Depending on the type of business you run, it may be difficult to grasp exactly why you need to offer 24/7 service to your customers.
After all, if you don’t ship orders through the night, don’t take emergency calls, and don’t have workers covering shifts for possible emerging situations, you may feel like your business will be just fine working only during office hours.
But in reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Modern advancements have opened the possibility of online shopping or ordering to practically all industries, and falling behind on the times could hinder your company’s growth.
Modern customers expect instant solutions
It wasn’t until too long ago that most shopping was done in person. Customers had to wait until a store was open to see the products and items that they offered, check whether there were any sales or discounts available, or talk to a customer service agent on-site to solve any questions they may have had before making a purchase.
But thanks to the advent of modern technologies, such as the internet and the ever-present smartphone, anyone can shop from the comfort of their own home, anyday, anytime.
Most of us know the feeling — we’re lying in bed, it’s really late at night, and we’re scrolling down an online store. Something catches our eye, but the information on the description section doesn’t include some details that we would like to know before completing the purchase. Maybe we need to know whether the item ships quickly, or we simply want to confirm one of the product’s features.
In any case, we’re stuck. Previous generations would know that their only option was to wait until the next day, when they could call the business or go in person to solve their inquiries. However, the generations that have grown up using internet shopping have completely different expectations of how businesses should work.
In most cases, it’s fairly easy to find an alternative business that offers the same products that they are looking for. So if they can’t find a way to contact customer service quickly, they can just do a quick internet search to find those alternatives, and you will lose a potential customer without even realizing it.
If you’re running a small, local business, you may think that these potential losses will be small and won’t have a significant impact on your bottom line. But if the internet has affected traditional businesses in another way, it’s by giving them the ability to enter a globalized market with clients from practically any country in the world. Which brings us to our next point…
24-hour customer service is necessary if you want to be competitive on the global stage
A few decades back, it would have been practically impossible for a small business in… Nebraska or Colorado, for example, to sell its products to a global audience hailing from different continents. The majority of small and medium-sized businesses were strictly confined to their own geographical location, with only a small percentage of sales being carried out by mail order catalogs or phone sales.
But now, clients from all over the world can find your website or social media profiles and decide that they want to purchase your products. As long as it has a working internet connection and access to a shipping company, even a small boutique shop could find itself selling its products to a worldwide audience.
However, things may get complicated if a customer from Asia, for instance, wants to talk to someone at your Californian business before committing to a purchase. Time zone differences can make it very difficult for potential customers to be able to communicate with your business during office hours, and they may eventually give up and choose to take their business elsewhere.
A convenient, effective, and affordable solution
So, how can you solve the 24/7 customer service conundrum? Setting up an on-site call center that operates around the clock is cost-prohibitive for most small and medium-sized businesses, and it may be an excessive strategy in many cases.
But don’t despair just yet — there is another solution you can use.
Virtual answering services provide your business with the opportunity to offer 24/7 customer service that is completely customizable to your needs. Professionally-trained customer service agents will work remotely to ensure that every potential customer that contacts your business will receive a satisfactory answer in no time, guaranteeing that inquiries will be solved quickly so that you don’t have to worry about losing business even after you have closed your doors for the day.