This year, the National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts that holiday sales will top $630.5 billion, up 3.7 percent from last year’s holiday season. That’s a big part of the reason that as many as 750,000 seasonal positions will be created by businesses just like yours.

As you’re gearing up for the holidays and choosing your seasonal team, you should also be thinking about hiring a seasonal answering service to help fill in the gaps.

The Many Ways Seasonal Answering Services Can Help

According to the NRF, sales during the last two months of the year can account for as much as 30 percent of a business’s income. That’s a lot of business to suddenly appear, making for an incredibly overwhelming winter. Obviously you’re going to pick up some seasonal labor and sales employees, but did you consider how that huge increase of business is going to affect your phone lines?

Customers calling to check inventory, ask simple questions or book appointments need you to pick up the phone quickly and help them with their inquiry instead of placing them on hold as you work your way through a backed-up phone queue. They’re as busy as you are as they try to manage their holiday shopping and planning in the narrow window between November 1 and December 31. If you don’t connect with them quickly, they’ll be gone, off to find someone who will give them the immediate satisfaction they demand.

Partnering with a live answering service gives you a chance to retain those potentially lost customers. In fact, word may quickly get around that your business won’t make people wait in long hold queues for service. Instead, your answering service can handle your customer service inquiries, schedule appointments, check inventories and do a dozen other small things to help your customers have a less stressful holiday season.

How an Answering Service Works

When you hire an answering service, you don’t have to worry that its software will be too hard to employ or that you’ll be unable to forward your calls properly. It’s easy! Your answering service will walk you through setup, then your calls will automatically forward to your new team members right away. Your customers never hear a busy signal because the system will automatically forward any calls that come in while the phone lines are tied up.

Besides making life easier for your customers new and old, hiring an answering service makes callers feel like they’re important to you, 24x7x365. No one likes being placed on hold, or to have to call repeatedly before reaching a human — an answering service is more than just a way of answering all your phone calls, it’s a way to tell your customers that they matter. Increased customer happiness can quickly translate into a higher percentage of dollars spent in your establishment.

During the holiday season, it’s important to remember that little kindnesses can mean a lot. A caller who’s desperately trying to reach a human to answer a simple questions may become a lifetime customer simply because you make their holiday shopping a little easier with the help of an answering service.