Operating after-hour call centers allow businesses to reach more of their customers and potential customers by increasing the time their company is open for business. Conversely, limiting the hours your business is open is simply bad for business. Nothing upsets today’s customers more than being placed on hold for an extended period of time or, even worse, listening to an automated message that you are only available during “regular” business hours.
If you are part of a greater marketplace or a growing business, it is vital for your company’s success to meet and excel beyond your customer expectations. Extended business hours can help meet the service and support that your customers expect and deserve. Just as important, having an after-hours call center can provide a competitive edge that helps your company grow and expand. Having extended business hours for your customers is advantageous in many ways. Here are 5 good reasons why:
5 Major Benefits of Extended Business Hours
1. Outside the 9 to 5
These days, with so many people tied to busy schedules or holding down demanding jobs, customers expect to reach businesses outside the 9 to 5 to address their needs. Having extended business hours allows customers to contact you when they can. Offering expanded business hours for customers to resolve problems, discuss service-related issues, or make product inquiries is a sure way to keep your customers satisfied with your product or service.
2. Different Time Zones
Are your customers calling from different time zones? If your marketplace serves multiple regions across the country, it’s important that your call center hours reflect all the regions your business serves. On the one hand, you may be in Seattle with customers in Richmond or Cincinnati or based in Pittsburgh with customers in Boise or Anchorage. On the other hand, if your business is starting to grow and expand throughout multiple regions, extending your business hours opens up your business to new customers and markets. It’s also important to consider that customers who call during traditional business hours for them, may not be able to reach you if you have already closed or haven’t opened yet. If your customers live in different time zones, it’s important to offer hours for them to reach customer support when they can.
3. Increase Sales
Extended business hours provide the opportunity to increase sales with new and returning customers. Customers may have questions about products or a need to express their concerns before or after purchase. The ability to provide a quick customer service response to satisfy the customer’s needs is a sure way to build long-term relationships. On the other hand, if customers consistently have difficulty contacting you, then it’s likely they will reach out to a competitor instead.
4. Extended Customer Support
On average, how many customers does one agent serve at your contact center per hour? What are the peak hours over an agent’s shift? If you are considering extended contact center hours of operation—do the math—numbers don’t lie. They can be crunched and quantified to easily determine how many calls you lose or gain by opting in or out by extending your business hours, or how many agents need to be staffed at a given time of day. One thing is certain: the fewer hours a company has available to offer support to their customers the fewer customers they will be able to support, which leads us to our next point.
5. Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is a key to your company’s success. It helps build and build upon relationships that increase your customer base. Word of mouth, reviews, and consumer advocacy is made on the strength of your product and the service you provide for it. Exceptional customer service is integral to brand loyalty and goes a long way in establishing a great reputation. Response time is essential for customer satisfaction. Keep in mind that if the customer is calling to resolve a problem with a product it is already disrupting their day. Extended business hours offer the flexibility, accessibility, and availability to fulfill or resolve a customer’s needs immediately and the opportunity for you to do so to their complete satisfaction.
How After-Hour Call Centers Can Support a Growing Business
Extended business hours for your call center may present challenges for companies who are looking at an in-house solution only. Between working with the staff you have, juggling extra shifts, adding personnel, increased training, constant turnover, and investing in the technology required to manage a call center, may not be the optimal solution in providing the service and support you want for your customers.
If your company is considering extending business hours or launching an after-hours call center, you can systematically address these challenges by partnering with a call center service provider. It’s no secret that businesses that outsource their customer support functions can cut operating costs considerably compared to an in-house team. When partnering with a professional call center provider there is no upswing in labor costs, no added expenses for expanded space requirements, overhead, training, costly technology, and continuous upgrades. Outsourcing after-hours call center customer support and services offer so much more than only a cost-effective solution.
Contact Telecom, Inc.
At Telecom, Inc., our mid-size domestic contact center provides exceptional omnichannel customer service solutions, working closely with each client to develop a customized strategy for great results. To learn more about our after-hours call center services, please contact us or schedule an appointment with us today!