The holidays are almost upon us, and for most businesses this usually means one thing: additional sales! But with shopping malls bursting at the seams and online orders tripling, shopping during the holidays can be stressful for many consumers. To set your business apart during these times, it’s important that you create a pleasant shopping experience for your existing and potential customers by ensuring your business performance is at its peak. And one of the tools that can help you with this is an ever-reliable Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system.
Take the following tips into consideration to prepare your business phone for the holiday sales rush:
Customize your auto attendant and on-hold music/messages
Also called a virtual receptionist, the auto attendant feature helps you manage and route the flow of incoming calls, ensuring that each call is answered and directed to the right department. Your auto attendant can also be set up to spread a little holiday cheer by customizing greetings pertaining to the season or holiday. Take advantage of on hold times by playing holiday songs. Combine this technique with announcements about special holiday promotions and upcoming sales and you’ll be well on your way to new sales. Of course, don't forget to keep customers up-to-date on your holiday schedule and/or hours so they will know when to reach you.
Scale up for the season
If you’re anticipating more holiday phone orders or customer service calls, it might be wise to consider hiring more people and scaling up your phone service. The great thing about VoIP is that it gives businesses the flexibility to add more extensions at will in order to accommodate the increased demand during peak season. And the best part is that companies can easily scale down after the holidays when call volume has returned to normal. This is especially true if you choose a "pay as you go" plan offered by various providers. No need to worry about long-term contracts or termination fees. You only pay for the extensions/lines and minutes you use for as long as you need them.
Activate call forwarding
With so many parties and activities to attend to during the holidays, you may not always be available to take every phone call. To make sure you don’t miss out on calls and other opportunities, activate your phone system’s call forwarding feature. Most VoIP solutions provide call forwarding as part of their included features. This feature offers users the option to forward calls based on certain requirements (such as time, date, caller ID). There’s also the find me/follow me feature that routes incoming calls to a series of numbers, ringing simultaneously or in sequence so you don’t miss a call while you’re away from your desk.
Keep track of holiday conversations
High call volume during the holidays may not only be due to a surge of inquiries or orders: the high volume of calls may also be related to customer service issues or even product returns. Make sure your staff is ready for this by keeping track of all conversations through call recording. By choosing to record calls, you will have a copy of every conversation to later review in order to help understand your customers and interact with them more effectively.
The holidays can open doors of opportunities for your business, so don’t wait until the last minute to get your business and your phone system ready. Plan your strategy, communicate with your staff, and follow these tips to ensure the holidays will indeed be merry.