Retailers everywhere are gearing up for another busy holiday sales season, but you should be making plans for the glut of calls you’re likely to experience as a result of busy shoppers searching in a frenzy for the perfect gift.

Whether you’re suddenly seeing a spike in gift card sales or inventory that’s moving out the door at break-neck speed, you’re going to need to figure out where the extra labor is coming from. For many companies, a lot of the holiday season slack can be picked up by an answering service.

How An Answering Service Can Help Ease the Holiday Rush

Even if you generally have your calls under control during the rest of the year, you know the holiday season can get pretty crazy without much warning.

One day everything is fine and the next, shoppers are everywhere, people are calling about booking last-minute appointments, there are questions coming from all over and it’s complete bedlam in every customer service channel. Before your efforts dissolve into a level of chaos that can cause seriously negative feedback, bringing in the right help can be a great boon.

Here are just a few services that an answering service can offer to help ease your burden during the crazy holiday season:

  • Overflow call handling. Your staff does their best to handle each and every call that comes in, but sometimes they just can’t get there in time. Whether that’s because they’re busy handling customers in the store or juggling other phone lines, your answering service can take over the unanswered callers and help customers with their basic questions and concerns. Good customer service breeds happy, loyal customers, after all.
  • Organized message relay. The last thing you need during the holiday season is to have to pull messages off of your voicemail system manually. Besides the general hesitancy of callers to leave messages, it’s difficult to prioritize these calls when what’s left is often an incomplete request for a call back with no information about what the customer actually needs. Your answering service will take detailed messages and organize them into a call log so you can return the most pressing calls first.
  • Appointment setting. It can be really time consuming to set appointments, especially when people are trying to squeeze in before holiday trips or between holiday shopping. Instead of letting your staff get overwhelmed, empower your answering service to help out! Using software that integrates with the tool you’re already using, they can help set appointments at the same time as your regular staff, eliminating the fear of double bookings and making sure that more clients are served in the same amount of time.

There’s still time to get ready for the holiday answering service season! By partnering with an answering service this year, you’ll not only find that you’re more present for your in-store customers, but that your telephone customers get better service, too.