As the weather cools off around the United States, the holiday shopping season is heating up. With US retail sales expected to climb 3.8% to $1.008 trillion in 2019, retailers everywhere are preparing for the time of year that’s exciting and profitable, but also stressful.

For many businesses, the holidays are a major revenue generator, and it’s important that they have a plan in place to make the most of this busy time. Instead of hiring extra employees to keep up with the influx of holiday shoppers, many businesses turn to an answering service for some relief.

An answering service can help with tasks like call management, appointment setting, and message relay, freeing up your time to focus on managing your inventory and servicing your in-store customers. Here are some of the other benefits of using a holiday answering service:

  • More calls answered results in higher sales.

When a customer is calling to make a purchase, schedule an appointment, or ask a question about a product or order, they want to speak with someone in a timely, efficient manner. What they don’t want to do is leave a voicemail and wait for someone to call them back.

Even if you generally have your calls under control during the rest of the year, it’s crucial that there are enough people available to speak with your callers during the busy holiday season. With shoppers eager to make their gift purchases, having someone to answer their calls will result in higher sales.

  • A holiday answering service is more cost-efficient than seasonal employees.

When outsourcing to a holiday answering service, you only pay for the calls they actually take. This typically makes an answering service the more cost-efficient option when you’re in need of extra help, as it is cheaper than paying to recruit, hire and train in-house employees. With an answering service, you also save on things like employee benefits, uniforms and equipment, and you don’t have to worry about them calling in sick.

  • More nights off for you and your staff to recharge.

The holiday season hours are often long and hectic, so it’s important for you and your employees to take some time to kick back and relax. Having a holiday answering service to handle your after-hours calls allows you to recharge so you can perform at your best during business hours. An answering service will take your after-hours calls, only contacting you if it is necessary.

  • A holiday answering service can also serve as disaster recovery.

The holiday season happens to be the beginning of the blizzard season, so if a storm strikes, business owners can rest assured that they are covered. In the event that your phone lines are down, a live agent will still be able to service your callers, saving thousands of dollars in lost revenue. It will be business as usual so that customers can call in to place new orders, and those worried about existing orders will feel reassured after speaking with a calm, friendly virtual receptionist.