When customer service is managed internally, most businesses only have agents available during opening hours and that can be a huge problem when it comes to ensuring customers are satisfied.
That’s because many customers can’t call until they are off work, at which point the vast majority of businesses (and their customer service centers) are already closed.
Sure, this problem can be relieved by emphasizing email communications or having a voicemail that is checked daily. But these solutions have their flaws as well. Voicemail often leads to a game of phone tag and email communications can be dragged out over days if your customer can’t respond until after work and you are emailing while they are working.
Worst of all, all of these solutions lead to a customer experience that is defined by friction, leaving your customers unhappy with your service and unlikely to purchase from your brand again.
That’s where after hours and weekend customer service comes in. Extended customer service is a huge benefit to your customers… and that leads to a range of business benefits.
Here are just five of the many reasons you should consider extended customer service:
#1 - More sales
Flexible customer service hours can lead to increased sales, especially when it comes to new customers. That’s because quick customer service responses show that you care about your customers and their concerns, and it acts as an indication of the service they can expect when working with your company. It also reduces the risk of them reaching out to a competitor because they can’t get a hold of you quick enough.
But don’t be one of those companies that only focuses on extended hours for new customers. Otherwise, you will give the impression that you only care about the sale and not the long-term relationship with your customers.#2 - Improved customer satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is key to a successful business. It helps you to build relationships with customers that increase customer retention and repeat purchases. But for your customer satisfaction to be rated as excellent, customers need rapid responses.
The fact that they need to reach out for help with your product or service is already disrupting their day… further delays in getting answers will only lead to a negative perception of your brand. Depending on the severity of the issue, it may also give them time to stew on their frustrations, and maybe even find a new supplier.
Providing extended customer service that gives customers the flexibility to reach out when they are available will help you solve problems promptly and maintain a strong customer satisfaction level.#3 - A better brand reputation
Word of mouth, reviews, and recommendations all influence consumer decision-making. Having a high rate of customer satisfaction related to response times will help reduce the number of negative reviews you receive and increase the positive things customers have to say about your business. You customers will become your advocates, which will boost your brand reputation and make you even more attractive to new customers.#4 - Greater reach
Businesses with extended customer service hours, especially those open 24/7, are more attractive to nationwide and global markets. That is because you ensure help is available in any time zone.
This is important for businesses that services multiple regions nationally or internationally. And for businesses that are just starting to grow, extended customer service hours can open your business up to these new markets and customers.#5 - Reduced burnout
Just because nobody is in the office doesn’t mean voicemails, emails and chat inquiries aren’t still coming in. That means your staff members not only have to respond to inquiries made while they are at their desk, but they must also follow up with customers who reached out while they were away. Depending on how many inquiries come in a day, that can be a lot of work.
Even if you expand your team, playing catch up can put your staff under a lot of pressure to reach out to missed customers in a timely fashion. And that can lead to burnout. Let’s not even mention the extra cost of additional resources for your business.
Spreading out the workload to different teams over extended hours can help take the pressure off of your customer service team, reduce the risk of missing an inquiry and ensure prompt responses.
It’s clear to see that after-hours and weekend customer service can help your business flourish. But we also know that running extended hours or 24/7 customer support internally can be difficult.
The good news is our team at Advantage Communications can help. For more information on working with our team to extend your customer service hours, please contact us today.