As a small business owner, you have probably begun to prepare for the upcoming holiday season. As you anticipate a peak in sales as well as operating costs, it is crucial to formulate a strategy to ensure that your business performance is at its peak, too.

The holiday rush can open many doors of opportunity, including expanding your business’s reach by introducing yourself to new customers. To earn their loyalty long after the season ends, it is important to provide the best customer service possible—even when you are at your busiest.

It is easy to be overwhelmed by the holiday workload, but if you anticipate the challenges and properly prepare yourself, you can save a lot of time, money, and headaches.

Start early

Perhaps the easiest way to get ahead of the holiday rush is to start early. Look at last year’s numbers to anticipate the volume of orders to get an idea of how many supplies you will need, or if this is your business’s first holiday experience, dig up some research on your competitors and the standard increase in sales for businesses similar to yours during the November and December months. This way, you will have everything you need long before the rush begins so you don’t have to scramble for materials and resources later.

Don’t hesitate to get extra help

While you may think you can power through it on your own, it is wise to hire extra help to ensure that you don’t stress yourself out and each customer has a pleasant experience. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should hire a full-time employee. At a fraction of the price, you can hire a live virtual receptionist and pay only for the time your need. Virtual receptionists can assist with everything from order processing and customer service to live web chat and phone support. This way, you not only save time and money by outsourcing these tasks to a professional—you create a more professional image for your business, whether it is over the phone or through your web based commerce system.

Hiring a full-time staff member at the beginning of the holiday season is not only more expensive than virtual receptionist services, it is also more time consuming. When each passing moment could mean another sale, it is best to use your time wisely. Hiring a new employee forces you to take time training them to perform duties for your business, and then more time is lost during the employee’s learning curve. Alternatively, you can hire a virtual receptionist already trained for your industry.

Increase customer satisfaction for long-term benefits

Shopping volume increases dramatically during the holidays, which means your business is likely to be busier than ever. As you rush to process and ship orders while keeping your momentum, it is important to make the extra effort to ensure each customer is happy with their experience. By hiring a live virtual receptionist, you can make each customer interaction with your business is personal and enjoyable without losing any more of your valuable time. Virtual receptionist services include many features that can keep your customers in the holiday spirit and increase the likelihood of them returning months after the holiday season—increasing long-term profit and brand loyalty.

As a result of outsourcing this work, you save money on operating costs, increase profit, establish a highly professional image for your business as you draw in new customers, and perhaps the most important benefit of all, make more time available for you to spend with your family during the holiday season.

Make sure you are prepared for the busy holiday season with virtual receptionist services from Davinci.