Here’s a fact to ruin your afternoon – the upcoming bank holiday is the only remaining bank holiday between now and Christmas! Almost impossible to imagine, given how it feels like 2019 has only really just gotten underway.
In any case, it’s the truth – the August bank holiday arrives next Monday, then it’s the countdown to the festive season. Prior to this, however, you might want to ensure it’s an ‘all hands on deck’ situation next Tuesday. This is because you could be in for one of the busiest days, if not the busiest day of the entire year.
According to Moneypenny – one of the UK’s leading outsource communication firms – call volumes to estate agents almost always increase by around 10% the day after a bank holiday. The vast majority of these additional calls coming in between 9.00 AM and 11:00 AM, often serving as a rude awakening for the unprepared.
Moneypenny discovered the trend by analysing data collected around several bank holidays that have come and gone, which in all instances led to a spike in call volumes the next day.
“When people are away from the stresses of work, they’re given time and space to think about their personal lives and take care of some ‘life admin’,” commented Joanne Tattum, business relationship manager at Moneypenny.
“As a result, it’s extremely common for the days following holidays to be used to contact professionals such as estate agents to help take care of matters like looking for their next home or putting an existing property on the market.”
According to the firm’s research, the two bank holidays during May are followed by the biggest spikes in phone calls to estate agents. Tuesday, May 3 saw a huge a 34% increase in calls compared to the week before, while the later May bank holiday brought about a further 13% increase. That would account to 47% more calls on this later Telephone Tuesday, compared to the week before the May 3 bank holiday.
The question being – what does this mean for telephone Tuesday in August?
Expect the Unexpected
Ms. Tattum went on to explain that the spike in telephone calls following a bank holiday is far more than just a temporary inconvenience for the estate agent. It’s also an opportunity to capitalise on a day of elevated interest in your rservices. Not to mention, the perfect chance to frustrate, irritate and drive your customers directly into the arms of your competitors if you get it wrong.
“Poor client communication is a cause of great frustration among consumers and businesses should do all they can to avoid this occurring,” she warned.
It remains to be seen if and to what extent the same trend plays out next Tuesday. Nevertheless, there’s a good chance it will, so the general advice is to expect the unexpected. Chances are, you will have a limited contingency of staff members available to answer calls during peak-demand hours. In which case, it’s worth revisiting a few basic telephone etiquette pointers for busy times.
Examples of which include:
· Being mindful of your tone of voice, ensuring you don’t make it too obvious you’re rushed off your feet and struggling to cope when you pick up the phone.
· Giving each caller your full attention and not attempting to rush things, in order to catch the next call.
· Where possible, take the details of non-urgent callers and return their calls at a slightly less chaotic time later on.
· Expecting that some customers will be pretty irate at the time it took them to get through.
· Listening to recorded voice mail messages as quickly as possible after they are left and getting back to those who couldn’t get through as promptly as you can.
Above all else, it’s worth remembering that a day of excessive demand is far better than a day a disappointing demand. Just as long as you’re prepared for it, Telephone Tuesday could be pure gold for your estate agency.