One 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.
Dave Millet from Equinox highlight some option for you.
- 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 very 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.
- If you are keeping the office open with reduced numbers of staff and there is a problem with the phones or internet, do the staff know who the suppliers are and do they have the relevant contact details for them? Some suppliers offer limited support over the Christmas period. Best to check in advance.
- 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.
- What happens when something dramatically changes the volume of calls you are expecting? For example, a home insurance company whose customers suddenly get caught out by unexpected floods. One option is to use technology 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 the 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 last 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, slowing it down (sorry – we don’t want to be a Scrooge but here are the facts from Ofcom).
By thinking about your telecoms and making a few plans, before everyone leaves for mulled wine and mince pies, can really help to give you and your staff a stress-free festive season.