How to Provide Customer Service 24/7 Without Increasing Costs
Customers expect excellent customer service at any time of day, on any day of the week, in today’s fast-paced world. We’ll show you how to provide 24/7 customer assistance without rising costs in six different ways.
- Self-service should be improved.
- Set up procedures that are well-defined.
- Prioritize your responses.
- Make use of freelancers.
- Integrate a Livechat Support that is intelligent.
- As much as possible, automate.
Mary isn’t even thinking about sleep as the clock hits 3:30 a.m. Instead, she’s thinking about the LED beauty mask that appeared in an ad on her newsfeed. Mary follows the link to the mask’s manufacturer’s website. She scrolls down the page, hovering her mouse over the giant green “Buy Now” button but not clicking it. No, Mary has a crucial question that must be answered before she can proceed with her purchase. So, what’s next? To compare, consider the following two scenarios:
Mary scrolls and scrolls, clicking and scanning all of the pages until she finds a customer service email address. She types her question and sends it by email. It’s almost 4 a.m. at this time. Mary’s eyes are beginning to droop. But she’s dead set on getting her hands on that mask. She waits for an answer for a few moments before shaking her head. What are the possibilities that they will respond to me at this hour? Mary, disheartened, turns off her laptop and retires to her bed.
Mary gets up late the next morning and doesn’t have time to check her emails before going to work. She’s forgotten about the LED beauty mask by the time she arrives home after a long day. She deletes the email once she receives a response to her enquiry. In any case, she’s lost interest.
On the bottom right of her screen, a conversation window appears. Mary is asked how the Livechat Support can assist her. “Do you give any form of guarantee with this product?” she inquires.
“Yes, the product comes with a one-year warranty,” the bot says after a beat. Mary is pleased with the response and, even at 4 a.m., is impressed with the company’s customer service, which has made her feel important. Mary quickly pressed the “Buy Now” button.
The preceding scenarios, albeit hypothetical, might be quite true. Customers want exceptional customer service from the firms with whom they spend their hard-earned money at any time of day, on any day of the week, in today’s fast-paced world of immediate gratification. So, what is a corporation with a limited budget to do? Customer service team shiftwork is unsustainable for many businesses because nighttime customer service employees seek a higher wage.
However, there are other ways to provide 24/7 customer assistance without increasing your operating expenditures. The best of the lot are as follows:
Self-service should be improved.
The self-service generation is known as the millennials, but they aren’t the only ones who prefer to help themselves rather than wait in line. According to a Charles Schwab survey of 1,800 affluent clients across generations, more than half of those polled (54 percent) prefer to use technology to find solutions to their own issues.
So, give them more strength! Begin by creating a FAQ, and then take it a step further by creating a knowledge bank for your firm. Your knowledge bank can grow over time as all members of your team contribute, and it can be the ideal resource for your customers to discover answers to their queries at any time of day. Furthermore, once it’s built, your work (well, sort of — you should be upgrading it on a regular basis) is done, as is your investment.
It costs you nothing if customers help themselves to information that is freely available in your FAQ or knowledge bank.
Set up procedures that are well-defined.
Playbooks that specify your team’s responses to any customer service-related incident will help them. With practice, they’ll become more adept at applying your processes, from the types of services they’re authorised to provide clients to situations that necessitate management participation.
Ensure that your agents receive regular training on your customer service processes so that they can stay current on any changes to your playbook while also keeping their normal routines fresh in their minds.
Your personnel will be more efficient and successful at servicing your clients if you have clearly-defined regulations and procedures in place, as well as regular training. This will save you time and money, which can then be re-invested in staffing your night shift.
Furthermore, crystal clear processes eliminate user errors, making your consumers — even those who are working late — far more delighted with your service.
Prioritize your responses.
Sometimes it’s obvious that a query shouldn’t be answered until the morning. It’s evident that it can’t wait at other times (for example, when the word “urgent” is used). Train your employees to react appropriately.
If your staff are too busy (or drowsy) to react, at the very least, make sure your clients receive an autoresponder confirming that their enquiry has been received and providing an estimate of when they might anticipate a response. You’re more likely to keep your consumers pleased if you explicitly define expectations, even if you can’t answer their queries right away.
Setting up a prioritisation system is the best way to reply to client inquiries in order of priority. Even if the word “urgent” isn’t used, your agents will be able to rank various client requests in the queue.
The good news is that most modern customer service software has a prioritisation system built in.
To automate this process, you’ll need to create rules that tell your software what’s vital, what’s urgent, and what can wait. This may contain phrases like “urgent,” “today,” “pressing,” “imperative,” “quickly,” or “deadline,” as well as “ASAP,” “today,” “pressing,” “imperative,” “quickly,” or “deadline,” which would be flagged and pushed to the head of the list. This eliminates the need for your agents to manually prioritise each query, allowing them to focus on the requests that require their immediate attention.
Make use of freelancers.
Take advantage of the remote work trend by hiring people from all around the world. Because of the time difference, you may be able to provide true 24-hour customer service without needing to engage night workers.
Remote working is becoming more popular, and research shows that it improves employee efficiency and effectiveness.
According to a study published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, customer service representatives who worked remotely handled 13 percent more calls per day than those who worked in an office.
To accommodate a remote customer service crew, you’ll need to structure things a little differently. It’s a smart start to moving your project management tools to the cloud. Make extensive use of video conferencing platforms such as Skype or Zoom, and schedule regular team meetings. One of the finest ways to promote teamwork and collaboration — even across continents — is to ensure that your team connects at an audio-visual level on a frequent basis.
Integrate a Livechat Support that is intelligent.
You can hire a Livechat Support to work the night shift (and all shifts, really — they don’t whine about having to work extra, after all) with today’s AI technology. Just make sure you choose a Livechat Support that is intelligent and uses AI and NLP. The less intelligent rules-based Livechat Supports simply don’t cut it anymore, as they are inflexible, faulty, and unable to understand anything outside of their predefined bounds.
Intelligent Livechat Supports, on the other hand, can not only speak and interpret human language in a natural way (better than most humans), but they can also learn and grow as they operate, making them more helpful and valuable assets to your company. Furthermore, it has been discovered that clients do not mind conversing with bots. In fact, according to a study by Usabilla, 70% of consumers have used Livechat Supports, and 60% of those who haven’t stated they’d be comfortable doing so.
Even more hopeful, more than half of respondents stated they would prefer to communicate with a Livechat Support than a human if it saved them 10 minutes.
While Livechat Supports may demand a financial commitment, the time and money they will save your firm will be well worth it. Consumer engagement with human operators can range from $15 to $200 USD per inquiry, but customer interactions with Livechat Supports cost an average of $1 per question. As you might see, the savings mount up rapidly. Of course, Livechat Supports can’t and shouldn’t answer all questions. Any complicated problems that emerge at 3 a.m. can be addressed by the Livechat Support first, then passed on to a human agent during business hours. You can bet your customers will be satisfied if you are upfront with them about the fact that they are speaking with a bot and tell them when they may expect a response from a human employee.
As much as possible, automate.
Livechat Supports aren’t the only type of automation technology available to your firm. They shouldn’t be, either. You’d be stupid not to use automation technology as part of your customer service now that it’s become so powerful and pervasive. It is extremely cost-effective to adopt and works at all hours of the day (and night).
You can automate the following tasks:
Email autoresponders: These may be ancient technology, but email autoresponders are still as helpful as ever, allowing you to let your consumers know that they have been heard and that they will receive a response soon, at any time of day.
Customer behaviour prediction: Integrate software that anticipates your customers’ behaviour and the next action the agent should take, all while collecting data to become an expert on your customers’ behaviour and eventually be able to predict every step of the customer journey.
Smart CRM: The best CRMs now include AI technology, which automates data entry and delivers insights into accounts and social media conversations, saving your human agents many hours of typing tiresome bits of personal information about each customer.
Workflow processes: Workflow automation not only saves your company time and money by increasing staff productivity, but it also minimises the rate of human mistakes and the possibility of them.
With today’s technology and trends, providing 24/7 customer support without increasing your company’s costs is actually not that difficult. Livechat Supports, automation technologies, self-service, well-defined processes, prioritisation, and remote workers all make it appear as if your staff never sleep, but in fact, they clock out at the end of the day and turn off to recharge for the next.