In our digitally connected world, customers want to engage with brands whenever they need to. Many companies consider an omnichannel approach the solution to this problem, but there is one question that must be answered: Is your brand accessible 24/7? According to a recent study by West Unified Communications Services, 74% of the customers surveyed were frustrated that service was only available during business hours. If offering live agent support at all times is not possible for your brand, these six tips will help you deliver exceptional 24/7 service that your customers will love.
When a mobile customer wants to make a simple request, chatbots can be as efficient as human agents. For example, if a customer wants to know the business hours of a retail store or the expected delivery date of a recent purchase, he can contact your brand through a messaging app and receive chatbot support. Chatbots enable your brand to provide assistance when agents are unavailable. During business hours, these chatbots can handle easy tasks so that agents can spend time on more complex cases.
While automated email responses do not actually answer customers’ questions, they can reassure customers that their cases will soon be handled. When a customer contacts your brand via email, always follow up immediately with an email. Acknowledge receipt of the message, and give an approximate response time. You may also include self-service information such as links to frequently asked questions, and your brand may even assign a case number to the customer right from the start.
Customers can save time if you offer them self-service options. One of the best ways to ensure 24/7 service is to provide rich information that they can access anytime. For example, provide a list of frequently asked questions on your website and update it regularly. Video tutorials are also excellent self-service tools, engaging the customer in a fun way while educating them at the same time.
At times, customers may have complex issues that your frequently asked questions list does not address. Since other customers may have experienced the same problems, your brand can actively encourage them to discuss. Create a discussion forum on your website that invites customers to discuss topics by theme. Make sure an agent moderates the forum and engages in the discussion whenever customers are unable to resolve a problem.
Some of the self-service content featured on your website can also be posted on your social media channels. For example, frequently asked questions and video tutorials may be shared. During business hours, agents should respond to any new questions or comments that have been posted, offering further support when needed.
Many companies provide 24/7 agent support by hiring employees in different time zones. If that is not possible for your company, one other approach is to allow your agents greater flexibility by allowing them to work remotely. For example, some agents will be happy to work later hours if they can work from home. Customers may benefit from longer support hours, while employees may enjoy better working hours.Providing exceptional 24/7 customer service is undoubtedly challenging. However, by anticipating your customers’ needs and finding proactive solutions, you will help them find what they need and build a reputation as a reliable—and accessible—brand.
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