We’re in the final stretch of the selling season, and this means many of you are considering special holiday hours.  Once you decide on a holiday schedule, don’t leave your customers in the dark.  Make it easy for your customers to know when to shop with you, by effectively communicating your special holiday hours over the next few weeks, with these six simple steps:

#1)  Send an email to your customer list.  Prepare an email to go out on December 16 or 17 to let you customers know what your business hours will be through the beginning of January.  Extending your hours, open on Sundays, or having a special event during the final week before Christmas?   Taking a few days off between Christmas and New Years Day?  Let your customers know what your schedule will be, and when you are open for them to shop, by sending an email outlining your holiday schedule.

#2)  Add your special holiday hours into your Google My Business, Bing listing, and YELP.  People who are looking for you online will easily be able to see whether you are open or closed, and when they can shop.

#3)  Update your company voicemail message with a greeting that shares your special holiday schedule.  This allows customers who call your business during off-hours will have a way to easily keep up with your holiday hours.  Updating your voicemail with important business hour changes provides a better customer service experience for callers throughout the holiday season.

#4)  Incorporate any changes in your normal operating hours into your social media postings.  Create special graphics to let your customers know whether you are open, closed, or extending your hours to make holiday shopping easier.

#5)  Don’t forget your website!  Take a moment to share your holiday operating hours in a prominent place on your website, so customers don’t have to guess.  Many businesses list their normal operating hours in their contact information, which is great, but then forget to add a note about special holiday operating hours.  If you don’t want to change your hours on your website just for the holidays, then add a note under your normal operating hours that says, “Hours of operation may change during the holidays” and leave that message up all year long.  Include after-hours contact information, such as a phone number or email address, if your store offers 24/7 customer service, as well.

#6)  Add an away message to your email account.  Away messages work like magic.  Customers who receive an away message appreciate the extra effort you are showing with regard to customer service, and tend to be more patient in waiting for a response when you return.  Make sure to include information on when you expect to return, and when you will begin responding to emails. 

It’s not uncommon for operating hours to change during the holidays, and customers expect it.  Using the steps above to communicate your holiday hours will keep your customers in the know, and keep them coming back.

Want to know more about communicating changes in your holiday schedule to your customers, have questions about this article, or want to suggest a topic for me to cover in future blogs? I’d love to hear from you! Email me at Ann@JewelersSuite.com today!

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