If your business operates a customer contact centre, either outsourced or in-house, how do you refine and define your operating hours to meet the ever-changing needs of your customers?
Do you work on a traditional 9 to 5 Monday to Friday model? Or have you adapted to have an 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday model? Or do you even offer 7 days a week 8 am to 8 pm operation?
Balancing staffing, management and operational costs versus the need to have extended customer contact hours is an ongoing challenge for any customer contact centre. Monitoring and analysing call volumes by time of day and day of the week is a standard operating procedure within every good customer contact centre. But depending on whether you are servicing B2C or B2B customers will be a major factor in your decision of what hours and days of the week you need to offer telephone customer contact.
In a recent in-depth customer survey by Talkdesk “What customers want from support contact centres” provided some enlightening and thought-provoking results. When asked the question “If phone support is not available, what form of communication do customers prefer?”. With 68% of respondents being happy to email the customer contact centre, whilst 24% are happy to work with a web self-service function, 8% content to use webchat and 1% would contact you via social media messaging.
So, in the evolving world of customer contact, your customers will accept an alternative contact method, as long as you don’t have restrictive opening hours or have a slow response level to email/ web chat.
Offering opening hours of 8 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday and 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday for B2B business is more than acceptable for the majority of customers to contact you outside their work shifts. Offering calling options before or after their workday, or even on a weekend morning.
If you have a more restrictive set of opening hours (9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday), and maybe operate an out-of-hours answer service or a callback option. You will need to factor, plan and ensure that you don’t create bottlenecks. As quoted by Paul Miller, Associate Director in an article in Call Centre Helper.com trade journal “[…] It makes sense to respond to this because if you don’t you just create a bottleneck the following morning and customer satisfaction suffer but so does operational efficiency – your peaks are higher,” said Miller.
Here at BDM Talk we work closely with all of our clients to ensure we offer the most appropriate and effective opening hours for customer telephone contact, as well as managing other customer contact preferences such as email and webchat.
To see and discuss the benefits of outsourcing customer contact and how it will enhance and benefit your business.