With the season around the corner, now is the time to anticipate holiday chaos, plan for staff time off and learn to handle customers panicking because they are overloaded. Do you know how your clients will reach out to their customers at this time of year? Have you thought about what they need to know to be prepared? Making sure you are staffed up and employees can anticipate the kinds of tech problems clients may encounter is one step in the right direction. Here are some ideas on how to plan for the best way to manage your customers and your own staff so you are not only prepared but able to keep your cool.
Get Informed and Stay Connected
According to the latest polls, 8 out of 10 small businesses are optimistic about the upcoming holiday sales. But to help keep them that way remember that even if your business doesn't revolve around holiday shopping sprees, your clients might. Have you discussed with them where the key tipping points are in their technology and how you can help them keep everything humming?
More companies these days are using technology to leverage that good shopping experience for their customers. That means that you, as their IT and technology guru, need to be able to offer pro-active services to help them keep their customers happy. As more people shop online for holiday gift buying, your small business clients are counting on your technology expertise to help them stay on top.
Find A Balance Between Life and Work
This is the time of year many staff will feel stressed. Work may be cranking up a notch, but so is the home front. In fact, this is the one time of the year when you may find that your most reliable workers are not quite as focused because of family events. By recognizing this early on and scheduling so everyone has time for both aspects of life, you will lower stress and increase productivity. Helping you and your staff find the balance between the needs of the office and the call of the family holidays may in the end give them the best of both worlds. And you will spend less on coffee and aspirin this holiday.
Shore Up Your Supply Chain
This is an excellent time to reconnect with all your vendors. If you have a sudden rush, can they handle it? The bottleneck in your business might be that vendor who just can't handle big orders or is not flexible enough to make sudden changes. The holidays are always a time when your clients will make demands because they are getting them from their own customers. Do you have the kind of relationship with your staff and vendors that can take the heat and keep on producing?
Test Drive Those Websites
If you are a website developer, make sure to do a quick check of your client sites before the holiday rush hits. This can include your own site, since your customers will be hitting it at lightning speed when they suddenly find that demand exceeds ability on their shopping cart software or coupon download app. If you are prepared for glitches in the system, you can bring that response time down when those panicked customers call.
Reward Your Top Clients and Employees
In the midst of all this preparation don't forget to give recognition to the season. Now is the perfect time to reach out to your clients with small tokens of appreciation. The same goes for your employees. Has someone gone above and beyond the call of duty? Do you have a client who has shown endless patience even when things don't work right the first time? Here at EzPSA we have noticed that when you let your clients and employees know they are appreciated, it has never been a bad decision. So make this holiday season a great one. Share the joy with those around you and keep the stress down with some careful planning today.