The Holiday season already knocks on your door. It is again that time of the year when you should inform your clients, prospects, and partners if you change your business hours, days, and availability. You should plan how to communicate this to your callers and also how to organize your customer service during the festive season so that each important call is answered on time.
The good news – you have the best tool to help you with both tasks – your cloud phone system. You can effortlessly record a holiday voicemail message, easily manage and customize it to match your needs. And if you plan to have a dedicated employee or a team to answer the calls during the holidays they can still do it over a cup of hot chocolate from their cozy homes. Thanks to the enhanced features of your Cloud PBX you can work from anywhere and with your favorite device.
Read on our checklist on how to prepare your business for the festive season. Help your company stays productive and your clients are happy.
Set a voicemail holidays message
Holidays are the perfect time to surprise your callers with a cheerful, more personal, still professional message. Remember that the voicemail greeting can be a very smart way to connect with customers even if you are not available at that moment. It is the perfect opportunity to make a positive first impression on your potential clients who reach your voicemail box.
The main purpose of a special festive voicemail message is to keep your callers informed about when and how to contact you during the holidays. Make sure you have included information like the exact dates your business will be closed and/or the new opening hours. You can also add an alternative way to contact you on your email or by sending a text message.
Do not forget to give your callers a timeframe during which they can expect a callback or a reply to their email. Knowing that someone will contact them within a certain period of time encourages them to leave more details about the reason for their call.
Always reassure your future or current clients that you will reply to their message as soon as you are available again. It is a positive statement that shows appreciation and commitment.
If you need a little holiday inspiration for the script of your festive voicemail greeting read our article “9 holiday voicemail greetings for better customer experience“.
Update your call handling rules to be flexible
Take advantage of your modern phone system to set special call handling rules for the holidays. Your IT manager can set rules that apply to the company’s main contact number and correspond to the availability of the team that usually takes these calls.
Remind your employees also to update the individual holidays call schedule according to their working plans. For example, they can set all inbound calls to go directly to their voicemail box, which plays the prerecorded personal or department’s festive message.
If there are colleagues who will be present at the office during the festive season you can divert the incoming calls straight to the business numbers of your in-office employees. That way every call will be answered on time, which will increase your customers’ satisfaction.
Set a nice voicemail message for Xmas. Hurry up, it’s free until December, the 19th!
Use smart call management and remote meetings if the office is closed for the holidays
If you plan to close your office premises for the holidays you can still assign co-workers to be available for incoming calls – even if they work from home. You can use a softphone or mobile apps that allow you to work from anywhere and on the most convenient device. Thus you can still have someone to answer the company’s phone for emergency cases from the comfort of his home or another location.
Furthermore, you can still attend any important or urgent meetings organized during the holidays thanks to audio and videoconférence solutions.
Check our Home office solutions that allow you to work from anywhere and on any device.
Update your holiday calendar on time
Regardless of the size of your company it is always useful for you and your team to be aware of your colleagues’ holidays schedule. Even better if you can see their availability at a glance all in one place. Unless you are closing the whole organization for the holidays, this information is really important. It ensures your business keeps running when part of your staff is on holiday leave.
You can use special leave management tools like Google Calendar, or Outlook calendar. With Timelogger and HR software such as SOOP, you can even integrate such information right into your phone system. Isn’t that convenient? With the help of the real-status feature, the employees that are at the office know in a glimpse if their collaborators are available or not. Going further, phone calls can be directly routed to available employees, avoiding long waiting, and abandoned calls.
So do not forget to update your schedule for the festive season and remind your teammates to do the same.
Assign an on-call agent in case of emergencies
Depending on your business field you may need to have an on-call agent – the person who answers the phone for urgent cases during the holidays. You do not need to have a special hotline for this purpose as the fix-mobile convergence allows you to answer and make calls with your office phone number via your personal mobile.
Once you assign the person who will be an on-call agent throughout the holidays you have to announce it to your audience. The best tool for this purpose is the business voicemail message. Make sure that you state clearly the emergency line and the timeframe during which your colleague is available or if it is a 24/7 line.
Be always available on your office number even at home with the mobile app MIXcall!
Update your opening hours on all your communication channels
Your website – being a primary source of information should contain information about your updated business hours on your home page. You can also add details about the emergency line (if you have such) or any other ways your visitors can contact you – email or text message. Do not forget to mention when they expect an answer in this period of time.
If your company is presented in different online platforms you should announce the changes in your working hours and days also there. Whether it is your profile in Google my business, or your corporate Facebook and Linkedin page, or a listing in the local online directories – it is highly recommended to update your opening hours on these platforms and post a holiday message with information about your new business hours during the festive season.
That way you can still welcome your callers professionally and even if your company is closed.
Today your cloud phone system helps you keep your customers happy throughout their experience with you during the holidays. It has never been easier to manage your inbound calls during the festive season with the help of its advanced features. Depending on your specific business needs you can set up smart call routing, personalized voicemail greetings, or intelligent call handling rules just with a few clicks. This gives you flexibility and ensures better customer service to your callers when you are out of the office.