If you’re one of our followers and have kept an eye on the blog over time, you’ll know that we do a lot of research on the impact bank holidays, such as the coming Easter one this weekend, have on incoming calls to your business.
The effect it has is obviously there, and we have some suggestions to help you counter some of these downfalls this holiday brings. But first, let’s check out what happened during the ‘Easter week’ in 2012 compared to an average week (the one before). We analysed call data from a retailer client to create this graph:
No surprise to see that the number of calls dropped during the Easter weekend (especially on Friday and Monday). What is unusual is the spike in calls on the Tuesday once everyone is ‘back at work’. This happens for several businesses year-on-year but not everyone is prepared for it once they return from the holiday.
Something else to note is that the number of calls might drop significantly during this weekend, but they can still be quite high in number, and this can go for both B2C and B2B companies. So what can we do to make our telemarketing more effective? Here are some proven tactics that you can employ not just for this coming weekend, but for future seasonal holidays too.
Create a system for dealing with inbound enquiries
As I mentioned above, the number of inbound calls might dip but they are still coming in high frequency for the retail business we looked at above, and it’s likely the case will be the same for you, too.
Counter this by having a system in place for dealing with inbound calls over the long bank holiday. You could have something as simple as a voicemail greeting, however it would be more effective to route the calls to a central point or service where operators act as ambassadors for your business, making sure your prospects/customers are connecting with another human being.
Cover usual working hours
People aren’t typically aware of the change in opening hours, so the calls you do receive over the Easter period will most likely be during these times. For instance if you’re usually open from 9am to 6pm on a Friday then chances are your customers and prospects will think it’s business as usual come the beginning of this bank holiday on Good Friday.
Counter this by making sure your inbound calls are being taken care of during this time, either by implementing the tactic mentioned above or by getting some of your staff to help out during these periods.
Brief staff for the influx of calls
If you check out the graph above, you’ll see that the number of inbound calls dramatically increased on the Tuesday once everyone returned back to work. It’s likely that this will be the case for you too, and if your staff aren’t prepared for this it’s possible they might get overwhelmed.
Arm yourself with the knowledge we provide here and give your staff the heads up they need. This way they can manage themselves and plan their day/week in order to accommodate this influx of calls.
Use call tracking to identify other ‘busy periods’
The data from the retail business we took from the beginning of this blog post can often be applied to other businesses, but as with everything else in business, it’s never a “one size fits all” solution.
Call tracking is great for discovering which parts of the year are affected by a change in inbound call frequency. Perhaps you have a very busy summer while the months of March and April are very quiet, or perhaps your business defies the status quo by having an incredibly busy Christmas period. Having a call tracking system in place can help you to discover this.