If your business is not yet accessible to your customers around-the-clock, you are likely missing out on big opportunities to connect with new prospects and grow your profits in the process. With the right strategies and tools in place, the transition to 24/7 service can make a massive difference in customer satisfaction and ongoing revenue. But wait. Pump the brakes. Most business owners hear this and start hauling out the “Now Hiring” signs and automated answering software. Both could be huge mistakes.
Hiring more employees, of course, sounds like the one-and-done for making the transition to 24/7 service. After all, you need crews on-site to cover phones. They’re not going to answer themselves. But arranging for staff to be present around the clock means adding shifts and, first, finding the go-getters who are both willing and able to work long, often thankless, hours. Incentives start piling up – gift cards and bonuses and paid leave – in addition to the salaries and benefits you’re already shelling out for new hires who may not stick around for the long haul. Is adding more people really the answer?
Automation, too, sounds like a quick fix, and while software can be a great way to streamline processes and free up resources, chatbots and digital assistants are a royal pain in the posterior, no matter what the AI robots would have you believe. Customers want to talk to caring, compassionate humans when they have a question or concern – not a machine.
Here’s how you can make the move.
- First, Make Life Easier for Your Existing Employees: The first step in transitioning to 24/7 service is to make life easier for your current employees. After all, they will no doubt bear some of the brunt of expanded hours, at least in the short term. Doing so can be challenging if they don’t have access to the resources they need or feel uncomfortable working late hours. Take the time and the budget to invest in comfortable furniture and snacks and beverages for the office lounge or kitchen. You might also consider offering flexible scheduling as you and your team adjust to a new way of working.
- Lean on Technology When Appropriate: Technology can be a good thing when used the right way. Consider integrating tools that once again make your teams’ jobs easier. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can help streamline processes so that your employees can focus on more important tasks while still providing great customer service around the clock.
- Utilize Different Channels: Reach out to your customers using the platforms they prefer, such as phone, email, text message, social media, and more. This added convenience will ultimately pay off in dividends once prospects and existing customers realize they can contact you at their leisure using their platform of choice.
- Outsource Your After-Hours Support: To effectively transition to 24/7 service, hire a professional answering service. Regardless of what time of night calls come through, skilled agents who understand your business and industry will ensure the most important messages reach you on time while reducing the chances of prospects being sent to voicemail. Calls can even be forwarded during business hours when your in-house crew cannot answer.
When making the transition to 24/7 service, your office can have calls answered:
- After closing and throughout the night
- During meetings and/or appointments
- During power, Internet, and phone outages
- After a predetermined number of rings by a 24-hour customer service agent
Edwards Answering Service offers customized and comprehensive answering solutions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our skilled and pleasant customer service agents follow a dedicated script that puts callers at ease while providing them with basic company information like hours, directions, pricing, utilities, availability, and much more. Our team can help you make a seamless and successful transition to 24/7 service. And because we never close, regardless of weather or calendar date, we are always working hard for you and your customers.
Reach out to the Edwards team today to schedule a no-obligation consultation and see if you are eligible for a free week trial.