Holidays & Seasonal Closures: How to Handle Professional Calls While Away?
Most workers still handle email and professional calls while on holiday. In fact, 45% of Brits admitted to handling work related communications on holiday and according to Linkedin career expert Blair Decembrele, some 40% of US employees check work emails or take work phone calls mostly because they don't want to fall behind. While this usually helps to ensure a smooth return to the office for some, there is a great handful of people who see this constant link with work as a real pain.Whether you decide to take a break from work altogether while on holiday or continue to run your business remotely, we have some tips for you!Throughout this article, we'll be illustrating some best practices to ensure optimal management of your professional calls whether or not your company remains active during holidays.
Your company is closed
1 - Update your phone system
It's important that your callers be aware that your company is closed. This means that you'll need to record an announcement indicating this closure. Also let callers know how to obtain information or advice, or what to do if they wish to cancel a service or return a product. You can also set up voicemail with a greeting that assures your callers that you'll be calling them back, allowing you to respond to requests as soon as you return to the office. And of course, also let callers know when your business will reopen.Finally, consider adding a little positivity to your phone greeting and remind your callers that they're important by wishing them a pleasant holiday! The important thing is that they don't feel abandoned if you're not able to take care of their request right away.
2 - Use an on-call answering service
If processing incoming calls is essential for your business, hiring an outside company to do this is a good idea. This will allow you to provide your callers with better customer service and answers to their questions 24/7.
This will also allow your callers to obtain answers to more complex requests rather than simply listening to a long list of recorded menu options or FAQs (placing orders or making appointments, for example).This is especially useful, given that the majority of consumers consider an immediate response to increase their loyalty!
Your company is staying open, but you want to decrease your workload
1 - Plan around your team's time off
Before considering the different processes that you could put in place to ensure your continued activity during the holiday, try to anticipate employee unavailability a few weeks - or even months - in advance.Verify how much time off each team member is taking as well as their exact dates and ask them for a bit of flexibility so that someone will always be available. Finally, remind them to inform their contacts of the dates they plan to be absent via email or voicemail announcement.Consider setting up a meeting with your employees to assess projects in progress and anticipate any potential problems in their absence.
2 - Update your IVR and call reception
If your workforce is small, you can set up call routing to distribute your calls according to which team is present in the office.Using a simple and user-friendly phone system solution will allow you to set up call routing in a few clicks and easily determine call distribution according to agent availability - don't waste long hours recreating your entire IVR from scratch!
Stay available in case of emergencies
Want to keep an eye on your company's activity while on holiday? Ringover gives you access to numerous features that allow you to track your business activity and still enjoy your time off.Personalise a schedule for receiving or forwarding your calls so that you won't be disturbed at the wrong times and continue to receive calls according to usual settings. Set your account to receive email notifications for missed calls or voicemails.If you only wish to remain available for certain contacts in particular (for follow-up on an important case, for example), you can configure your account so that you'll only be notified when these priority contacts try to reach you. With phone reception no longer limited to a customer's first contact with your company, you need to keep them happy throughout their experience with you, at all times. Thanks to the many features Ringover offers, managing your phone system while on holiday has never been easier! Determine opening hours for your IVR, set up call routing and personalise greetings in just a few clicks to ensure the best service to your callers even while out of the office!Don't hesitate to request a demo of the solution from one of our sales representatives - you can also try Ringover for free for 7 days! So what are you waiting for?