Letting your customers know when your branch is open this Christmas

Letting your customers know when your branch is open this Christmas

You know your customers best, so, with Christmas just over a month away, you may need to change your branch hours to accommodate your local community’s needs. That’s why this year we’ve made it easy for you to update your Christmas opening times using Branch Hub.

Christmas will be different this year. With Covid-19, we expect more people to send gifts by post, so we’re asking our customers to post their presents, parcels and greetings as early as possible. We know that offering greater customer convenience has been key during the last few months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, when branches have been trading longer hours to help meet customer demand, manage queue times and maintain social distancing.

It’s important that we give customers advanced notice of your Christmas branch opening times to avoid disappointment. With an average of over 420,000 searches per month on Branch Finder and around 29 million searches to find a Post Office Google My Business listing via Google Search or Maps every month, we know these are our two main routes for customers to find out when your branch is open.

If you use Branch Hub to change your Christmas hours, we can use that information to automatically update Branch Finder and Google My Business, for those branches which are registered. Watch the step-by-step video guide to updating your Christmas Opening Hours on Branch Hub.

Do they know it’s Christmas?

On Branch Hub, you’ll be able to update your branch hours for the peak mails period between 30 November 2020 and 10 January 2021, so your customers will know exactly when you’re open. You’ll also be able to confirm whether you’re going to be open on Bank Holidays (Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and St Andrew’s Day in Scotland).

Post Office’s Directly Managed Branches will be open based on customer demand in those areas, but all communities have different needs and we also understand that customers like the convenience that independent branches offer with longer opening hours. 

Our Christmas marketing campaign focuses on posting early, but you may want to let your customers know when your branch is less busy by putting up the poster about your quieter times. We also know there’s always customers who turn to Post Office to help them with their last-minute Gift Card purchases, to get access to cash, and to collect parcels, which can often be Christmas presents.

On Christmas Eve last year we saw over 10 million transactions, including high volumes of gift card purchases (48,807 transactions), local collect (40,836 transactions), home shopping returns (113,108 transactions), stamps (325,766 transactions), and Royal Mail labels (173,488 transactions), so it may be worth your while to stay open for this last-minute rush.

By letting us know your Christmas opening hours, we can provide the accurate information you share with us to our Supply Chain team and Royal Mail to support with their delivery schedules and planning. We can also make sure we have the right support in place to help you and we can review our own helpline hours for Branch Support Centre and IT Digital Service Desks. Remember, help is always available through Horizon online Help, Knowledge Articles and the FAQs (frequently asked questions) on Branch Hub.

Alternatively, you can also contact the Branch Support Centre to change your branch’s Christmas opening times. Look out for further guidance on updating your Christmas opening hours in Branch Focus.