The “December Call Drop”: How to counter the winter season trends

What a blast 2012 has been. It’s almost time to wrap it up and charge head first into 2013 with high hopes, goals and aspirations, but before that there’s the end of year winter season to tackle, and the December Call Drop that comes with it.

In this article, I’ll show you some interesting statistics straight from Mediahawk Vision that shows how dramatically calls can drop as we approach the end of the year and what you can do about it.

Let’s take a look at the following graph from an example retail company (and client of ours) that shows the volume of calls, month on month, for 2011:

December call drop graph 1.

As you can see, as well as the drop in April for the Easter period, there is also a significant drop in calls during the month of December. This isn’t anything new, but what happens if we break the year down week by week?

December call drop graph 2.

Looking at this graph we can see that over the last three years the amount of calls made take a heavy nosedive over the two week holiday season at the end of each year.

But what about the calls that are made? What happens to them? It is very possible that many businesses are throwing away potential business by letting those phone calls slip through the net.

If someone needs your service urgently, right now, but when they come to make the call nobody is there to answer, do you think they’re going to wait around until the beginning of January when there might be? More than likely they’ll just find someone else who is around to serve them.

Let’s take a look at calls received by this example company over the December period, looking at the statistics of total number of calls made and compare it with those that were ineffective (i.e. not answered)

December call drop graph 3.

As you can see, there is a dramatic drop in calls made from the 24th to 27th December in comparison to the rest of this period. Business grinds to a halt on Christmas day and then slowly starts to increase, although the volume still doesn’t quite get back to normal until 4th January.

Perhaps your business isn’t run in a way that can ensure someone is by the phone consistently during this time. If you’re in a more consultative or service driven business this might certainly be the case, and a graph similar to the one above might look even more dramatic between the period of 24th December and beginning of January. So what can you do?

There are several services out there that can act as a call centre for you while no one is by the phone in-house. You would simply forward all calls to the number provided and they would act as employees of your business, using scripts provided by you.

From there they would take a message, as well as contact details, and forward them to you via email. Then you could get really proactive and act upon the calls that provide the hottest opportunities, forwarding them to staff that you might place on-call if these particular situations arise.

It’s one of many ideas to make sure that sales opportunities are being caught before falling through the net.

Do you have any other ideas, or does your business cope with this differently? Let us know in the comments below.

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