Are your employees making the most of their downtime?
In any business, there are moments between tasks, meetings, or serving customers where your employees have nothing to do. Of course, employees need scheduled breaks during their work shifts. It helps them stay fresh. Also, 85 percent of employees say that taking regular breaks during the day makes them more productive, according to a 2014 study from office supplier Staples.
But what about those “unscheduled” breaks? You don’t want employees checking Facebook or eBay simply because they have no specific task to tackle at the moment.
Instead, you can often leverage an employee’s unscheduled downtime to help increase sales. The practice is known as outbound customer service, or proactive customer service.
For example, let’s say you own an Italian restaurant. Inevitably, there will be moments when your wait staff isn’t busy. They’ve already prepped the dining room for that night’s dinner rush but no customers have arrived yet.
During those moments, your waiters and waitresses could place calls to your best customers, thanking them for a recent visit or letting them know about an upcoming dinner special. Or a waitress might call a customer who made her first visit to the restaurant the night before, asking how her experience was.
Those otherwise idle moments are transformed into proactive customer service opportunities. When that happens, what would have been wasted money — paying hourly employees who aren’t being productive — can actually result in additional revenues instead.
A dentist office is another example. Between dealing with patients and paperwork, your receptionist may not have much to do, so he or she flips through magazines. A better idea is to have the receptionist call patients to remind them of their upcoming appointments. Some dental offices have automated systems that remind patients of appointments via email or other means. However, calling patients provides a chance to make a personal connection. It also gives the patient the opportunity to ask questions related to the upcoming visit.
A virtual phone system like MightyCall makes it easy for employees to make outbound customer service calls during unscheduled breaks. MightyCall can autodial customers, so that your employees only pick up the phone when the outbound call is answered. This helps maximize employee productivity even more.
Whatever your business may be, think about how to use employee idle time to enhance productivity and deliver a better customer experience. The more you succeed, the more chances you have to increase your business’s revenues.