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?
The challenges faced by seasonal businesses
Nearly every business is challenged by seasonality.
Whether it’s shops experiencing a Christmas rush or car dealerships seeing a boost in sales when new number plates comes out, every business has some times of year than are busier than others.
But what about those businesses though that are truly seasonal?
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 spooooookily 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 business.
One of the biggest challenges is staffing.
During the off season, there isn’t much work to do. If you employ staff, the chances are you’ll end up wasting money paying for their down time.
If you don’t employ staff however you risk missing important calls or 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 to make money.
Fortunately – that’s where an overflow reception service can help.
What is an overflow reception service?
An overflow reception service will answer any calls that your business cannot answer. Basically, instead of calls going to an answer phone, they will go into an outsourced contact centre where they will be handled by friendly, helpful and professional PAs. Sometimes this is called a remote 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.
But why exactly should seasonal businesses use an overflow reception service?
How can an overflow reception service help?
When you’re a seasonal business every time of year is a challenge.
In the off season you’re struggling with no income, and on the on season you struggle with the massive amounts of customers.
An overflow reception service will help you with both.
During the off season, an overflow reception service is the most affordable way to make sure you never miss a call.
With a reception service, you pay on a per call or a per minute basis, which makes it much cheaper than paying a salary.
If your off season is the winter, it could be the case you’re only taking a couple of calls a week.
There’s no reason to pay a receptionist to manage these. Simply try and answer them yourself, and allow any that you can’t answer go the overflow reception service.
And during the on season you can still benefit.
It’s probably the case that during your on season you get busy enough to hire someone.
However, it’s important to get as much business and money as possible during this busy period, so it’s vital you don’t miss any calls.
When you use an overflow reception service, any calls your reception team can’t get to will be answered by a real person at the overflow reception service.
This is much better than it going to an engaged tone or an answer machine and it will help you to win more business during your profit making time of year.
How to choose the right overflow reception service for your seasonal business
When it comes to choosing the right overflow reception service for your business, you need to make a list of your requirements.
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.
Similarly, not all reception services are 24 hour, so you need to decide if this is important to you before choosing.
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.
Whichever one you choose though, an overflow reception service is a good way for seasonal businesses to manage general enquiries during the off season, and to support the in-house team during peak periods.
If you want to know more about the services that are available to your with an overflow reception service, visit our outsourced call centre page.