With the pervasiveness of the internet in global culture, many customers are developing expectations that they can not only browse and buy products and services at all hours of the day, but also inquire and ask questions at a time that is convenient for them.
Interestingly though, in a recent article for PC World, author George Gorsline described an experience in which he was paying bills and checking up on his other accounts over the internet one evening.
However, when he went to maintain his health insurance claim, Gorsline found that the company that promised him around the clock customer service prompted him with a message expressing that a software update was being undertaken and service could not be provided at that time. He was then re-routed to a hotline, at which service reps could only be reached during traditional nine-to-five, Monday through Friday business hours.
While this may have been an isolated instance, it likely was not, mentioned Gorsline.
"More likely this stems from a corporate culture of the customer is captive, so they have to follow our rules, perhaps coupled with classic 'lipstick on the elephant' architecture; that is, a nice Web portal to an ancient batch system that really hasn't changed since the '70s," writes Gorsline. "Talk about creating an opportunity for your competition!"
As such, he explains how important it is for a company currently maintaining 99.7 percent customer service availability to transition to 100 percent in order to provide clients with the best experience possible.
While there are several ways to accomplish such, one excellent way is by deploying the services of a third-party answering service. With knowledgeable customer service representatives available around the clock through traditional telephony, text message, instant message, e-mail and a variety of other portals, these professionals can ensure that every time a customer need assistance that someone is there to answer the proverbial call.