The holidays are hot on our heels, and your business is likely geared up and ready for the rush of shoppers to your retail store or last-minute patients or clients scheduling appointments before the end of the year.
Adjusting your business hours is expected to give your customers or clients extra time to check off their to-dos (or perhaps you’ll have limited hours in order to give employees time off), but don’t forget to advertise it! You’ve updated your website, Yelp page, Google My Business profile and posted signs at your business, but how about adding something to your texts to customers?
Covering your bases and keeping your customers or clients fully aware of when you’ll be open or closed not only makes their lives easier, but it can boost sales if you’re open when other businesses aren’t. The key is just letting everyone know about it.
Here’s how you can advertise holiday business hours with an Auto-Reply text.
What is an Auto-Reply text?
Texting-for-business software usually comes with an Auto-Reply feature, and it’s super handy for:
- Keywords. Set up a Keyword with business-texting software to automate answering common questions or to help run a promotion. For example, creating the Keyword HOURS will trigger an automatic reply any time a customer or client texts in that word.
- After-hours responses. Assign a message for outside of business hours that lets customers who text in know that your business is closed, but you’ll reply to their message when your team is back at their desks.
- Standby messages. During normal business hours, things can get busy! Setting up an auto-response to customers lets them know you’ve received their message and will be available to answer their questions shortly. Example: “Thanks for your text! A customer service representative will be with you in the next 10 minutes.”
Where to include your holiday hours in an Auto-Reply text
You can easily include your holiday business hours in the examples mentioned above. To give you enough space to include all the information you need, Zipwhip customers can compose text messages up to 600 characters long. While we encourage customers to keep text messages short, a situation like advertising office hours is a perfect time to take advantage of the extra space.
- Create the Keyword HOURS (you can assign any word but consider keeping it simple) and create an Auto-Reply with a message like the following.
Here’s the plain text to copy and paste into your Zipwhip account.
Happy holidays from (your business name). We’ll be open during normal business hours through December 22, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
12/23 – 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
12/24 – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
12/25 – Closed (Merry Christmas! )
12/26 through 30 – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
12/31 – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
1/1 – Closed (Happy New Year!)
Have more questions? Just reply to this text, and we’ll be with you shortly. If it’s after hours, we’ll reply during normal business hours.
- In an after-hours response, you can add your holiday hours as an FYI to your recipient.
- The same can be done in a standby message during normal business hours.
Advertising your holiday hours via texts sets expectations for your shoppers, patients or clients. Remove the hassle of having to call your business or search online and provide an added advertising outlet with a well-structured Auto-Reply message.
Learn everything you need to know about texting your customers or clients with our free e-book, The Ultimate Guide to Texting Your Customers. We go over how to choose the right texting tool for your business, training your team, legal and compliance, texting etiquette and much more.