How overflow reception services can be the saving grace for seasonal businesses

Seasonal businesses can make more than 70% of their revenue in just a few months.
Could overflow reception services be their saving grace?

Challenges faced by seasonal businesses

Whether it’s shops experiencing a Christmas rush, or car dealerships seeing a boost in sales when new number plates come out, nearly every business is at some point challenged by seasonality.

But what about businesses that are truly seasonal and solely operate within set yearly time frames? The ski trip providers waiting for the snow to fall, the Christmas shops getting ready for the festive season, or the haunted house owners putting everything into a spookingly good Halloween.

For businesses like these, seasonality presents more challenges than a few busy days once or twice a year. It dictates everything about the way they do operate as a business. One of the biggest challenges faced is staff recruitment- during the off-season, the business’ workload is relatively low. Employing permanent staff can substantially increase your overheads when their workload is minimal most of the year. However, not employing staff risks missing important business calls and emails from potential clients and providers.

While these calls may be few and far between, missing one could drastically affect the small window you have each year.

In a nutshell…

An overflow reception service will answer any calls that your business cannot answer. Instead of calls going to an answer phone, they will go to an outsourced call centre where they will be handled by friendly, helpful and professional operators. Sometimes this is called a remote, or virtual reception. Given that 80% of people don’t leave voicemails, an overflow reception service will make sure you never miss a call or lose any important business that could affect your on-season.

Dealing with your highs and lows

When you’re a seasonal business every time of year is a challenge

  • In the off-season, you’re struggling with no income.
  • In the on-season, you struggle with the extensive amount of customers.

During the off-season, an overflow reception service is the most affordable way to make sure you never miss a call. Overflowing your calls means you pay on demand for the number of calls received, making it cheaper than paying staff to handle a handful of calls a week. Simply try and answer them yourself, and allow any that you can’t answer reach an overflow reception service.

It’s probably the case that you’re busy enough during your on-season to hire a receptionist. However, it’s important to get as much business possible during this busy period, so you don’t miss any calls. If you keep your contract with an overflow reception, any simultaneous calls that your team can’t handle will be answered by a real person at your overflow reception.

This makes sure you have excellent customer service all year round and increased opportunities and profit margins.

Finding “the one”

Different providers will be able to offer different services, for example, some will only take a message while others will be able to provide order taking, appointment booking, and more. Taking a look at a telephone answering service’s packages can help you gain an understanding of what service is right for your business.

If you’re not sure, it’s best to choose a basic package from a provider who can offer extra features if required as it’s much easier to upgrade your package than it is to move to a different overflow reception service. Similarly, choosing a 24-hour service maximises your business opportunities and opens you up to international customers who’d call you when you’re not readily available.