Managing customer calls over Christmas and New Year

By: Dave Millett

Date: 13 December 2017

Managing customer calls over Christmas and New YearOne of the main balancing acts over the festive break is ensuring that as many staff as possible can have time off to enjoy Christmas and New Year with their families, whilst still maintaining customer service.

So, what are your options?

  1. You could pay another company to answer all your calls thus giving your team a well-deserved break. But does it create the right impression for your company? Are they offering a personalised service that adds value to your company? Can they answer some of the questions posed - if not, how does that actually help? Someone will still have to contact the customer.
  2. If you are keeping the office open with reduced numbers of staff and there is a problem with the phones or internet do know who the suppliers are and do you have the relevant contact details? Some suppliers offer limited support over the Christmas period. It's best to check in advance.
  3. Do you have a contingency plan, especially if you are open on bank holidays? What if you are a pub or shop open on Boxing Day and the broadband fails? It might be worth investing in a 4G router and sim card just in case. Imagine not being able to take card payments on such a busy day.
  4. What happens if something significantly changes the volume of calls you are expecting? One option is use technologies so staff can work from home over the entire Christmas period, or can step in and work from home should call volumes rise unexpectedly. Modern phones systems and VoIP solutions usually support apps so that staff can have their office extension on their mobile phone. The advantage is that there is no cost of diverting calls and people can activate it as required.

After Christmas is over, here are some New Year telecoms resolutions for your business:

  • Test your customers' experience by calling your own company. Often people's first experience of dealing with a company is when they call them - and unfortunately it is not always good.
  • Is the telecoms solution you are using inhibiting the productivity of your staff? Does it allow for expansion or flexible working? Can people reach you when and how they need to? Is your system robust?
  • Are you using the right phone numbers to promote your business? Do you only have a mobile number and no landline? Do you use expensive premium rate numbers?
  • When did you last check the costs you are paying for telecoms? 80% of organisations have not checked their bills in the past two years. With wholesale costs falling, many are significantly overpaying.

Finally, if you have hung up any fairy lights in the office be aware that this may affect your wifi signal and slow it down (sorry - we don't want to be a Scrooge but these are the facts from Ofcom).

Thinking about your telecoms and making a few plans before everyone leaves can help to give you, and your staff, a stress-free festive season.

Sponsored post. Copyright © 2017 Dave Millett, independent telecoms brokerage Equinox.