It’s essential to stay connected with family and friends while on holiday, and to take a break from your work routine so that you can recharge. With Easter around the corner, you might be planning a camping trip away with friends, travelling to your favourite holiday destination or simply spending time at home to rejuvenate while indulging in some chocolate. Indeed, this plan sounds good and well, but sometimes it can be difficult for business owners to sit back and relax when there are enquiries, incoming calls and other matters knocking at their door. In our blog we unpack 3 easy steps on how you can take care of your business while on holidays.
1. Implement a BCP Plan
Business continuity planning (BCP) is defined as the capability of a business to continue the delivery of their service or product following a disruptive event. A BCP solution is relevant for businesses of all sizes as it eliminates confusion common to every disruptive event and provides a clear outline for what must be done. Generally, a BCP solution remains in a dormant state, but in high availability mode, such that it can be activated with little or no notice at all. Quite simply, if implemented properly, a BCP plan can make the difference between operational uptime or disruptive closure. Live answering and virtual reception services have formed an integral component to many organisations’ BCP plans, especially with regard to their call handling processes and broader communication strategies.
Introducing a BCP service relies heavily in solution design. For example, a virtual reception service must be customised to the exact needs of the business. This involves designing a pre-determined script tailored to your business scope. It may also include access to third-party software such as a booking system or company web-based software (where required). The virtual receptionist can handle communication in accordance with specific protocols that have been developed ahead of time. Indeed, a virtual receptionist may not be used at all times. But, for those remote events which could occur while you’re on holiday, a live answering service can make the difference between operational uptime or disruptive closure.
2. Maintain 24/7 Coverage
Does any business ever truly stop? There’s always a chance that something could go wrong while you’re on holiday, or that someone needs to discuss an urgent matter. Whether it’s a burst pipe, broken heater, medical emergency, urgent legal advice request or simply a client wanting to make an important enquiry, it’s imperative to stay somewhat available to your clients. This is where a virtual receptionist can step in and keep your business running. Virtual receptionists are available 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, ensuring that your customers always have a personalised point of contact, no matter the time of day or night.
In simple terms, a virtual receptionist is a highly trained call-centre agent who answers calls using a customised script. For example, the agent may answer the call with the opening phrase, ‘Thank you for calling (Your company name). You’re speaking to Jess, how can I help you?’ The receptionist takes a detailed message of the call and then relays it straight back to you via your preferred communication channel. While you’re on holiday, you can assess which messages can wait for you return, and which ones require urgent action. It also means that you don’t need to worry about monitoring your incoming phone calls because it will all be managed for you. Best of all, a virtual receptionist doesn’t need time off, holiday pay, or annual leave. It is a fraction of the cost compared to an in-house receptionist.
3. Prepare Your Business In Advance for Your Holiday
The key to unwinding on a holiday, without needing to stress about your business, is to prepare your staff in advance for your absence. Preparation may include organising an after-hours roster for trade businesses, or on-call nurses for urgent medical requests. Whatever the reason, preparing a roster can help facilitate smoother communication because all personnel will be aware of who is working. It may also be worth sending an email to your clients with details of who to contact while you’re on away from work. That way, you won’t be dealing with last minute requests while you’re packing and preparing to leave.
Avoid scheduling anything to “go live” (such as a new website, marketing campaign, software system update etc) right before you leave or immediately following your return from holiday. The last thing you want is to be dealing with problems or mistakes as you’re about to board a plane, or when your family is waiting for you to go on an Easter egg hunt.
Planning ahead may also entail setting up a short-term live answering service while you’re away. This service helps manage incoming calls to your business. It ensures that all customers have a personalised point of contact 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. Even if the service is not utilised, you only pay per call taken. Thus, it’s an affordable and cost-effective solution to implement over the holidays.
These simple steps can help make the difference between a stressful holiday and one where you can sit back and relax.
Offload your calls to TMC, so you can enjoy your break.
Let TMC do the hard work for you while you’re on holidays. Short-term live answering and virtual reception services are designed to relieve you and your reception staff from incoming calls during the holiday period. Our Australian Based call centre operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round. Thus, your service is guaranteed to be working, even on public holidays like Good Friday or Easter Saturday.
TMC has the best people and technology to ensure optimal delivery and performance at affordable prices. You can outsource on a long term, short term or ad hoc basis – this can come in handy during the holiday season.