With the holidays just around the corner, many businesses and practices are facing their busiest time of year.

The holiday season can often mean a big increase in calls from current customers as well as new inquiries. In both cases, the incoming calls need to be answered quickly, professionally and to the customer’s satisfaction. This can be difficult if a business is understaffed or isn’t properly prepared to take so many calls.

Fortunately, answering services can help businesses of all size from local one-man service shops to nationwide product shippers. With an answering service, your business can capture all of those incoming calls and make sure that sales stay high and customer experiences stay positive.

Here are some ways an answering service can help save your holidays:

Answering services can take incoming calls for new orders.

Running a holiday special or investing in advertising during the holiday season? Chances are your call volume is going to increase, and you need live, professional call staff in order to take those calls. Rather than hiring seasonal workers and dealing with all of the paperwork involved, try an answering service.

Answering services are ideal for helping with your increased call volume due to holiday orders. Direct sales companies often rely on answering services during the entire year, and then bump up their virtual staff during the holiday season. Virtual receptionists from an answering service can scale to take more incoming orders during peak sales times – typically the weekend after Thanksgiving and the weeks leading up to Christmas. With a professional answering service’s help, you can train the receptionists to handle typical customer orders, work with your ordering system and provide support to holiday shoppers.

Answering services can help with customer service overflow calls.

During the holiday season, customers are looking for two things – a great deal and customer service when they need it. This is a stressful time of year for many people, and wondering when a package is going to arrive makes it even more stressful. Your customers may be calling your business at a higher rate than normal, and you need a way to handle those calls. Many of those calls may be about basic information – like your store hours, return policies, billing issues or shipping tracking. These questions can easily be handled by a third party – and should be!

If you rely on your regular staff during this busy time of year for these basic questions, you might not be able to maintain a high quality of customer service. When the staff answering the calls is rushed and trying to deal with a higher call volume, they won’t be at their best. In addition, they’ll be drawn away from more important work during this busy time of year. By using an answering service armed with essential order tracking and customer service information, you can keep both incoming callers and your staff happy.

This is part one in a two-part series. Read part two here.