Even if your closing time is 6:00 pm, that doesn’t mean you should stop doing business at that time. Your customers’ day ends hours later and in a global marketplace, business takes place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you think that setting up a simple voicemail system will be enough for your after-hours service, think again. These days, people have been conditioned to expect immediate answers. If your company doesn’t deliver, another company will take your place before you can give your customers a call back the next day.
Let’s say you do happen to take after-hours phone calls; are you also offering your customers the above-and-beyond service that it takes to keep them loyal to you and willing to recommend your business to others? Can your customers get their questions answered, concerns addressed, and complaints resolved? Service reps that aren’t up to the task can very quickly become the breaking point at which customers defect.
That’s why it’s so important that your after-hours service doesn’t let your customers hang up the phone with their head hanging in defeat. Here is how an overflow call center can work to leave your customers feeling content and loyal instead.
Are Your Customers Feeling Defeated?
Keeping your customers happy is the primary role of an after-hours service team, but how do you know if their efforts are actually working? One of the surefire ways to know for sure is simply by just going ahead and asking your customers their opinion on what’s working and what isn’t. You can do this through the following means:
- Surveys: After every after-hours interaction, offer your customers a quick way to provide their feedback regarding your specifically set metric-based questions. Ask about the service agent’s technical knowledge and helpfulness, the time it took for service to be completed, and whether the information provided was useful, and their overall satisfaction.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): Based on one powerful question (“On a scale of zero to 10, what’s the likelihood that you would recommend us to a friend?), you will have a good idea if your after-hours service reps are solidifying long-term relationships with your customers.
- Social Media Buzz: Are your online reviews mostly positive? Are there plenty of mentions, likes, retweets, and shares going around? If so, you can be confident that your after-hours team is doing their job well.
The Impact of Defeat
You already know that one poor service experience can cost your company significantly, both in dollars and in reputation, but do you know why? Why can a customer let one instance of imperfection affect their loyalty so much? The one-word answer is empathy.
As human beings, we are wired to be empathetic toward others and fully expect to receive it back. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and show emotion (in the case of an after-hours call it will probably be confusion or frustration), we are allowing others to see our “weak” side. To make up for this lack of strength, we need reassurance, guidance, and personal connection in order to feel secure and good about ourselves.
When a calling customer feels ignored, blown off, unimportant, dismissed, unhelped, or unheard, they are not receiving the positive input required to keep a healthy relationship going. In short, the customer will feel defeated and will likely lick their wounds and move on to find someone else who will fulfill the hierarchy of needs they all have.
How an Overflow Call Center Helps
An overflow call center doesn’t exist just to answer phone calls. The metrics which an overflow call center works to meet include:
- Timing: How long it takes for your customers to speak to a real person and how long it takes to achieve a resolution.
- Resolutions: How many and what type of issues are escalated before being resolved and how many incidents are resolved within a given time.
- Value: How many customers give up somewhere along the process and how many of them become repeat customers.
These are all great goals to meet. However, an after-hours call center can do even more for your business than help resolve customer issues.
Along with lowering the costs associated with offering support and reducing your risk, agents trained in upselling and cross-selling can also significantly increase your profits. The best part is that these benefits aren’t just for your company, but your customers will feel much more taken care of and cared about than if they were to just leave a frustrated message on your voicemail system.
When it comes to leaving your customers feeling more content and becoming more loyal than ever before, an after-hours overflow call center can be of much help.