Ready or not, the holidays are officially here.
For customers, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Sales are around every corner. Stores get all dressed up in their best decorations. Christmas tunes replace the tired old pop music everyone's used to / bored of in malls and for on-hold music.
As a business, though, the holidays might be the least wonderful time of the year.
During the holidays, customers expect to be your number one priority and if you haven’t prepared properly, your team can quickly become overwhelmed by the increased volume that the season brings.
This can mean:
- Longer hold times that frustrate customer
- Increases to the work needed on or after each customer phone call that makes it harder for employees to answer the next call quickly
- Busy phone lines that send would-be customers to voicemail...or worse yet, to never get their question answered
On top of potentially unhappy customers, you have to plan around vacations, update your phone menu messages, deal with the stress of your personal holiday plans...it’s a lot.
Don’t worry though! Your fabulous friends at FluentStream are here with all the top ways you can prepare your business with holiday cheer.
You see, as providers of the best phone systems this side of Santa’s workshop, we’re a bit of communications experts. We help thousands of businesses update their systems and handle higher call volume every year. Distilling everything we know down to one helpful checklist was impossible, so instead, we put together these top suggestions with links to even more advice if you need it.
There’s no time to lose, so let’s dive right into the top 5 ways to prepare your business for the holiday season.
#1: Update Your Phone System with Your Deals and Days Off
The first, and usually most laborious step to preparing your business for the holidays, is to update your phone system. This entails much more than saying “Happy Holidays!” at the beginning of your usual menu recording.
You need to inform customers about any sales or discounts you’re running, whether you’ll be closed for any of your regular business days, how to contact you in case of an emergency, and so much more.
Whether you usually get busy or take more time off during the holidays, your customers need to see that you put the effort into keeping them informed. To help you keep track of all the changes you need to make, we’ve put together a comprehensive checklist: How to Prepare Your Phone System for the Holidays.
#2: Develop a System to Staying Productive
The holidays are the busiest time for most businesses, but they can also be the most difficult time to stay productive.
Distractions like online shopping and planning events are constantly trying to tear your attention away from work. Coworkers you usually rely on will be on vacation right when you need them most. Meetings and events will eat away at the time you have to complete an increased workload.
It can be enough to drive anyone mad!
But, before you resign yourself to a padded room with Home for the Holidays playing over and over and over again in your head, take a look at our Top Tips for Staying Productive During the Holidays. We guarantee it will help take some of that stress away so you can focus up, get things done, and have more time to enjoy the season.
#3: Set Up Your Holiday Voicemail Greetings
There’s nothing more annoying than calling a business, getting sent to voicemail, and then not hearing back for weeks.
There’s also nothing more annoying than returning from a delightful, relaxing vacation only to find dozens of angry voicemails from customers demanding to know why you haven’t called them back.
Please, don’t be the one responsible for either of these most annoying things ever. Remember to update your voicemail greeting so anyone and everyone will know exactly when you’ll be gone, and more importantly, when you’ll be back.
FluentStream clients can actually enjoy a feature built for this precise purpose called Temporary Voicemail Greeting!
#4: Plan Ahead for When You’re Out of the Office
Problems and emergencies still happen whether you’re in the office or not. They can be especially frustrating to deal with when you’re on vacation, but you know you’ll still have to deal with them.
We’re not saying you should spend all of your vacation time on-call or glued to your laptop in case your employees need help dealing with customers. However, it is prudent to set up some ways you can be reached in advance just in case.
That’s why we put together this list of the top 5 Ways to Get Important Messages on Vacation to help you stay in the loop without wasting your trip.
#5: Pick Out Gifts for Your Most Special Customers
Let’s be honest: Despite what we tell them, not every customer is our favorite. Sometimes though, it’s not because they’re rude or exhausting. It’s just because they’re so dang bad at communicating.
In these cases, you sometimes need to take matters into your own hands and give them the gift of better communications. Yes, this can technically be considered getting yourself a gift since you’re the one who has to deal with them, but it’s the thought that counts.
To see what exactly we mean, check out our guide to Communications Gifts for Your Customers Who Need Help Communicating.
Need Even More Advice?
If you still don’t feel fully prepared for the holiday rush your business is bound to receive, FluentStream is always ready to lend a hand!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 303-GO-CLOUD for all the tips, tricks, and expertise you’ll need to handle increased call volume and make your customers feel appreciated this holiday season.