November 13 2012 ArchivesAs a small business owner, we know that you’ve got more than just wondering “how long does it take to defrost a turkey?” on the mind. You’re wondering how to capitalize on the holiday rush, promote seasonal offers, handle Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) and manage your business while you or your employees are traveling to visit family. Fortunately, Vocalocity has a few options that make promotions and off-site management as easy as pumpkin pie. Whether you’re trying to prepare for Thanksgiving or if you want to get the message out about Small Business Saturday, you can use our free Music on Hold settings to your advantage. Standard On-Hold Messaging Log in to your Admin Portal to change your Music on Hold settings in just minutes. If you have seasonal hours for Thanksgiving, it’s easy to upload a custom on-hold message to let customers know ahead of time like: Thanks for holding! Just remember that we’ll be closing early on Thanksgiving, Thursday the 22nd. We’ll resume regular hours on Friday when we open at 9 a.m. We’ll be right back, but while you wait, consider shopping with us on Small Business Saturday – November 24th! Support your community by keeping money in the local economy. We recommend recording about a minute of content to make sure that your caller gets to hear all of your information and offers. Use a free audio editor like Audacity, or even use an audio recorder on your smartphone to make compatible .wav or .mp3 files. Some tips for recording 1-2 minutes of standard on-hold messaging include: Keep your sentences short and sweet, and clearly state holiday closing and opening hours. Pause for about 5-7 seconds between sentences. Consider asking callers if they follow you on social media to stay informed about seasonal offers and events Read our Admin Portal support article for more details on how to upload a custom audio file, or watch the first minute of the video below. Custom Messages with Call Queues If your business uses the Call Queue add-on feature, you have the ability to upload several sequential messages for callers on hold. For Thanksgiving and Small Business Saturday, an example of custom sequential on-hold prompts could be: Prompt 1: Thanks for waiting. We’ll be with you very soon. Please keep in mind that our offices are closed for Thanksgiving but will open the next day at 9 a.m. Prompt 2: We appreciate your patience as well as the fact that you’re supporting our small business. We’re proud to be celebrating Small Business Saturday, November 24th. Prompt 3: An agent will be with you as soon as possible. We value you as our customer, and invite you to follow us on social media for insider deals, discounts, and promotions. Read our Call Queue support article to learn more details about uploading custom music and messaging. Virtual Receptionist Message Before you shut off the lights and head home for the holidays, don’t forget to change your Virtual Receptionist settings. This way, if customers call when you’re not open, they’ll hear a greeting about when to expect you back. Read out Virtual Receptionist article to learn how to change your recording over the phone, or by uploading a .wav or .MP3 file. Do you have any questions about changing messages or uploading custom messages? Let us know! About Dave MorrisDave is a content strategist and writer at Vonage Business Solutions, working with teams across the company to build communication programs that enable our customers and assist our prospects. He enjoys living in Atlanta and is an avid gardener, restaurant enthusiast and live music fan. November 9 2012 Archives This week, we showed you how to set up Virtual Extensions from within your Admin Portal and illustrated a few ways that your hosted phone system can be good for easing fears about business growth. For businesses that have Instagram accounts, you can now use the new web profile feature to promote your latest offerings. Restaurants can highlight specials, retail stores can promote their latest goods, and traditional offices can highlight staff members or community service events that they’ve been participating in. Twitter announced that some passwords were mistakenly changed or compromised. If your small business uses this social networking tool, it might be a good time to change your password. It’s a few weeks away, but American Express has been partnering with local businesses to promote Small Business Saturday, happening on November 24th. Qualified businesses can get free advertising when they sign up before November 19th. Forbes posted some thoughts from a contributor about small business lessons learned during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The NASDAQ Stock Market posted some good financial considerations to take if you plan on starting a small business in 2013. About Dave MorrisDave is a content strategist and writer at Vonage Business Solutions, working with teams across the company to build communication programs that enable our customers and assist our prospects. He enjoys living in Atlanta and is an avid gardener, restaurant enthusiast and live music fan.