An increasing customer base is a tell-tale sign of a growing business. While this comes with many benefits, it also comes with a fair share of challenges.
This means that there will be more customers to keep happy. At some point, it will be impossible to reach out and address every single customer’s needs and issues. This is where you’ll need to kick your customer service operations into overdrive—enter 24/7 customer support.
Of course, implementing customer service 24 hours is a decision that should not be taken lightly—there are so many layers to this that need to be unraveled.
7 benefits of 24/7 customer support
1. Increase in customer retention and customer loyalty
When customers know they can rely on your support when they need it, they are more likely to stick with your brand in the long run. In fact, 93% of customers are more likely to buy again from brands that offer exceptional customer service—and this includes being available whenever customers need you.
A survey also found that 51% of customers believe that companies should be available to assist them 24/7. After all, 24/7 support contributes significantly to building and maintaining customer loyalty. Providing round-the-clock support shows your commitment to customer care. Satisfied customers are more likely to come back for future purchases and recommend your eCommerce store to others.
2. Global accessibility
Offering 24/7 support ensures that you are accessible to a global audience. This can be especially important for online businesses where sales can happen at any hour.
In today’s interconnected world, your customers could be from different time zones and regions. Worldwide retail eCommerce sales, for example, are expected to reach $ 8.1 trillion by 2026—emphasizing the need for round-the-clock support.
5. Gain a competitive advantage
Nowadays, customers demand instant and timely service. In a survey, 44% of respondents shared that having their questions answered right away during a transaction is the most important feature of a website.
This can even be a deciding factor when customers choose where to shop. Standing out in a crowded marketplace is essential for business success.
6. Fast and real-time issue resolution
Imagine this scenario: It’s a Saturday evening, and a customer encounters a technical glitch on your website that prevents them from completing a purchase. With 24/7 customer support, they can reach out for assistance right away. If customer service isn’t available, then they wouldn’t be able to complete their purchase—leading to lost income.
According to a survey by HubSpot, 90% of customers rate an immediate response as important or very important when they have a customer service question.
7. Increase in customer satisfaction
Did you know that 77% of customers value brands that are able to deliver top-notch quality customer service? Well, you can count on 24/7 support to help you deliver this. In turn, you can build a positive brand image for your company. Customers will then share through word-of-mouth their positive customer experience, boosting your eCommerce business’ credibility.
When customers know that they can reach your support team at any time, it instills a sense of trust and reliability. When your customers trust you, you will have good customer retention rates. And when you have good retention rates, you’ll see your customer lifetime value increase.
5 signs your business needs to implement 24/7 customer support
Not yet sure if your business really needs 24/7 availability? Here are the telltale signs that should help you in deciding if 24/7 customer service is right for your business.
1. You’re catering to a global customer base
When your eCommerce business expands its customer base internationally, time zone differences start standing out. Your customers from different parts of the world may start requesting assistance outside of regular business hours. If you find your customers from other timezones steadily increasing, this is a sign that you may need to scale your customer support services.
2. Your inquiries and support tickets are piling up
If you’re seeing a consistent increase in your customer inquiries, complaints, or requests for support, then it’s time to make a change. Do pay attention to customer feedback as well. If your customers mention that they need extended support hours or that they need faster response times in surveys, reviews, or direct communication—then they need 24/7 support.
3. Your business sells complex products
The more complex your products are, the more frequent your customers will request for assistance. Implementing 24/7 support ensures you deliver much-needed help when they need it most. For example, SaaS services are being used by tons of companies all around the world at different hours.
SaaS customer support is no longer optional. Since most of these are subscriptions, providing exceptional customer support will affect their retention rate—it’s imperative to be there whenever they need answers or technical support.
4. Your abandoned carts are increasing
This could mean that your customers are facing obstacles or have unaddressed questions during the checkout process. With 24/7 support, you can address these concerns immediately, helping customers push through with their purchases.
5. Your metrics and analytics also start spelling it out
If your customer service metrics show higher ticket volume, inconsistent response times, and below-average customer satisfaction scores…then there’s no sugarcoating this. When the data itself shows a need for extended support, it’s time to consider 24/7 support.
Questions you need to ask yourself when considering 24/7 support
So you’ve decided to invest in 24/7 customer service. But it’s not as simple as that—you can’t just decide today and have it geared up and working tomorrow.
What’s the next step? If you’re ready, here are some prerequisites you’ll need to fulfill before full implementation:
Do you have the resources?
You’ll need to make sure you have the necessary resources to provide 24/7 customer service. Part of this is figuring out if you will hire additional customer support agents or invest in automated support solutions like chatbots. Another option is to outsource the entire customer service team and strategy.
Is your technology infrastructure ready?
You’ll need a robust technology infrastructure in place to support round-the-clock customer support. Your internet connectivity, customer support software, and communication tools with clients should be reliable enough to handle continuous customer interactions.
Does your team have the proper training and skills?
It’s important to train your customer support team to handle inquiries effectively at all hours. They’ll need to be fluent with the ins and outs of your products, services, and company policies because you won’t be there 24/7. Additionally, 24/7 customer service might require some organizational changes due to schedules, so this is also something to consider.
What are the procedures, policies, and expectations for handling 24/7 support scenarios?
You have to establish and communicate clear customer support policies to ensure consistency. Aside from response times, you’ll need to issue resolution procedures and escalation paths for more complex problems.
To manage customer expectations by clearly communicating the hours during which 24/7 support is available. By being transparent about response times during non-standard hours, you can prevent customer misunderstandings and frustrations.
Best practices to make your 24/7 support stand out
- Leverage automation. Remember when we mentioned that 24/7 customer support won’t entirely be up to your human workforce? Use automation tools like chatbots and AI-driven systems to handle the more routine inquiries. They can also help with providing immediate and timely responses. This should free up your human agents to focus on more complex issues and other business operations.
- Set clear service levels for response times and issue resolution. Be sure to communicate these expectations to your customers and strive to meet or even exceed them. To add to that, be transparent with your customers about expected response times during non-standard hours to prevent frustration.
- Provide self-service options. Common issues usually have easy solutions your customers can figure out without assistance. Create a comprehensive knowledge base on your website for your customers to refer to. Doing so gives your customers the option to find answers to common questions independently.
- Cross-train your agents. Give your agents the edge with the flexibility to handle various types of inquiries. Ensure that they’re fully equipped with the knowledge to solve various issues at all times.
- Optimize your shift scheduling. Implement a shift scheduling system that ensures your support agents are available during critical times. Also, consider balancing strategic handovers between shifts.
- Conduct regular audits. This can help you identify areas for improvement. You’ll get a much clearer idea of ways to further optimize your 24/7 services.
The verdict: 24/7 customer support is the key to elevating your business
As you may already have figured, 24/7 support is not just a nice-to-have. It has become a strategic necessity for online businesses. However, it does take a lot of investment and commitment to your support function to make it work. But when done right, customers will appreciate your company going above and beyond to address their inquiries no matter the time.
It’s indeed a major leap towards your goal of scaling your brand into a global presence. While 24/7 live chat is a good place to start, you’ll need a whole lot more to stand out.
At LTVplus, we understand the importance of 24/7 customer support and the positive impact it can have on your business. We’re not just your service provider; we’re your partners in creating exceptional customer experiences.
So, if you’re ready to take your customer support to the next level and ensure that you’re always there for your customers, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Your happy customers, will thank you, and your business will thrive.