The holiday season is the busiest time of year for some companies like retailers and the slowest for others like many B2B businesses. Whichever sleigh you’re in – the holiday rush or holiday lull – it’s important to make sure that customers are aware of your extended or shortened hours and closures so there are no surprises.
Advance written notice is a traditional way to ring in the season, but in today’s digital world, it’s best to communicate with customers where you meet them – online, email and phone.
Send an Email Notification
Sharing holiday hours is a great excuse to touch base with your customers via email. Be sure to add a holiday greeting, thank you, or, if appropriate, details about your holiday sale.
Update Your Website or Webstore
Give the gift of convenience to your customers this holiday season by making sure your business hours are updated everywhere they’re likely to look for you online. Don’t forget to check all mentions of hours on your website to help set customers’ expectations. This is particularly important for e-commerce businesses. Holiday shipping and return deadlines need to be communicated often and clearly, for example.
Don’t Forget Third-Party Sites and Social Media Channels!
Update hours of operation in the About section on Facebook, Yelp and Foursquare. And, go to your Google My Business account to enter special hours in advance on certain days while your regular hours remain in place for all other days.
Swap Your Automated Attendant Greeting
As the season approaches, record a new automated attendant greeting on your phone system that specifies your holiday hours. Using festive holiday music while announcing hours of operation is a nice touch.
If you’re closing your offices, record a second greeting for customers who might call in to let them know when you will reopen, and, if appropriate, provide guidance on how they can get help right away. For example, if your company provides essential services such as security, plumbing, cooling and heating, explain that callers can reach you via your answering service or a different number in the event of an emergency.
Change Voicemail Greetings
Direct employees who receive calls at their direct numbers to record a holiday message explaining that your offices are closed, when they will reopen and how to get assistance during their absence. In some cases, it may be appropriate for employees to forward calls to their cell phones.
Leverage Your Phone System’s Mobile App
If your phone system has a mobile app, employees can respond to calls and texts from their mobile device should customers need help outside of posted business hours. Employees can forward calls, view transcriptions of voicemails, record calls and store them for later right from their mobile phone.
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