Is a 24/7 Call Center Right for Your Business?
Anyone who works a typical 9 a.m.-5 p.m. job knows the struggle of trying to contact a call center. Most call centers are only open during that timeframe, making it difficult for customers to call in with questions or concerns. And you can forget about calling in during your lunch break because everyone else in the world is trying to do the same thing. If you do happen to reach a real agent during lunch, chances are your break is almost over by the time you’re connected.
All in all, call centers can be incredibly hard to get a hold of, which is ironic for organizations that are supposed to be all about serving customers. How are they supposed to help customers if people can’t even manage to contact them? That’s where 24/7 call centers come into play and, believe me, the benefits are worth noting.
Before we dive into the benefits, let’s take a look at how operating a 24/7 call center is even possible. You may be thinking that there are no agents who will be willing to work in the early morning hours but, luckily, they won’t have to. This is where remote agents can be useful. If a call center is located on the east coast, for example, it can employ agents from all around the U.S. That way, if a customer on the east coast gets home at, say, 7 p.m. and wants to call in with a question about their account, they can easily do so because agents on the west coast will still be working. This keeps customers happy, employs more people, and keeps agents from having to work odd hours.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of operating a 24/7 call center. With a call center that’s open all day, agents can take orders, offer toll free services, up sell, cross sell, capture more leads, help callers register for conferences, provide help and support, and provide emergency response if need be (think about how nice it would be to report that your air conditioner has broken in the middle of the night, so that someone can be dispatched first thing in the morning to fix it). All of these things happen anyway, of course, but the magnitude will increase the longer a call center is open.
Not only that, but offering 24/7 service paints a picture of reliability for customers. You’re not just saying that you’ll always be there to help with their needs, you actually are available every hour of every day. This is great for business and will make companies stand out from the competition. I know that I, along with plenty of other people, would be more likely to opt for the company that offers full-time support, rather than one I can only reach during certain hours. We, as consumers, are used to convenience, and smart call centers reflect that fact.
Of course, not every company will choose to implement a 24/7 call center. However, healthcare professionals, professional services (lawyers, real estate sales and property management, insurance services, etc.) and service contractors (plumbing, electrical, HVAC, etc.) would all undoubtedly benefit from this option.
Edited by Maurice Nagle