Quality managers know that keeping customers waiting isn’t good for business. Time-sensitive industries have to be available at all times, but even companies that don’t require immediacy have customers who want answers now instead of later. Since the Internet is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, your business’ customer service should be available around-the-clock as well.
Instantaneous Assistance is Expected
Certain things have specific, understandable deadlines: your pizza will be delivered within one hour, getting an insurance quote online takes fifteen minutes or less, your mechanic will need your car overnight… When it comes to the Internet, “right this second” is generally the anticipated turn-around time. This is especially true when serving customers in other parts of the world. Their waking hours may be while you’re sleeping, but you still have to provide normal customer service when they need it. It’s also assumed that if you’re normally active on social media, you’ll be there when a client has a concern.
Emergencies Can’t Wait
Let’s say your company offers cloud storage. If a CEO is preparing a presentation for the following day and his files mysteriously disappear after business hours, he’s going to need support whether you’re on the clock or not. Even customers who share a time zone with you may face emergencies in the wee hours of the morning or at other inopportune times, dependent on their personal schedules. If you’re not available when you’re needed, especially for a pressing issue that could somehow damage the client’s job or life, they’ll probably switch over to one of your more accessible competitors.
Keeping Up With Customer Demand
It’s not always reasonable or possible to leave business phone lines and e-mail open day and night. If there’s just one road to customer support, though, you can still monitor customer issues all the time. Think of that one communication outlet as your Bat Phone – if you get a Facebook message late at night or an e-mail to the emergency address, you should respond to it the second you see it. Keep in mind that you’ll have to setup your phone or tablet so that messages come through in real time. If you’re worried that messages will be coming in during your seven hours of sleep, hire someone to field those issues for you during specific time frames.