The vacation season is the busiest time of year for some businesses – think Disneyland — and the slowest for others — like many B2B businesses. Whichever pool you’re in this summer – the rush or 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, but in today’s digital world, it’s best to communicate with customers everywhere you meet them – online, email and phone.
Send an Email Notification
Sharing summer hours is a great excuse to touch base with your customers via email. Be sure to add a special greeting, thank you, or, if appropriate, details about any summer sales.
Update Your Website or Webstore
Keep your customers cool this summer 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 times (with closures on the 4th for example) need to be communicated clearly.
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
Through the summer, record a new automated attendant greeting on your phone system that specifies your hours.
If you’re closing your offices for vacations, 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
Summer means vacations. Direct employees who receive calls at their direct numbers to record a vacation message explaining when they will return 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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