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5 REASONS BUSINESSES SHOULD CONSIDER 24-HOUR SUPPORT

5 REASONS BUSINESSES SHOULD CONSIDER 24-HOUR SUPPORT

The customer is always right, but what if you can’t hear the customer?

A pressing issue for many businesses is whether they should offer 24-hour customer support. In an ideal world, every company would provide the service, but this is not a perfect world. Whether it is necessary to have after hour support depends on the type of business you run and your client’s needs.

Below you will find a few reasons we believe 24/7 customer support could make sense for your business.

Does your competition have 24-hour support?

Having 24-hour support is a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition. An excellent approach to finding out whether after-hours support is vital to your clients is to ask your sales reps how they feel about its importance. A potential indicator on the after-hours supports necessity could be how many times potential customers inquire what your customer support hours are. If your sales reps or support team think there is a need, then it may be a good idea to expand your hours.

Offering this level of support may provide your team with the cherry on top to close new business.

It’s cost effective and provides a quick turn on rising issues.

If you’re not providing around the clock customer support, then you may be letting trouble tickets build up. When customer support teams come in to start their day many of them do not have the time to listen to voicemails and handle after hour trouble tickets. If it’s a busy morning and the phone lines stay steadily busy, then the support team may get to the issues too late which will only hurt the relationship you built with your customer. If your customers have to call back unhappy this may damage the morale of your call center team as well.

It could be a good idea to have just a few reps on the floor during the off hours or even expand them to the most common time of your missed calls.

Peace of Mind

Imagine one of your most important clients has an immediate issue or question during off hours. If your client has no way of having their issue resolved, then the matter may go from a mild inconvenience to an expensive business mistake. Depending on the service you offer your client may lose out on a sale or the business of an existing customer.

By not offering around the clock support, then you are putting yourself at risk to lose a client every day.

Customer support reps can sell too.

Your sales reps aren’t the only ones selling. Current customers aren’t the ones calling into the support line. Many times people are calling in to learn a bit more about your product or service. Potential customers who may not have the time to call during regular business hours may be more inclined to call during their off hours, and if you don’t have someone ready to handle this call, then you might lose out on future business. If you don’t have a portal to process purchases 24/7, then a customer service rep may be your best bet on closing new business.

Bad News Travels Quickly

If your customer has a bad experience working with you, then they may share their knowledge with others in the industry. With social media platforms like Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter at our fingertips, customers have the tools to share their experience faster than ever. By having a 24/7 customer support reps handling not only calls but also monitoring keywords that may pertain to your business then you will be able to handle issues as soon as they come. Your brand is everything, and one customer’s experience can make a lasting impact on whether potential customers want to work with you.

We understand that there are far more than five benefits to having a 24-hour customer support line. If you have any tips that you’d like to share, please drop us a line below.

We drew inspiration for this article from Axiom’s article, The Importance of Having 24-hour Customer Support for Your Business

4 CALL CENTER TRENDS CHANGING THE LANDSCAPE TODAY

4 CALL CENTER TRENDS CHANGING THE LANDSCAPE TODAY

If you’re like most people, then it’s been a while since you’ve taken the time to check out the latest trends in your industry. Engineers work tireless nights to produce new software or to modify the old solutions. Marketing and sales teams hound you to check out their new product, features or service but you don’t have the time nor the desire to listen, we’ve all been there. Now although it’s normal for us to pass on new information for far too long, it’s vital for us to check back and see what we may have missed.

With summer coming to an end we have created a summer short hit list of new trends you should be watching out for this year.

1. Customer experience is meant to be kept short and sweet.

Time is of the essence. Your clients and prospects do not have the time to be on a single call for the entire day. With the advent of email, voice automation, and call screening software, your support team can burn through calls in minutes all while ensuring customers are happy. It’s important for call center managers to build solutions that expedite the process of each request. For example, If a customer has an issue with a particular billing issue, then it should be routed to the billing department or a voice recording of the solution. There is no need for your customer to speak with someone in the wrong department. Simplify your process and make it easier for your customers and agents to handle the problem at hand.

2. Agent enablement is a must

Give your agents the tools to succeed. These tools can range from email tracking software to having a robust CRM. Provide your agents with access to the CRM so that they can readily access accounts and better understand the account they are handling.

If you don’t already have a virtual playbook full of tips and tricks for handling any conversation, then build one out. Chances are your reps are all dealing with the same issues. Having an online knowledge center for your team can help expedite common problems.

Don’t skimp on training. With the advancements of today’s technology new and unusual situations are being brought up every day in your call center. Particular circumstances may become more common as time goes on. Agents must be ready for any and every situation. Make sure to provide them not only with physical tools but also ongoing training. A better-trained team will put you in the driver’s seat to succeed.

3. Self-service and ticket deflection

Customers can fix problems without the use of one of your agents. If a question is as simple as flipping a switch, then it is vital that you exhibit ways for your customers to learn about the resolution. The more information you publish, the more time your agents will have to work customers needs.

It is essential to have a knowledge bank ready for your customers so that they can handle some of the more straightforward issues as well as, the more commonly asked questions about your service and or platform.

4. Social media support channels

Some don’t enjoy conversing over the phone. Texting, email, Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, & Instagram provide users with a new way of communication that doesn’t necessarily require a human voice. Currently, it is easy to communicate with an emoji as it is with words. Therefore, it is crucial for you to provide customers with other means of reaching you without having to call in.

It is essential to have your agents aware that customers may be reaching out via social media. If your company is not currently utilizing any of these tools to communicate with customers, you are handicapping yourself. Create a game plan for answering questions by searching hashtags, and direct messages via your social media pages. Remember, when a client or potential client reach out via social media then that message could be public. The more readily your team is to answer these questions, the stronger your brand will be.

The list above is only a small list of items you should be aware of moving forward. Trends are always changing, and therefore you should be ready to take a look at your current operations and talk to your agents a few times a year.

We drew inspiration for this article from Mitel’s article, THE 9 MOST IMPORTANT CALL CENTER TECHNOLOGY TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2018.

3 MAJOR CHALLENGES FACING CALL CENTER MANAGEMENT TODAY

3 MAJOR CHALLENGES FACING CALL CENTER MANAGEMENT TODAY

The work of a call center agent can be rigorous and stressful and the day of a call center manager tends to be unpredictable. As the leader, it is the call center manager’s responsibility to handle all the affairs that the agents can’t control, whether that be a difficult call, technical issue, or office politics. The manager’s duties extend to guaranteeing that the office team is working efficiently, in a comfortable space that they enjoy working in.

If you’re able to handle the task of creating a happy and efficient work environment, customers will recognize that on calls and respond positively. Pleasant calls and a stable work environment will provide a happy agent, manager and even happier customer.

Creating a Dream Team

The most significant challenge a call center manager has is building and maintaining a strong team to rely on day to day. Without a strong team, it is impossible to run an effective call center. It is imperative you create a positive and pleasant work environment. Not to say that you shouldn’t hold your agents accountable because making sure everyone is doing his or her work to the best of his or her ability is essential. It is necessary to praise your employees when they have a great call and when they hit goal. If you can create an atmosphere of trust, confidence, accountability, and family, then you will rarely find yourself looking for new agents.

Every day, call center agents are jumping ship for the promise of better pay, and work environment. When you find yourself with agents who believe they will be taken better care of elsewhere, then you will also find yourself with new seats to fill. So how do you change this?

If you create an environment that encourages friendship and teamwork, then you will find yourself with employees who like being around each other. If your employees see they aren’t just working with other employees but friends then they will be more comfortable coming into the office every day. It’s a lot easier to quit when you don’t know who is sitting in the chair next to you. When your employees get to know the people around them, then they will find it a daunting task to leave them.

Friendships and teamwork are not going to resolve all the issues that come from working in a high-stress atmosphere. Let’s be honest- the job of a call center agent is not for everyone. It is one thing to handle smooth sailing and another to handle treacherous waters; whether those waters be unhappy customers or not hitting goals.

Technology Stops for No One

If it’s not broke, don’t fix it but don’t skimp on the tune-up.

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Your phones are probably dated and so is the technology running them. If not, then consider yourself one of the few who updates his or her software and technology every day. Week after week, new technology and software come out that makes the life of telecom managers and agents easier.

With so many different vendors and systems to choose from it’s almost impossible to stay up to date on all the technological advances happening. Luckily for you, the changes occurring are not significant enough for you to have to revisit your technology every day.

If the time permits, you should revisit your current operations once a quarter. Set a time in your calendar to chat with your agents. Ask them if they have any issues with the systems you are currently working with and if they think anything could be improved. After all, they are the ones using the phones and software, and they will be able to provide the best feedback on what works and what doesn’t.

By checking in once a quarter, you will provide yourself with the knowledge required to make any changes to your operations in the future. The more information that you have, the more capable you will be to help your agents and customers.

Not Enough Support

Call centers don’t have to be sexy, but they do need to run like a well-oiled machine. Executives in your organization may not see the call center as important as some of the other aspects of the business. However, if an executive were to take a day to sit in the trenches, he or she would see how vital the call center is for the current and future state of the business.

Call centers provide the backbone and support for the organization. As managers, we must ensure that all of our agents have a solution for every question and problem a customer may have.

Make sure to set times each week to review calls with your agents. If you can set up a weekly or monthly email or meeting with your agents to discuss some of the most significant challenges you hear about and address best practice for handling these issues.

We know call center managers face far more than three challenges and it’s impossible for us to account for them all in a single blog post. To simplify, a great place to focus on is ensuring you are creating an atmosphere that invites positive and open communication between agents and managers. If you can do this, then it will trickle down into positive interactions with customers.

We drew inspiration for this article from OnBrand 24’s article, Call Center Management Challenges.