We are less than a month away from July 4th. You are going to have staff members on vacation, but your telephone calls are not going to stop. You can’t afford to lose sales opportunities or tick-off clients, but you want to enjoy the holiday yourself. What are you going to do?
The solution is planning.
Here is a check-list to help you think through your telephone holiday coverage so you can plan ahead and have a more enjoyable Independence Day.
Office Hours: What days will your office be closed? July 4th falls on a Thursday. Are there any days you may close earlier than normal? Will this be true of your vendors as well and will that create problems for you?
Staffing & Overtime: Arranging for proper telephone coverage during a holiday can be difficult and unpopular. Worse yet, it can also cost a bundle in over-time. The earlier you plan, the better.
Changes in Call Handling Procedures: Will the absence of some of your staff members mean that call handling procedures may need to change temporarily? Will some departments be closed or short-staffed? Will different people have to be on-call for emergencies?
Additional Traffic: Depending on the business you are in, you may get heavier than normal call volume. These will be some of the most heavily traveled days of the year. Are you in a business that will be impacted by injuries and property damage from traffic accidents? Will flight delays and slow deliveries increase calls or impact your ability to service clients?
Post-Holiday Rush: Don’t get caught unprepared for a potential surge in calls after the holiday is over. Customers will be back in the office and will be calling with a backlog of needs and problems.
The next step is to do some quantifying.
- How much telephone traffic could you get?
- When will you be receiving it?
- What resources are available to you – staff members, call routing features, outsourcing, etc.?
There is actually a silver lining to the problems this holiday will create. Your competitors may drop the ball. If you do a great job of handling your telephone holiday coverage, and they don’t, it could drive new business straight into your arms. You could get the sales opportunities they didn’t answer and the customers they didn’t respond to. Opportunity is knocking!
What steps are you going to take in the next week to ensure that you can enjoy the 4th?
This blog was written by Laurie Leonard, the President of SUITE 1000, a U.S. based national telephone answering service, inbound call center and outsourced call center service. Her company has specialized in handling legal intake, sales leads, email lead response, appointment scheduling, customer service and help desk calls for over 20 years.