is by using a demand planning tool. You can check out this resource to compare different providers and read reviews from actual users.  

2. Create a game plan

Using the insights you acquired from your seasonal demand forecast, plan how you will resolve potential issues with supply chain, inventory, and customer service. 

3. Optimise your e-commerce platforms 

When you offer your products online, it’s important to optimise your e-commerce sites. Make it as frictionless as possible to provide a better customer experience. Among the things you can do are updating slow-loading web pages, compressing high-resolution content and regularly testing your site’s speed. By doing so, your customers can have a more seamless experience navigating your products. 


b. During your peak seasons: Manage high customer demands

The time is here. Your business is already experiencing a surge in customer demand. Make your customers satisfied and help your employees stay on tip-top shape through the following methods: 

4. Enhance your store operations 

Here are some options to improve your customers’ experience as they browse through your product and service offerings: 

  • Offer your products on different platforms: This flexibility lets you reach a wider audience, especially the ones who prefer to buy on one platform (e.g., online store) over the other (e.g., physical store).  
  • Offer different payment options: Aside from cash, make sure that your business can accept other modes of payment. Many young people nowadays prefer paying using digital wallet payments and cards, especially those who don’t like bringing cash with them. 
  • Offer pre-order or appointment booking options: Doing so helps you properly budget your inventory or manage the schedule of your team. 

5. Prepare your employees 

Make sure your employees are ready for your busy seasons.  

For instance, if you’re operating a retail business, training them in basic customer service etiquette and fulfilling orders is crucial. This way, when things get busy, each of them can still properly assist your customers or efficiently manage orders. 

6. Outsource spillover tasks 

When your team is already operating at full capacity, consider outsourcing any spillover tasks. This way, you can protect your team from fatigue and getting burnt out.  

At the same time, working with a credible service provider can also help you maintain the quality of your products or services — which can be challenging to achieve if your employees are scrambling to get things done without proper rest. In other words, outsourcing can expand your ability to handle things beyond your capacity.  


c. After your peak seasons: Make room for improvements

Once the peak season is over, it’s time to reassess your performance. You can now identify your strengths and shortcomings — and find ways to address them. 

7. Evaluate your performance 

How did you and your team do? Are you satisfied with your service? Were you able to surpass your sales targets? Has there been a problem with your inventory? 

Evaluating how you performed and the results you got can guide you in planning for the next time you experience an uptick in demand. 


Keep your books organised during peak seasons 

Amid the peak seasons, it’s crucial to keep your books organised. If your accounting team is at full capacity, our accountants at ABJ Solutions can lend you a hand. You can visit this page to learn more about our bookkeeping services or request a free financial health check from us.