Importance of After-Hours Support for eCommerce Businesses

Robert Brown
August 17, 2022
 Mins Read

Gone are the days when businesses could shut shop by 5 PM. For any online business, the need for 24/7 customer support arises from the simple fact that customers are not restricted by geography or time zones.

The e-age customer is online, shopping at any time of the day or night and may require assistance accordingly. Technically, there is no ‘end of day’ anymore, and hence, online businesses need to be available for their customers, all the time. Not only will this customer service help build equity among buyers, but it will also give you an edge over competition.

Online businesses have completely revolutionized the process of buying and selling. However, if you think from the consumer’s point of view, he or she is paying for the convenience and cost-effectiveness of online shopping with a great degree of ambiguity. The physical distance between the buyer and seller adds risks to the customer’s purchase. Online shoppers face an added burden at every stage of the buying process, and this is where customer support needs to be present to ease their research workload and checkout process in every way possible. This creates a requirement for an even higher degree of support, through after-hours help desks.

When it comes to providing customer support round the clock, most businesses have two choices:

  • Let the customer leave a message through voicemail, and you revert in the morning
  • Pick up the call, no matter what time it is

While the first option seems easier, the second option will ensure that you do not lose a customer, and hence, will gain valuable business. It is beneficial for online businesses to invest in after-hours support, the reasons for which are listed below.

Importance of After-Hours Support for Online Businesses

1. Never Miss an Important Call:

In today’s fast paced business scenario, it is crucial to be able to offer services around the clock and on weekends to ensure no sales slip through the cracks. The more you will be available for your consumers, the more sales you will be able to close.

2. Build Credibility and Increase Business:

Being available to your customers at all times sends across the message that you care for them and their needs. This will help increase faith in your business and also gives you a good reputation amongst online shoppers. Even if 99% of your incoming calls are not urgent, you will increase your branding just by being available.

3. Experience Drop in Abandonment Rates and Frustrated Clients:

A customer receiving support when and where he needs it will be able to solve his queries promptly. This means you will have lesser frustrated clients to deal with, and will be able to build loyalty with existing ones. Also, an informed customer is more likely to complete a purchase and not abandon their cart midway.

4. Up-Sell and Cross-Sell:

A pre-recorded message or email cannot up-sell, cross-sell. To leverage these opportunities, it is necessary to have customer service agents manning the phone lines and live chat and responding to emails at all times.

5. Cater Across Geographies:

Providing after-hours support recognizes the fact that your eCommerce business needs to deliver exemplary customer service to all potential prospects, irrespective of time zone, and not just those in or near your own location.

6. Increase Productivity of Employees:

With overnight messages from customers going into voicemail, employees who come in in the morning will have a large volume of work to go through, even before they get to the days’ new tasks. Providing after-hours support will lighten this burden for key employees or at the very least, organize and prioritize the workload for them.

7. Suits Nature of Business:

Your business should definitely install 24x7 support if:

1. You deal with time-sensitive products or services

2. You deal with customers who are not in your time zone(s)

3. Real-life risks may be involved

4. Customers use your product round the clock

5. Service is a core competency for your business

One of the best ways to provide after-hours support without having to invest in new employees, training, technology, and infrastructural matters, is to outsource to an expert contact center provider. A leading customer service outsourcing company that has 24/7 operations, multi-channel communication options (for phone, live chat, and email), well-trained personnel, and adequate technology resources, will be able to deliver the quality of support that your business takes pride in, without any compromise.

Article by
Robert Brown

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