Do you remember “Leave it To Beaver”? Of course you do, because who doesn’t know about this classic show of the black and white television era.
Well, you remember how Dad used to go to work and come home at 5:00 p.m. to see Wally and the Beav? Well, that kind of time schedule is about as out of date as the rest of that television show. No one works 9 to 5. The Internet has changed all of that.
People work around the clock. The office never closes because your web site never closes. If you are doing your job, you have traffic around the clock and always have visitors making your e-business go round.
This is both a blessing and a curse for a business with an Internet strategy. The good news is that your revenue is happening around the clock. The bad news is that that you need to have support around the clock.
24 X 7 – A Must, Not An Option
Recently, I was asked by a friend, since it was a small business and 24-hour support was not a possibility, what would be an acceptable coverage time frame. My answer kind of startled her, but as always, I take a straightforward approach. I told her if she was not covering her support lines 24 X 7, she was not delivering superior customer support.
Around the clock support is not an option, it is mandatory. You need to be there for your customers whenever they may need you. This kind of support is not cheap or easy, but it is obligatory. It will be what helps separate you from your competitor and is one of those little things that makes the biggest of differences.
This Is Global, Baby
I used to have a friend that would sort of take the proverbial liquid lunch. Right before he would take his snort, he would always say, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!” This was his way of justifying his little indiscretion.
Well, here’s a play on this little line that can describe the importance of around the clock coverage of your customer support channels: “It’s business time somewhere!”
The global economy never rests. Somewhere, there is someone looking for your product or service. The question is, will you be ready to help them in their decision process, and can you support the customers that you have gained?
No matter what your business is, the fact is that between 30 to 40 percent of your web site’s visitors are not from the U.S. That’s a significant amount of prospects and customers that you need to address and appeal to. If you do not appeal to them, someone else will.
When you are a small company, you are stretched in so many different directions. You have many things to worry about. But one thing you can’t short change is the need to support your customers when they need the support. This means whatever time of day they do business. In Internet time, that means business hours are always open.