How to make the move to 24-hour customer care in the contact centre
Jonny Campbell, Head of Customer Growth and Retention at customer service specialist, FM Outsource
Customer expectations are rising with 58% of customers admitting to severing a relationship with a brand if their customer service needs aren’t met. This rising demand has meant businesses are increasingly expected to have a proactive customer care offering rather than reactive. This means 24/7 customer service accessibility is becoming less of a ‘nice-to-have’ and more of an expectation amongst customers.
However, many companies still operate on a nine-five schedule, with call centres and online communication tools closing outside of core business hours. Businesses like this will inevitably get left behind, as customers shift to brands that they’re able to contact any time they want.
Switching to 24-hour customer care is highly beneficial as it allows businesses to keep customers satisfied at all times. With the number of smartphone subscriptions worldwide predicted to rise to 6.5 billion in 2022, the way customers interact with customer service has changed forever. People are accessing customer support at whatever time suits them, from in their lunch break to late at night. This means it’s vital that businesses accommodate for this shift in behaviour and ensure the customer care team is available whenever customers decide to make contact.
How to implement effective 24-hour customer care
Hiring and training
When hiring new team members to provide customer care or preparing current staff for the change, effective training is necessary to ensure a smooth transition. Using software like Gnatta can support businesses when training staff by monitoring and recording the work of new advisors to ensure training leads have full visibility of their interactions.
24-hour customer care and remote working go hand in hand. Whilst it may seem daunting changing working hours for team members, deploying a specific team that work remotely on a rota allows for flexibility and ensures the system is fair for all.
When committing to business-wide remote working it is important that the correct technology is implemented. Chatbots and other messaging systems can seem like a depersonalised approach to customer service, however the technology is improving constantly. The ability to recognise and learn language, make their own decisions, know when to hand over to a human, and the fast response times makes them the perfect choice for many businesses. With bots working alongside advisors, both the contact volumes and resolution times will be cut down significantly.
Hiring an outsourced team can provide a quicker and easier transition for businesses as it removes the pressure on business leaders to make this change internally. Outsourced teams are already fully trained, familiar with the software to use, and have the relevant tech systems to begin working immediately. Unsurprisingly, outsourcing labour can also be cheaper than changing in-house operations considering the average cost of a customer service employee is £34,346. By introducing outsourcing, businesses could save over £100,000 per annum, based on an average of 2,500 contacts a week.
As customer expectations rise it is more important than ever to ensure that customer concerns are dealt with whenever they decide to make contact. This not only encourages customer satisfaction but can significantly improve customer retention and the associated business revenue.
To find out more about how to introduce more hours into customer care operations please Click Here
Jonny Campbell is Head of Customer Growth and Retention at customer service specialist, FM Outsource
FM Outsource provides tech-led, high-quality customer care for some of the UK’s top companies. Not just a contact centre, FM Outsource use decades of expertise to help clients transform their businesses by boosting efficiency, fostering brand reputation, and providing first-class customer service.
For additional information on FM Outsource visit their Website