Not every business needs 24-hour customer support. But for some, especially in the technology sector, customers need support outside of standard domestic office hours. Providing this IT support could give your company an impressive advantage over your competition, or simply provide a service your customers already expect.
Imagine you are starting to expand overseas.
Your team, some contractors and clients are around the world.
But your main office keeps UK office hours.
Once you are working with customers more than 5 or 6 hours away, in either direction, a significant portion of our working day is out of alignment with those timezones (Asia, Latin America and North America’s West Coast, for example). Getting work done, answering urgent queries and providing support is significantly more difficult when time differences prevent real-time responses and resolutions.
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Customers don't want to wait for an answer. If timezone differences prove too difficult, many will take their business elsewhere. This problem is especially challenging for software (SaaS) and e-commerce companies. Customers of both are increasingly global and therefore they don’t want to wait for more than an hour or two, never mind a whole working day, for a response; especially if they’ve got a problem that needs an urgent resolution.
Here are a few other reasons why your customers and other stakeholders would benefit from 24/7 IT and customer support.
#1: New product launches
New product launches (something e-commerce and SaaS companies do fairly regularly), updates, or sales require responsiveness to ensure customers overseas complete purchases. Go beyond the traditional view of an IT service desk. Instead, think of a service desk with IT functionality that can also deliver other services, under your brand, as needed.
Frontline support agents are more than capable of answering product and service queries. Providing your company gives them the right information, with the knowledge they can escalate anything they can’t handle to the daytime team, 1st line agents can answer technical queries and serve as the first touch point for product and service queries when you have customers in other time zones.
#2: Customers that want support outside office hours
Once upon a time banks and post offices stuck to rigid working hours. Now, most are more flexible, with longer opening times and weekend hours. Businesses know they need to serve customers at times that are more convenient for them, and that is just as true for e-commerce and SaaS companies with customers that need more support outside of office hours.
Making someone wait for a response to an email or message is just as inconvenient as not being able to post something after 5 pm. Even customers in the UK can’t get everything done within office hours, especially if you’re selling B2C products.
Keeping customers happy means ensuring they get a response to almost every query - unless it’s complex and needs escalating - within a reasonable timescale. In a Telegraph article, a survey by Lithium Technologies found that 75% “of people in the UK expect online queries to be dealt with on the same day, while half of us expect a reply within just one hour.”
#3: Take the strain off IT
Another benefit of working having a white label IT service desk, is the support this team will give your IT department. There is a limit to the amount of front-line IT problems your internal team can solve within the working day.
IT teams are especially strained when they're also active in digital transformation and other big impact projects. So, when you outsource IT and some customer service/sales functions to a white label team, they can also serve to provide the extra capacity - usually at a lower cost - than internal teams can deliver. With an expanded support team, these capacity issues will reduce dramatically.
Businesses benefit from 24/7 IT support when you want to:
- Expand overseas, or consolidate an overseas expansion with support in the right timezones;
- Ensure customers receive quick responses to IT, service and sales support questions;
- Give your IT team extra capacity so they can support long-term business objectives.