Lots of businesses will close down entirely to customers at some point over the Christmas period, but in the ‘always on’ world that doesn’t mean you won’t still get calls. That's why it’s vital to ensure your phone system is fully prepared for the holiday period and is able to give your customers the maximum level of customer service, even when you’re not there! So One2Call have put together our pre-Christmas phone system checklist to help your holidays go smoothly.
1. Decide on the level of service you will offer over Christmas
Will you be running a skeleton staff, closing the office altogether or do you want to ensure customers can still get through in an emergency?
Things to consider:
- Do you have a less well-know number you can use for emergency calls over Christmas and publicise only to key customers?
- Some phone systems can be configured to let only specific named numbers through, such as key customers.
- If you do have phones that need to be manned over Christmas, if you have a VoIP phone system (voice over internet) you could allow workers to take their handsets home with them and answer them from home.
2. Review your call routing, hunt groups and ring groups
Most people design their call routing around a full office, not a half full office, so when Christmas comes around you can end up with phones ringing in empty rooms!
Things to consider:
- Work with managers/HR to see where areas may be left with too few people on a call group and plan how to reroute these calls.
- Does your system support ‘presence’? Consider an additional training session before Christmas to ensure users are updating their status so that callers aren’t kept on hold too long.
- If you have a company like One2Call maintaining your system for you, make sure you give them plenty of notice of your changes! Some system are more complicated to program than others!
3. Christmassify your Auto-Attendant/Hold Messaging
At its most basic this means re-recording your On Hold Messaging to include your Christmas opening times and service levels.
But why miss an opportunity spread a bit of Christmas cheer? Bring out the sleigh bells and the ‘ho-ho-ho’s’ and record an especially Christmassy message.
Or add an extra sheen to your customer’s experience with a slick professional production, like this one One2Call recorded for its customer WAcademy, which can cost as little as £70.
4. Record Christmas-specific voicemails
Remember that many of your customers will direct dial the people they’re used to working with, bypassing your Auto-Attendant altogether.
Encourage your teams to record a Christmas-specific message in advance of their last day detailing the days they will be in and out of the office, and who to call if they need to get in touch with someone. And don’t forget to remind everyone regularly to switch them on before they leave!
5. Clear your voicemail inboxes
A simple tip that’s easy to forget. If the first message of the holidays fills your voicemail, you won’t get any more!
Also, some systems share mailbox capacity across all users, so just clearing your own mailbox of recorded messages might not help – it needs to be a company wide effort!
We’d advise you to go through this checklist as soon as possible to ensure you have enough time to put everything into action before you break for Christmas.
If you’re unsure if your phone system supports some of the features mentioned above please get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help.
And also don’t forget…
- To send your customer Christmas cards/gifts nice and early.
- Set our email out of office message before you leave
- Use your email signature to communicate your Christmas opening times
- To have a great Christmas!