Tips for navigating the holiday closure

Navigating the Holiday Closure: Have I forgotten something?

A Comprehensive Guide for Market Research Agencies

Introduction:

The holiday season is upon us, and for market research agencies, it’s a time to not only celebrate but also strategically plan for the temporary closure that comes with the festivities. From addressing client concerns to managing potential staff resistance, careful preparation is key to ensuring a smooth transition. In this article, we’ll explore essential steps to take before, during, and after a market research agency closes for Christmas, offering insights on overcoming client concerns and staff resistance.

Before Closure: Strategize and Communicate

Communication is Key:

  • Early and transparent communication is crucial. Notify your clients well in advance about the holiday closure and set clear expectations regarding project timelines and deliverables. Understand the deadline pressures your clients are working to, which are negotiable, which aren’t? This builds trust and demonstrates professionalism.

Evaluate Project Timelines:

  • Assess ongoing and upcoming projects to ensure that deadlines align with the holiday closure. If necessary, communicate adjusted timelines to clients, providing reassurance that their projects are still a priority. For the sake of reducing pressure on your team consider declining unplanned projects that land at short notice.

Staff Input and Scheduling:

  • Involve your staff in the decision-making process. If resistance is anticipated, ask for their suggestions, consider flexible scheduling options, and address any concerns to foster a sense of collaboration.

Client Engagement Strategies:

  • Implement strategies to keep clients engaged during the closure. Consider sending holiday greetings, sharing relevant industry insights, or offering a sneak peek into upcoming projects. This maintains a positive connection even during the downtime.

During Closure: Addressing Client Concerns and Staff Resistance


Emergency Contact Information:

  • Although we’re not exactly in a life or death profession, I’ve experienced occasions where a PR client has experienced questions from the press and they haven’t been confident in defending the data they’ve published. Believe me, the stress of not being able to get hold of someone to help can make or break a relationship. So provide clients with emergency contact information for the duration of the closure. Assure them that there are protocols in place to handle urgent matters promptly, reinforcing your commitment to their satisfaction.

Automated Responses:

  • Set up automated email responses and voicemail messages to inform clients of the closure. Clearly outline when regular operations will resume and assure them that their inquiries will be addressed as soon as possible.

Remote Work Options:

  • Explore remote work options for staff to address resistance while ensuring essential tasks are managed. Clearly communicate expectations and provide the necessary tools to facilitate a smooth remote working experience.

Incentives for Staff:

  • Recognize and reward staff who willingly work during the closure. Consider holiday bonuses, extra time off, or other incentives to show appreciation for their dedication, fostering a positive atmosphere. 

After Closure: Ensuring a Seamless Return

Client Follow-Up:

  • Reach out to clients after the closure to ensure their needs are met. Address any concerns that may have arisen during the holiday period, and demonstrate your commitment to maintaining high-quality service.

Employee Feedback Session:

  • Conduct a feedback session with employees to gather insights on their experiences during the closure. Use this information to improve future closure plans and address any issues that may have arisen.

Post-Holiday Engagement:

  • Re-engage clients with updates on industry trends, new methodologies, or upcoming projects. This helps rekindle relationships and keeps your agency at the forefront of their minds.

Reflect and Refine:

  • Take time to reflect on the closure process. Evaluate what worked well and identify areas for improvement. This reflection ensures that future closures are even more seamless and employee-friendly. – This is the bit we rarely find to do, reflection and refinement is so important.

Conclusion:

Closing an agency for Christmas involves strategic planning, clear communication, and a collaborative approach with both clients and staff. By addressing client concerns, implementing remote work options, and offering incentives for staff, you can navigate the holiday closure successfully. 🙂 The key is to maintain open communication, prioritize employee well-being, and demonstrate unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional service. With these strategies in place, your agency can enjoy a well-deserved break while ensuring a seamless return to business in the new year.

POTT closure dates

So taking a leaf out of our own book, we’d like to let you know that our offices will be closed between the 23rd December and 2nd January. But that first few weeks back are likely to be busy so feel free to book an appointment while you remember.

Leave a Reply