By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD
In the United States we celebrated a holiday a few days ago. Though the official date was on Saturday, most businesses closed on Friday to give their staff a three-day weekend. A few tacked on Monday as well, giving their employees even more time off.
Telephone answering services (TAS) aren’t able to do that. Most answering services need to schedule more staff to take extra calls for all their clients that are closed.The reality is that in the TAS industry, a holiday is a workday, often a busy one. For TAS staff, their holiday celebrations often need to happen earlier or wait until later.
Many answering services pay their staff extra to work on holidays: time and a half, double time, or even more. Some do it because they need to, while others pay more because they feel it’s fair. The agent benefits financially for the inconvenience of working while most other people have the day off for celebration and time with family and friends.
This extra pay increases the operating costs of the TAS. Hopefully extra billing will result from the jump in call volume, enough to offset the additional payroll.
So when I ask someone in the answering service industry, “How was your holiday?” what I often mean is “Did you have to work?” “How busy was it?” and “Did your extra billing cover your increased labor costs?”
Regardless, I hope your holiday was a good one.