The holiday season means different things to different businesses. For retail businesses, Christmas is obviously the busiest time of year. For a swimming pool supply company (in the Northeast at least) not so much.

But whether the holidays are a busy or slow season for your business, you should take the steps needed to prepare your customer phone system to handle the season. If you do a lot of business during the holidays, you need to prepare to handle an increased volume of calls and set the system to make sure customer calls are steered to employees that can help them. If it’s a slow season – especially of you take time off at the holidays – you need to make sure that messages are correctly stored and emergency calls can get answered.

MAX Communication can help you make sure that your phone system is properly designed to handle your business’s particular needs and help you get the most from your system.

Here’s a look at some areas that you should consider when setting up your system for the holiday season.

Adjust messages and “on hold” prompts to reflect your holiday business hours

Once you have decided on what your holiday season hours will be you can record new prompts for your auto attendant. The auto attendant is designed to steer calls through your business without needing a receptionist. However, you don’t want the system telling customers that your store or office is closed when you are actually open for extended hours. Conversely, if you close the office at the holidays, your prompts should reflect when customers will likely get a call back. The same holds true for voicemail and other prompts and recorded messages.

Knowing these hours will also help in deciding whether you need to offer an emergency contact and how that contact can be reached.

Record seasonal messages 

Setting recorded hold music to holiday tunes and greeting customers with a “Seasons Greetings” message promotes a good customer view of your business and is simply a nice touch for the season. These messages can be set in your auto attendant. Though it’s usually a good idea to keep messages short, adding longer seasonal greetings is expected by customers, especially if you do increased business at the holidays.

Keep in mind that this prompt should include your holiday hours and other important information for customers.

Consider emergency contacts 

This area depends strongly on your business. If you offer 24/7 emergency service, consider adding a way for customers to reach the emergency contact through an interactive voice response. In other words, have the system ask if they wish to automatically call the contact.

For businesses that offer set hours or close at the holidays, this may not be the best option, but you could still provide a voicemail box that will be checked frequently.

Consider professionally recorded voice prompts 

Professionally recorded prompts can be cost effective, especially if they can be reused for several years. These prompts can also add value to your brand and simply make your business sound more professional. If personally recorded, there are several tutorials easily available to get the most out of your prompts.

Promote sales and specials 

Along with your holiday hours, greeting prompts and messages can promote any holiday specials and sales – especially through “on hold” messages. Some research indicates that as many as 20 percent of callers on hold make purchases due to these types of messages.

MAX Communications is your South Jersey business telecommunications solution. Whether your business is looking to upgrade or install, we’re here to help your business do business. Call us at 856.825.6000 or contact us online.