Those missed late-night phone calls and delayed responses can cost your business a lot.
The cost of poor customer service is as much as $41 billion per year in the USA.
Also, according to Telegraph, people in the UK expect online queries to be dealt with on the same day.
Expectations like this put extra pressure on businesses to be available at all times and serve customers accordingly.
However, it is easier said than done. So, here is an ultimate guide on how to provide 24/7 customer service.
Let us dive right in.
What Does 24/7 Customer Support Mean?
24/7 customer support refers to businesses offering their customers service round the clock (24 hours and seven days a week). Whenever your customers have an issue, they can reach out to you irrespective of the time zone. This service model ensures that your customers find the solution to their issues quickly, eventually helping your business to provide seamless support anytime.
How Do You Know Our Business Needs to Provide 24/7 Customer service?
Does Your Business Belong To an Industry That Must Offer 24/7 Customer service?
Industries such as travel and hospitality, eCommerce, healthcare, insurance, etc., can have scenarios when immediate help might be required. So, if you fall under any of these categories, yes, you must provide 24/7 customer service.
Do You Have a Global Customer Base?
Having a global customer base means working with your customers irrespective of time-zone differences. If you do not consider that, it can delay the responses and impact your customer experience.
The Nature of Your Offerings
You will undoubtedly want to offer timely services if your offerings are unique or new.
But even when your offerings are common, you have to ensure that your customer gets timely solutions for their issues.
If you have an electronics business, thousands of businesses are similar to yours. But, when a customer faces an issue with your product, you must ensure they get a proper solution on time.
When The Demand For Real-time Support Increases
What if your customers need your assistance while purchasing or using the product? If there is not much assistance available, it might create a negative impact on your brand. When you offer 24/7 customer support, assisting in such scenarios becomes easy.
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7 Interesting Statistics About 24 hours Customer Service
How To Provide 24/7 Customer Support?
Self-Service – The Easiest Way to Provide 24/7 Customer Support
Imagine your customer is browsing through your website. She is adding a product to the cart, and she needs help applying the coupon code while checking out. She needs assistance but doesn’t have time to wait until your team provides her with the on-call solution. So instead, she looks for the solution in the knowledge base, finds the answer within 5 minutes, and finally places an order. Customer support surveys also help you better understand what customers are experiencing.
Now that’s the power of self-service. It empowers your customers to deal with their issues in minimum time with appropriate solutions.
You can also offer self-service through different mediums such as knowledge base, help widgets, chatbots, FAQs, etc.
Let us have a basic understanding of each of them one by one:
- Knowledge Base – The knowledge base is a compilation of well-versed articles about your offerings to assist customers in solving their queries. These articles are based on the queries that customers most search for.
- Help Widget – The help widget brings all the self-service options together and allows your customers to browse answers from within the widget. It also helps you add contact forms to make it easy for customers to contact you by just filling them out.
- Chatbots – Chatbots are automated programs created to interact with customers as a human would. It solves the problem of businesses to offer 24 hours service to their customers.
- FAQs – Frequently asked questions (FAQs) are the fundamental questions that customers most frequently ask. You can just add them to your website so that customers can visit your website whenever they have similar issues and find out the solutions.
Self-service is one of the easiest ways businesses can offer their customers 24/7 customer service. It can be easily accessible from anywhere, anytime by the customers, making it the most convenient option.
Incorporate Chatbot to Automate the Service Process
Automation has been around for decades now, and we all know how easier it has made human lives.
With the help of automation, we have to put in significantly less effort and still expect great results.
Chatbots are one such example of automation.
They are automated programs that offer your business an option to interact with your customers.
Chatbots might be the perfect solution for businesses facing the need for a workforce after working hours.
The vast majority of 87.2% of consumers have neutral or positive experiences with chatbots.
It has already been a part of many businesses operating in different industries and helping them offer their customers 24/7 customer service.
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Scale Your Customer Service
If your global customer base demands real-time customer service, then now is the time to scale your customer service.
You, as a business, need to make sure that your customers are provided with 24/7 customer support.
The most important question is, what can be done in order to scale your customer service?
– Adopt a shift-based model
It is humanly impossible for the same customer service team to work straight for 24/7 hours and repeat every day. So, what you need to do is, hire new agents who can work for you for different shifts and days of the week (public holidays, weekends, etc.). This way, by adopting a shift-based model, you can manage your agent’s workload and offer your customer 24/7 customer service.
– Invest in Great Tools Such as DeskXpand Help Desk Software
DeskXpand is power-packed with great features that can improve the performance of your business by 25%. It can also improve your agent’s productivity and efficiency by 20% by helping them solve customer queries at lightning speed. Customer service agents can reduce their response time by half after using DeskXpand help desk software.
– Build a local customer service team
Build a customer service team by hiring the locals of the city/state/country where you want to offer your customer service. This way, you can avoid the need for night shifts and also make sure that you cover all the geographical regions that require the immediate attention of customer service agents.
– Outsource customer service to any local agency
Outsourcing your customer service means that you collaborate with a local agency and ask them to provide you the service of operating customer support on your behalf for the local customer base. Outsourcing can be considered an easy and more flexible option when offering global customer service. But remember to find an agency that has the capability of offering great service, as it is ultimately going to have an impact on your brand reputation.
Take Advantage of Omnichannel Support
The usage of social media has increased more than ever.
According to a report, there are 4.59 billion social media users worldwide as of 2022.
Over 91% of marketers do business on social media.
What I am trying to say is with billions of people are using social media, and so many marketers are doing business on it.
So, if your customers find it convenient to reach out to you on Instagram at 2 AM, make yourself available there.
Let Customers Reach Out to You Easily with Web Forms
“Good feedback is the key to improvement.”
But I feel that taking timely action upon that feedback is what really matters.
Your customers always have something to say about your products/services. They want their experience to be shared with you so that you can know exactly how they feel.
It is crucial for you to know your customers’ feedback; as I said earlier, it is the key to improvement.
Hence, you, as a business, should have the plan to let your customers reach out to you without hassle.
This is where web forms can help you a lot; customers just have to fill it up to connect with the customer support team.
You can even embed web forms in your help widget to make it easy for customers to find them.
Not only for feedback, but customers can also use these web forms for a number of reasons, such as raising queries, getting more information regarding the product, etc.
These web forms can also be edited to make them less complex and more useful so that the customers do not hesitate to fill them out.
So, web forms are a convenient way for your customers to quickly reach out to you and get a quick solution to their problems.
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Ways to Optimize Support Operations for Efficient & Ethically Correct 24/7 Customer Service
Use a Help desk that Unifies all Your Service Channels
Use 24/7 helpdesk software that helps you cover all your customers’ issues.
From social media to email, you can have your eye on multiple platforms.
You can streamline your service process without missing out on a single customer query.
24/7 helpdesk software is a suitable option to offer your customer great service around the clock.
Here is a list of features:
Ticketing – This help desk software feature helps your customers raise tickets whenever they face any issues. It will be a hassle-free solution for your customers to raise a query and get a quick response.
Canned Responses – Customer service agents use canned responses to reply to customers. The best part is that they can write a single word when they respond. Canned responses are predefined responses that are created by analyzing previous queries of your customers. With just a click, your agents can immediately offer your customers the solution.
Self-service – This helps your customers to find a quick solution by themselves. It is even better as customers can find solutions without connecting with customer service representatives. They can search the knowledge base for articles that solve their issues. Apart from the knowledge base, the other self-service medium is FAQs, community forums, etc.
Email Ticketing System – It Creates a collaborative environment amongst the customer service team by empowering them with a collaborative team inbox. Help desk software automatically converts incoming emails into tickets so that the customer service agent can offer a solution without missing out.
Customer Satisfaction Survey – As a business, nothing is more important than making your customers happy. But the biggest question is how to know whether the customers are satisfied. This is where customer satisfaction survey plays a vital role. It helps you to create/send the survey to your customer and helps you to track the performance of your agents without any difficulty. With the help of a customer satisfaction survey, you can enhance your customer service.
The help desk software not only helps your service department but also helps your customers.
Track and Monitor the Performance of Your Customer Service Teams
If you want to optimize your operations, tracking and monitoring the performance of customer service teams becomes very important.
It gives you a clear picture of how your customer service teams perform.
Whether they offer good customer service or the strategy needs to be changed.
How to analyze the performance? By making use of the analytics.
It can offer insights into the previous data so that you can get a deeper understanding of the performance of your team.
You can also know more about the previous queries of your customers and how much time was taken to resolve them.
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Track how well your agents and customer support departments perform with customer satisfaction surveys.
Keep a Consistent Tone Through Your Conversation with the Customers
When a customer service agent interacts with customers, you can say it is obvious that your customers are facing some issues.
In such scenarios, customers might be frustrated already and you do not want them to get all riled up by being rude to them.
So, always remember, when interacting with customers be polite and use a consistent tone of voice to make them feel comfortable throughout your conversation.
The most effective way to connect with them is by showing empathy.
They must feel you care about them and would do everything in your power to come up with a solution.
This simple approach can be proven very effective, as it calms the customers down and helps you to offer quick solutions.
Best Practices to Follow if You Don't Offer 24/7 Support
Mention Your Service Hours in Your SLAs
Customers should know at what time your service agents are available.
Otherwise, they would try to reach out, and in the end, they would get frustrated.
To solve this problem, mention your service hours in your service level agreement (SLA).
Be as specific as possible to avoid misunderstanding, and do not forget to mention the exact working hours and even days so that customers get a clear idea about your agent’s availability.
Set up Canned Responses that Inform the Customer About the Unavailability of Agents
As I said earlier, customers must know when you offer your services.
But if they do not, you should ensure that when they reach out, you let them know in some way that your agents are unavailable.
The best option in such scenarios can be canned responses.
A canned response can inform them about the unavailability of your customer service agents.
When customers call you, you can set up a pre-recorded audio like,
“Hello, thank you for calling us. Unfortunately, our customer service representatives are not available at this time. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
You can also use this as an opportunity to let your customers know about your customer service department’s working hours (specific time and day).
Predefined Responses to Respond with Just a Click
Check out the examples of canned responses and better understand them.
Develop a Self-service Portal
If your business is not offering 24/7 hours service to the customers, self-service can help your customers a lot.
It is a solution that is accessible at any time from anywhere in the world.
With just a click, your customers can find a solution to their problem; it is as easy as that.
Self-service mediums like knowledge bases, FAQs, chatbots, community forums, etc., allow customers to find a solution by themselves.
They do not even have to reach out; they can just visit the knowledge base to find a solution.
So, self-service might be the most suitable option for a business not offering 24 hours service.
Now you have a better understanding of 24 hours customer service; you know how important it is for any business. It is vital to offer your customers excellent service and improve their affection towards your brand. Start planning to set up a 24 hours service for your customers immediately.