Top Business Tip: Don’t P!$$ Callers off Over Christmas

call handling over weekends and holidaysNobody likes when their phone call reaches a never ending ringing or busy signal, why would you do it to your customers, or even worse potential customers ?  Here we give you some practical advice on handling phone calls over holidays and weekends. 

There are plenty of things a company can do to improve service, but one of the simplest is ensuring phone queries are well managed. In the current 24/7 online world customer expectations are high. Most customers expect a company to respond to their queries, even on weekends and holidays.  Some companies may have limited staff over breaks or experience a sudden call volume increase, whatever the case it’s important to handle those calls gracefully.

So here’s our expert tips on how to manage phone lines over the holiday’s and weekend’s.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

Callers often check out a company’s website and social media pages before they actually decide to make a call.  You can reduce needless call volume by listing your phone lines open times and answering frequent questions directly on your website and social pages.  Ensure that all the information is easy to find with an obvious link on your home page to a contact us and FAQ section, don’t forget to think through common questions you receive on the phone and place them your FAQ section. Make sure to keep the information up to date , especially over holiday periods.

Proactively inform

You may be able to predict low staff volume or an increase in the volume of calls and queries. If that’s the case, do everything you can to proactively inform your customers before your call handling capacity is limited. Drop your contacts an email and use social media platforms to remind callers that high volume is expected, encourage them to make calls early to save time.  If you receive a lot of recurring calls an informational announcement on your phone line works well.

Use Call Management Software

Call management software allows you to add features to your business phone line to improve the customer experience. Modern call management software is relatively easy to use and will allow you visualise the call flows and add contingency for extra call volume. Some examples of features which, when used correctly, will enhance the call experience are; call queuing, time of day routing, IVR call menu’s, announcements, call screening/filteringcall distribution, call forwarding/divert.

Check Performance

Some companies think adding a call queue to their business line solves all their call management problems; wrong ! – we’ve all been stuck in a call queue and know how it feels.  And if you don’t have call queuing; How many callers got busy over your last holiday break ?  How many missed opportunities were there ? Did you even know you had phone line congestion?  Measuring performance is something we often forget for phone lines but it’s key to good customer service.  So whatever solution you put in place don’t forget to measure performance.

Keep Callers Engaged

There’s no doubt it’s better to have your callers engaged than your phone line engaged. We’ve all experienced the same hold music going on, and on, and on….that’s not what we want for our callers.  If there are unavoidable delays in phone lines then try thinking outside the box for your call waiting messages. Offer the caller an informational experience to reduce their perceived waiting time; for example play holiday offers, discounts or fun seasonal greetings.

Consider Remote Agents

If you have an increase in volume of calls during holiday seasons think about filling staffing gaps with remote agents. Remember, you don’t have to be in the office to answer the phone, a simple call divert can solve your problem.  Consider some staff might agree to take overflow calls from home or alternatively you may use temp agents or call answering services.

Conclusion

Keeping callers happy is not rocket science, just a bit of common sense. Following these 6 simple tips will ensure your customers’ retain the ‘caller happiness’ they deserve over holiday and weekend breaks.

We hope you enjoyed these tip – If you have any other ideas be sure to share them!

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