Do your customers know your holiday business hours?

Before you head home for the holidays make sure your customers know when you’re open. Credit: Dakota Roos

Do your customers know your holiday hours?

The holidays are approaching and while it’s easy to get caught up in the pre-holiday rush, don’t forget to let your customers know when you’ll be available over Christmas and into the New Year. Customers driving home for the holidays, or realizing snow is forecast, often leave it until the last minute to buy tires. You want to make sure they know when you’re available. Here’s a basic checklist to help you make sure everything is in order before you head home for the holidays.

1. Make sure your Christmas and New Year’s business hours are prominent.
Don’t forget to update the home page of your website, Facebook and any other social media. Add these details to regular advertising too.

2. It is the season of giving.
Do you offer gift vouchers? Now is a good time to let your customers know and spread the word via social media. Gift vouchers are perfect for last minute gifts so keep promoting them right up until you close for the holidays. Don’t forget to give back yourself. A charitable donation from your business spreads goodwill and is a great opportunity to update your customers on your community engagement.

3. Make sure any automated booking systems you use are set up to refuse bookings made while you’re closed.
This author once made an online reservation at a restaurant on a holiday, received an email confirmation, drove across town, and parked the car before discovering the restaurant was closed. Your customer’s time is precious, so don’t waste it.

4. Make sure your voicemail message is up to date with holiday business hours.
This includes the last day you’re able to take appointments this year. If you’re already booking customers into the new year let them know. And don’t forget to say when you’ll be back!

5. Leave signage while you’re away.
It might sound obvious, but make sure you leave some indication of when you’re available while you’re closed. Should someone drop by hoping to get a spare tire fixed, you need to tell them when you’ll be back. If you offer an after-hours service, add in those details.

6. Wish your customers well.
Not only is it good customer service to let your customers know when you’ll be open, but it’s a great opportunity to thank your existing customers for their loyalty and wish them well for the coming year. Simple things add a human touch and make you more likely to be a preferred business. The holidays are a great time to build loyalty and goodwill with your customer base.

7. Reset everything to normal after the holidays.
In the quiet post-holiday weeks, your customers might be catching up on overdue errands. Or, if you’ve offered gift vouchers over Christmas, they might take the opportunity to redeem them. Make sure you take down all the holiday closure messages when you return and reassure your clients that you are taking appointments. Don’t forget to change that voicemail message or an “out of office” message on your company email.

Do you have any regular customer service habits during holiday periods? Let us know.

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