Preparing Your Business for the Holidays

The holidays are right around the corner and for many businesses, this can be an extremely busy time with increased call volumes, sales and varying staffing needs, availability and business hours.

Here are some of the key ways that using the right phone system and phone features will ensure your business is prepared for the holiday season ahead.

Cloud-based Phone Systems: Having the right phone system in place is critical every day, but it can make all the difference during busier times of the year, like the holidays. There are many different business phone systems on the market, but having a quality cloud-based system in place with the latest features and technology is definitely essential to keeping your business communications running smoothly. Broadview’s OfficeSuite® Phone is the only 100 percent cloud-based phone system and because nothing is stored on site, it offers optimal mobility and the flexibility to manage and access everything from anywhere online. This is especially helpful for employees, managers and business owners who will need remote access around the holidays. Functions like call routing, voicemail, auto attendants and more can all be managed from the web.

Online Portal: The online portal that your company uses to access and manage your cloud-based phone system is one of the most important aspects to achieving seamless communications for your business. Access from anywhere and any device is critical to make changes to your business communications and personal settings, but the other functionality that it should enable is collaboration amongst your team when they are working outside the office. A great example of the company-wide connectivity available through an online portal is Broadview’s  MyOfficeSuite, which offers the ability to see the availability of each employee and chat instantly with individuals or groups of employees from any device.

Business Hours: Business hours vary during the holidays, whether its extended or shortened hours or even closures. Your call volume needs also vary during different times of the day, week and year. With advanced cloud-based phone systems, you have the ability to adjust incoming call routing settings to accommodate these changes. The best phone systems will offer a Business Hours function where you can pre-set business hour profiles for lunches, breaks and holidays to assign specific team members or phone numbers to those profiles. This ensures that call coverage is adequate for all times of the day and year.

Holiday Auto Attendants: Auto attendants are an incredibly useful feature at all times of the year, but especially during the holidays. Businesses can save time and money be eliminating employees from having to answer every incoming call and can provide customers with the information they need and be directed to the right person every single time no matter who is available. For the holidays, you can record an auto attendant greeting that wishes callers a happy holiday and informs them of your holiday hours, your address, directions and can set a triage of options by department, need or employee, so callers get to the right person. Most customers will be calling to just find out when you are open and closed during this time and auto attendants are the most efficient and cost-effective way to get that information across.

Softphones:
Many employees take time off during the holidays, travel, or work remotely. Staying connected is just as important during this time, especially for those in management or who have assigned customer accounts. If your employees aren’t already equipped with mobile, PC or MAC Softphones, this is the perfect time to get these installed. Softphones turn any device into your office phone and allow you to make and receive calls from your business phone number or extension, while enjoying the full functionality of your desk phone back at the office.

Video Conferencing:
A must-have for everyday use both internally and with customers and clients is a video, audio and web conferencing solution, but especially around the holidays. Some businesses close in between Christmas and New Years, but many don’t, and employees still need to meet with clients or internally and may be traveling to see family or working from an alternate location than the office. Advanced video conferencing and online meeting platforms like Broadview’s HD Meeting allow you and your employees and clients to meet face-to-face, share documents, collaborate, present and host group calls from any device, anywhere. The work doesn’t need to stop and neither does your holiday time away from the office.

Call Center Services: Call Center Services offer more advanced calling capabilities, which include routing calls differently based on company schedules, call queuing, call recording and quality assurance. When call volumes are at their highest, like during the holidays, proper call queues and customer service are hugely important. Call Center services provides your business with the tools to manage the high call volumes, as well as the metrics to see how your team is performing and the data to help you plan accordingly for the following year, which can be extremely beneficial.

 

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