How often do your consumers call your center only to be greeted by long wait times or worse - an automated recording letting them know that you are unavailable during non-business hours? Nothing upsets the modern customer like not being able to handle their business when and where they need to. If you want your business to be the kind that captures and holds consumer attention - and satisfies their needs - you should consider extended contact center hours of operation.
What are the Drawbacks of Abbreviated Business Hours?
Before extending your business hours and taking on the potential upswing in labor costs, you may be wondering if it’s really worth it. What are the reasons for doing so? Are there really that many drawbacks to opting out of extended business hours?
The problem with a short workday is twofold. First, your center gets much less done than it could if your hours were extended. Whatever industry you may be working in, there are always on-site tasks that could be taken care of during extra shifts. If your entire team goes home after eight hours of work, those things have to wait until those same team members return the next day - or after the weekend is over - to be completed.
Secondly and perhaps most importantly, fewer shifts in your contact center hours of operation mean fewer customers can be served. Consider how many consumers you typically serve per agent, per hour at your contact center. Then, you can easily determine how many you lose out on by opting not to extend your contact center hours of operation. The shorter your window of availability is, the fewer consumers you can service per day and the fewer happy customers you can create. In short, abbreviated hours are simply bad for business!
Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule. In very small contact centers or those that are not yet able to stand alone - such as those that are part of other businesses - it can be cost-prohibitive to run twenty-four hours a day. Weighing the benefits versus the costs to your business is important. However, for most larger or growing call centers, there are few reasons not to consider extending business hours and offering today’s consumer the round-the-clock service they want and expect.
How Does Extending Your Contact Center Hours of Operation Benefit Your Business?
Now you see how abbreviating your hours can hurt your bottom line. But how does extending them benefit you?
There are many reasons to consider extending your contact center hours of operation, but the most important is the accessibility to consumers. In today’s global marketplace, you are more likely to have customers calling from different time zones or who have scheduling needs that make calling during traditional business hours difficult. To make reaching your center easier for these consumers - and to retain their business - it is important to offer hours that work for them.
Modern customers love being able to reach your staff no matter what time of day or day of the week it is. They enjoy knowing that someone will be available to speak to them live on the phone or chat with them in person via messenger services whenever customer support is needed. Problems don’t arise on a schedule, so why should customer service only be available from 8-5 on weekdays? Offering 24/7 support is ideal for today’s customer service approach - and the best way to keep your consumers satisfied.
A few more reasons to consider extending your contact center hours of operation include:
- Outlast the competition. In a market where every business either has its own contact center or partners with one, it pays to have a customer service department that is available later or longer than that of your direct competitors. Consumers notice that type of difference - and are drawn to companies that provide it!
- No cracks for calls to fall through. Imagine how many calls go unanswered or consumers go without service when your contact center has abbreviated hours. When you extend those hours to be as close to 24-hour service as possible, you eliminate the worry that these calls may “fall through the cracks”. Every call that comes in stands an equal chance of being answered and every customer has the opportunity to speak to a live agent, no matter what time they call.
- Handling emergency calls. Some industries - such as health care - need 24-hour customer service lines for the sake of patient safety. Without them, consumers wouldn’t be able to reach their providers in the event of an emergency. If your contact center is partnering with a health care provider or similar business, being able to provide 24-hour contact center hours of operation is a boon to business and customer satisfaction alike.
Do It All with the Right Technology
No matter what industry you’re in and why you’re considering extending your contact center hours of operation, doing so requires improved technology. You’ll need better software to help your staff handle the increased hours and provide night-shift employees with meaningful training tasks during the downtime that can occur during their hours.
Thankfully, upgrading your technology isn’t difficult. All you have to do is partner with the right provider of call center technology solutions - and ChaseData is exactly that. At ChaseData, we have exactly what you need to grow and expand your business through operation hours extension - or simply keep your current consumers happy with more accessibility. Regardless of your goals, we can match you with the right tools and technology to help you meet them.
Give us a call today to find out more about our wide range of solutions for your contact center. You’ll be surprised at just how easy we can make extending your hours of operation - and how great those extended hours will be for your business!