For many people, the holiday season is a hectic period. Business opening hours are often different from what customers are used to, and phone lines are busy. This can be a stressful time for your employees, and a frustrating time for customers who are trying to get through to you.
If, like many businesses, you are closing or reducing your opening hours for the holiday season, it’s important to inform your customers. A virtual phone system that allows you to add a business greeting is an effective way to let people know why you aren’t answering the phone and remind them of your opening dates so they can contact you again in the future when you reopen.
This article will outline some of the key benefits of using holiday phone greetings within your business and provide you with some sample scripts that you can use directly, or customize for your business.
Benefits of using holiday business phone greetings
The phone is still one of the most popular methods for customers to contact local businesses. A 2019 survey by SEO firm BrightLocal revealed that 60% of people preferred to contact businesses over the phone after finding a local business online. In comparison, 16% of respondents preferred to send an email, and 15% preferred to visit the business location. This data shows how important it is to optimize your business phone lines.
With this in mind, here are some of the key benefits of using holiday phone greetings within your business over the festive season:
- It lets your customers know they’ve called the right number.
- It lets your customers know that you have acknowledged their attempt to contact them, and lets them know why you are unable to answer their call.
- It lets customers know you’re not available right now, so they won’t waste time trying to call you over and over.
- It lets customers know when you’ll be open again and reminds them of your opening hours so they know when to call back.
- Wishing your customers a happy holiday season adds a personal touch to professional communication, humanizing your employees and helping you to connect with your customers.
What to cover in your holiday business phone greeting
Your business phone greetings should be short, concise, and straight to the point. Long, rambling announcements can leave your customers confused and frustrated. You should speak slowly, clearly, and rhythmically to make sure that customers understand what you are saying the first time, so they don’t have to call again and relisten to your message.
- Here are some examples of the information that you can cover in your holiday business phone greeting to help keep customers in the loop:
- The name of your business, so customers know that they have called the right number.
- The period in which your business is closed over the holidays, or has reduced opening hours.
- The date on which your business reopens or resumes its standard working hours after the holiday period.
- Whether there is an emergency contact person on call, who they are, when they should be contacted, and how to contact them.
Five business phone greeting samples for the holiday season
To help make sure you cover everything you need to, you should create a script and stick to it strictly. To help you out, we’ve created five sample scripts that you can use for your business.
We understand that every business has different resources and requirements. With this in mind, the first two scripts are for use by businesses with an emergency contact who is available for customers to contact over the holiday period, and the final three scripts are for use by businesses with no emergency contact.
- Hello, you have reached [business name]. We are closed from [date] until [date]. We will resume our standard business hours from [time] until [time] on [date]. In case of an emergency, please contact [emergency contact employee name] at the following number: [telephone number]. Alternatively, you can email us at [email address]. Thank you for calling. Happy holidays!
- Hello, thank you for calling [business name]. We are currently closed. We will reopen on [date], when you can call us between [time] and [time]. For emergency cases, please call the following number [telephone number], or email us at [email address]. Happy holidays, and we look forward to speaking with you in the new year.
- You have reached [business name]. We are closed for the holidays from [date] until [date]. We will resume our standard business operations from [time] until [time] on [date]. We look forward to hearing from you after [date]. Thank you for calling. Happy holidays!
- Happy holidays! Thank you for calling [business name]. We are currently closed from [date] until [date]. When we reopen on [date], we will resume our standard business hours of [time] until [time]. For more information, you can visit our website at [website].
- Happy holidays from all of us at [business name]. We will be closed between [date] and [date]. Please do not hesitate to call us after [date], when our lines will be open between [time] and [time]. We look forward to speaking with you then.
Switching to a cloud phone provider
Being able to set customized business phone greetings is just one of the benefits of switching from a traditional phone system to a cloud phone provider. A cloud phone provider can help you to keep your costs low, while making it easy to route callers to the information, department, or employee that they need.
If you are a small business owner and you’re still using your personal phone to communicate with customers, you can even add a business number and virtual phone system to your personal phone. This can help you to keep personal and business calls separate and look more professional to your customers.
Find out more about switching to a cloud phone provider with Grasshopper to make this year’s holiday season less hectic, and start your free trial today.