How to Prep Your Team for a New Crop of Seasonal Customers

How to prep for a new crop of customers

Small Business Saturday is just days away, and that means one thing for many small businesses – a big influx of new customers is headed your way. Congratulations!

Now, don’t panic. With the right preparation and planning, you can make sure your business is ready for any new crop of seasonal customers – whether during an event like the holiday shopping season or a normal peak in prime business time. Here are seven things to check off your list:

1) Ramp Up Staffing

One of the biggest gifts you can give your business during peak times is the boost of extra staff to help you meet demands. By turning to a staffing company to help you hire and staff your business to level out during peak times, you can build your team to help cope with the demand of a busy season.

2) Set Clear Expectations

Especially when integrating seasonal workers into your existing team, it’s important to clarify your expectations with everyone on your team. But even with your core staff, it’s critical to remind them what you expect of them – from professionalism to promptness to courtesy – make sure everyone is clear on your standards to ensure new customers have the best possible service even during peak hours.

3) Train, Train, Train

Training shouldn’t start and end at new hire orientation, but unfortunately, it can be hard to keep up with it. So, especially during times of increased volume, take time to train your team on important things such as how to handle calls, how to deal with important procedures, how to handle sales conversations, and how record critical customer information like their email address so you can continue to follow up with them to retain their business.

4) Communicate Specials & Redemption Processes

If you have a seasonal promotion going on, make sure every single person on your team is aware of it – whether or not it’s technically their “job,” including details on what qualifies for certain deals or how to redeem coupons from a mobile device. Driving new customers through holiday specials and offers is a great idea, but if a customer has a nightmare trying to redeem it, you probably won’t be seeing them again any time soon.

5) Be Present & Model Behavior

Making yourself and your management team present in the midst of the hustle and bustle may simply be necessary to keep up with the pace of a busy time, but it’s also important for your team to see you modeling behaviors you want to see. For example: Be courteous and patient with customers – and everyone you encounter in your business. Act professionally and set a high standard. By demonstrating what you expect, you’ll help set the visible standard within your business as well as the tone and vibe that customers will experience.

6) Coach a Customer-First Mentality

Make sure everyone on your team brings their A-game when it comes to dealing with customers. During busy times, it’s easy to get flustered by the commotion, not to mention sometimes difficult to please customers. Help your team understand how to deal with specific situations that they are likely to face, and talk out different scenarios so you can coach on real issues as they arise.

7) Surprise & Delight Your Team to Recognize Great Service

Don’t overlook the hard work your team puts into your business over the holiday season. Especially during this time when there is so much focus on friends, family, and enjoyment, make sure to show your deep appreciation for your team. Why not make it fun by surprising outstanding team members with perks like a gift card, a free vacation day (to redeem after the rush is up!), or a meaningful reward unique to your business? And, also make it a point to recognize all the effort your entire team puts in – even those who may not be shining stars. After all, they are still investing their time and effort in helping you grow your business! By taking the time to recognize team members on a regular basis throughout your busy season, you’ll help keep your team going.

Happy Small Business Saturday Week!

Are you ready for rush of the holiday season? Are you getting geared up for Small Business Saturday or another seasonal event? What else would you add to this list? I’d love to hear your thoughts in a comment!

 

Tiffany Monhollon

Tiffany Monhollon is an award-winning content, community, and social media marketing strategist who is passionate about helping businesses and professionals succeed online, currently serving as Director of Content Marketing at ReachLocal. She develops integrated strategies from the ground up, incorporating content, community, and social tactics to deliver online marketing, search optimization, social engagement, and reputation management results. She speaks and writes about online marketing and social media for sites like Entrepreneur, MarketingProfs, Small Business Trends, Media Post, Social Media Today, Business 2 Community, and the ReachLocal Online Marketing blog.

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