As the hot weather approaches, school year are coming to a close and Christmas sales have started; often a detail that businesses often overlook is updating their holiday hours across various platforms. This isn’t just a minor administrative task; it’s a significant component of customer service and can greatly impact your business’s reputation and customer experience. Whether it’s a local bakery, a retail store, or a service provider, customers rely on accurate information to plan their holiday shopping and activities.
Failing to update your holiday hours can lead to customer frustration, negative reviews, and even lost sales. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to ensure your business’s holiday hours are updated and communicated effectively across all your digital touchpoints, from your website and Google My Business profile to social media platforms and beyond. By the end of this post, you’ll be equipped with all the knowledge you need to keep your customers well-informed and satisfied during the festive season.
1. Update Your Website with Holiday Hours
Your website is often the first place customers check for up-to-date information about your business. Ensuring that your holiday hours are clearly displayed here is essential. There are several effective ways to update your website with holiday hours:
- Homepage Announcement: Add a prominent notice on your homepage. This could be in the form of a banner at the top or in the slider, as it is above the fold.
- Header or Footer: Often header and footers of websites display hours of operation. Making sure the holiday hours are visible here or a link to a page with the holiday hours is another option.
- Pop-Up Notification: Implement a pop-up notification that appears when someone visits your site. This method is hard to miss and can be very effective, but use it judiciously to avoid annoying your visitors. Ensure the pop-up is easy to close and doesn’t hinder website navigation. Also preferably appear after a 5 second delay. This is not an option I personally recommend as I find pop-ups distracting.
- Dedicated Page for Holiday Information: If your holiday hours are part of a larger set of seasonal changes or if it crowds the design where hours of operation are usually found, consider creating a dedicated page on your website. Link to this page prominently from your homepage, header, footer and contact page.
- Update Your Contact Page: Don’t forget to update the contact page with your holiday hours. This is a common place for people to check.
Remember, the goal is to make this information easily accessible without effecting user experience on your website. By clearly displaying your holiday hours, you help ensure a positive experience for your customers.
2. Update Your Google Profile Page (formally known as Google My Business)
Updating your holiday hours on Google My Business (GMB) is crucial for local search visibility and customer convenience. As many customers rely on Google for quick information, having your holiday hours accurately reflected on your GMB listing is essential. Here’s how to keep your hours current:
- Access Your Business Profile: Begin by going to your Business Profile. You can find your profile either through Google Search or Google Maps.
- Editing Special Hours:
- If using Google Search, select “Edit profile.”
- If using Google Maps, select “Edit profile” and then “Business information.”
- Navigate to the Hours Tab: Near the top of your profile, select the “Hours” tab.
- Edit Special Hours: Next to “Special hours,” click on the Edit icon (pencil icon).
- Selecting the Date:
- To confirm a suggested date, select “Review.”
- To set a custom date, select “Add a date,” and then enter the date.
- To edit existing dates, select the date you want to change.
- Update Your Hours:
- If you’re open on that day, uncheck the “Closed” box and enter your open and close hours.
- If you’re closed for the entire day, ensure the “Closed” box is checked.
- Adding Multiple Sets of Hours: To add multiple sets of hours for the same date, click on “More” and then “Add hours,” and enter the additional hours.
- Deleting Special Hours:
- If your business is closed on a specific date, next to the date, select “Delete” (trash icon).
- If your business is open but you want to remove specific hours, next to the hours, select “More” and then “Remove day” (trash icon).
- Save Your Changes: After updating, click “Save.” Your updated hours will be saved and can be found in the “Hours” tab under “Business information” or directly in “Edit profile” under “Special hours.”
For the latest updated guide on updating your business information on Google My Business, including holiday hours, you can refer to Google’s support page here. Google consistently updates it processes this was written with current practices as of November 2023.
3. Update Your Social Media Platforms
There are many different ways to utilise the different social media platforms to inform your audience of your holiday hours, below are my preferred methods:
- Create Engaging Posts: Craft posts that are visually appealing and clearly communicate your holiday hours. Use festive graphics or themes to catch the eye of your followers. Ensure that the text is concise and the hours are prominently displayed.
- Pin Important Updates: On platforms like Facebook, you can pin posts to the top of your profile. Use this feature for your holiday hours announcement so it’s the first thing visitors see when they visit your page.
- Use Stories and Highlights: For platforms like Instagram, use Stories to share your holiday hours. You can also create a Highlight specifically for holiday information, so it remains accessible even after the Story expires.
- Schedule Posts in Advance: Use social media management tools to schedule posts about your holiday hours in advance. This ensures consistent communication even during busy periods.
- Reminder Posts: As the holiday approaches, post reminders about your hours. People’s feeds are often crowded, and a single post can be easily missed.
4. Crafting an EDM for Holiday Hours Announcement
Email communication remains one of the most direct and effective ways to reach your customers. When it comes to updating holiday hours or announcing a closure period, sending an Email Direct Marketing (EDM) campaign. Here is a list of email marketing software you can use that have a free plan:
5. Update Your Voicemail & Create a Email Autoresponder
When updating your business for the holiday season, don’t forget to adjust your voicemail and create an email autoresponder. These are crucial touchpoints for customers seeking information. For your voicemail, record a clear and concise message that includes your holiday hours, any special instructions for customers, and an emergency contact number if applicable. This ensures that even when you’re not available to answer the phone, your customers are still informed. Similarly, setting up an email autoresponder is vital. It should mirror the information on your voicemail, providing details about holiday hours, closure periods, and alternative contact methods. Both these tools serve as effective ways to maintain communication with your customers, ensuring they have access to the necessary information even when you’re not immediately available.
As we’ve explored, updating your business hours for the holiday season is a crucial step in ensuring a smooth and successful festive period. From making necessary changes on your website and Google My Business profile to effectively communicating through social media and email, each step plays a vital role in maintaining transparency and customer satisfaction. Remember, the key is to start these updates early and keep your information consistent across all platforms.
If you find yourself needing assistance with updating your website or implementing effective marketing strategies next year, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our team specialises in creating custom website solutions and tailored marketing campaigns. Whether it’s a website refresh, a new marketing campaign, or just some friendly advice, we’re here to help your business shine. Contact us today to see how we can make your holiday season both merry and bright!