The importance of contact centres goes far beyond answering customer calls. It is the focal point to attract consumers and build trust among your target audience. Even if your agents are unable to resolve issues spontaneously, the assurance that somebody is always available to help will result in happier customers.
Nurturing this satisfaction is possible only if your contact centre is accessible 24/7 for customer convenience. Unconditional availability of services will have a positive impact on your brand. Furthermore, simple ways to reach out to your support staff and an understanding customer care agent team will add to the benefits.
So, what are the nuances of having a 24/7 contact centre? Let’s check them out.
What is a 24/7 support contact centre?
As the name suggests, in this system, clients can reach you 24 hours a day, every day—without any restrictions. The customers are free to contact these support kiosks at any time of the day or night, irrespective of the time zones, from across the globe.
Is 24/7 support important for your business?
Definitely. It plays an important role in showcasing your brand reliability and boosting customer satisfaction, while also reducing the average call waiting time. Round-the-clock availability enables people to contact you at their time of convenience, thereby evenly distributing the number of calls received.
This ensures that call waiting and queues are significantly minimised. The call waiting time is a key metric in determining customer satisfaction and your team’s performance. A 24/7 support centre helps achieve highly on this metric.
Moreover, this is your chance to boost trust and earn loyal customers for the long run. The Customer Effort Score (CES) refers to the effort dedicated by your customers to contact you. When your services are not available, they try to contact you repeatedly, thereby increasing the CES. On the other hand, 24/7 availability reduces the effort required to reach your support agents, and therefore, reduces CES.
How can you ensure 24/7 availability of services?
There are several factors like technology, team size, and funds that need to be considered for your business to scale up to round-the-clock availability. Here are a few points to consider:
Provide options for self-service
Businesses have begun to understand the importance of 24/7 availability. Though your customers should be attended by agents, at times, self-service options can be the better choice. They can help manage your workforce while handling customers. However, there are a few aspects that need to be taken care of when enabling self-service.
Make sure that you maintain an updated knowledge base that is linked to these self-service options. Consider this: a customer requests a product page link and gets redirected to an old page. This will reflect the ignorance and incompetence on your part. Ensure that you have a dedicated team that keeps updating documents and information on this knowledge repository for seamless customer services.
Moreover, you should consider categorising solutions based on common content themes and FAQs. This will make it easier for agents and your system to find answers to customer issues based on keywords entirely.
Providing options to register customer feedback will leave a positive mark on users. Offer means to submit reviews and complaints about the self-service experience.
Chatbots are the leading trend in self-service. Though the knowledge base provides the required answer to the customers, chatbots help in initiating a two-way conversation. These bots learn from customer experiences and are trained to derive solutions from existing data. They can prompt contextual questions and provide human-like answers.
Furthermore, chatbots can engage customers and offer personalised answers to resolve all their queries.
In fact, 67% of service-related interactions can be effectively handled by customers in dedicated communities.
Setting up community forums is another great route to take. A community forum usually includes your customers who interact with each other about your products and services. The questions posed by new users are answered by older clients. Typically, unaddressed questions can be handled by your team. This platform will help build trust and reliability as answers from another customer reflects transparency and loyalty.
Expand your customer support team
If you have decided to provide round-the-clock services for your customers, expanding your team is an important requirement in addition to offering self-service options.
Adopt a shift-schedule and train your agents to handle customers from across the globe. You’ll require a team proficient in different languages and with an understanding of diverse cultures. When your agents begin to work in shifts, it helps distribute workload evenly, thereby helping provide quality service.
This further enables agents to get used to the work pattern and deal with a specific number of customers with high productivity. Proactive shift management helps keep track of the number of agents working in each shift, and better manage them.
Maintaining teams based on the sun model is another approach. Here, teams are established in different locations based on your geographical requirements. You should ensure a proper handoff of pending activities at the end of each day to avoid discrepancies in a distributed environment. This kind of set-up will help boost your global visibility and improve the average rate of resolution time.
How should you optimise your processes to deliver 24/7 support effectively?
Maintain an omnichannel helpdesk
Omnichannel presence is as important as offering 24/7 support. You cannot restrict the medium through which your customers prefer to contact you. You may receive a higher number of requests through your call centre at some time or may get a few emails during some other.
You should maintain a consistent quality of service through all these channels alike. For example, having an up-to-date contact centre while neglecting your social media channels will harm your brand image. It’s best to have a dedicated team for every support medium or, at least, maintain a proactive team that takes charge of all the support platforms diligently. Setting up SLAs that run round-the-clock will help ensure that all the support requests are taken care of.
Automate major process workflows
Assigning request tickets, and managing inter-team and inter-shift dependencies can become challenging in a distributed set-up. When you automate these workflows, important information is automatically passed on without any hiccups—ensuring uninterrupted workflows.
Tickets are assigned to the right agents based on their demography, expertise, and customer segments that results in the smooth functioning of processes and a higher rate of customer satisfaction.
Measure your team performance regularly
Tracking and monitoring play an important role in your contact centre. You’re able to identify bottlenecks in processes and curb them promptly. You need to track the ticket volumes, your workforce capability to tackle them, and the level of proactiveness demonstrated by your team in resolving the issues.
Make sure that you offer consistent feedback to your team and also receive their views about the processes in place. They work on the frontline and are the first to sense any problem that may arise due to improper procedures. Be open to suggestions and improve your contact centre system based on them.
Round-the-clock availability of services has become a necessity rather than a luxury these days. Customers have begun to expect personalised and speedy delivery of services and support. Hopefully, the above-mentioned points will throw light on the importance of 24/7 support services and the different ways about its implementation for businesses.
You can take your contact centre to the next level of performance by adopting the right cloud communication tools. Get in touch with us at 0800-084-3663 or [email protected] to get expert advice and get started.
Acefone provides a broad range of cloud communication services to businesses of all sizes, which includes Hosted Phone Systems, Free Phone Numbers, and Cloud Contact Center Solutions. Being the UK’s leading provider of VoIP service provider, we always strive to provide excellent customer service and high-quality custom solutions to our customers.