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30 January 2024

How to Choose Call Center Hours of Operation

By: Geomant

We’re living in a time where consumer expectations are constantly evolving. Today’s customers judge every brand by the customer service experiences larger companies like Amazon and Netflix offer. You could risk losing loyal clients if you’re not offering consistent, seamless support across multiple channels.

However, while your customers might prefer 24/7 human support, delivering that level of care and guidance can only be possible for some businesses. You only have so many employees on your team who can only work for a certain number of hours.

So, how do you choose hours of operation most likely to differentiate your brand from the competition and enhance customer satisfaction scores?

Customer Service Operating Hours: The Options

Today’s companies have various methods to choose from when selecting their operating hours. While the traditional 9-to-5 route is a good choice for some businesses, as it’s what many consumers expect when calling a brand, it’s not the right choice for everyone.

Here are some of the other strategies you can consider ensuring you’re delivering the best quality of service when your customers need it most:

  • Outsourcing for around-the-clock service: If you have a higher budget, you can work with outsourced professionals from other parts of the globe to assist with delivering more consistent service. Today’s team members can work seamlessly from any point in the world with access to cloud-based tools for communications.
  • Try an extended operating time: For companies looking to stand out, offering extra service hours can be a great option. If your competitors are all serving clients between 9 am and 5 pm, consider hiring a revolving range of employees to cover the hours from 7 am to 7 pm instead, giving your customers more choice over when they get in touch.
  • Implement self-service solutions: Businesses hoping to deliver 24/7 service without the largest number of employees can expand their service operations with access to self-service solutions. Automated virtual assistants and chatbots can answer common queries and questions when your employees aren’t available. However, they can’t completely replace the creative and empathetic experience of talking to a human.

How to Choose the Best Operating Hours

Ultimately, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for picking the perfect opening hours. That’s why the best plan often involves carefully assessing your company and customers. Rather than just copying what your competitors are doing, use your data insights and real-time information to make a more intelligent decision. A contact center wallboard or dashboard can help with this.

Your dashboard will offer a quick and convenient overview of when you’ll most likely get requests and calls from your target audience. This will allow you to organize your team according to your customers' best interests. Taking a data-driven approach to operating times comes with a range of different benefits, such as:

  • Better employee experiences: You can ensure employees remain engaged and effective by placing the right team members on the schedule to work at different times. For instance, if you know your customers tend to contact you over messaging apps at certain times on a weekday, you can have more chat agents working compared to people working with phone calls.
  • Access to more opportunities: When you know exactly when your customers are most likely to call or request assistance through your contact center, you're less likely to miss out on opportunities. You can even ensure more employees are available worldwide for busier seasons or specific days.
  • Enhanced business insights: Your dashboard won't just collect data about how many calls you manage daily. These tools also give insights into how complex different requests might have been and how long they take to handle. This ensures you can train your employees to be prepared for the various challenges they might face.

You can even consider testing out different operating hours while watching the metrics collected from your dashboard. Improvements in customer engagement, satisfaction scores, and metrics like NPS ratings will show you whether you’re picking the correct opening times.

Be There When Your Customers Need You

Ultimately, today’s customers expect the businesses they buy from to be available to help and guide them whenever they need it. However, this doesn’t have to mean spending a fortune on a 24/7 customer service team. Learning when your customers are most likely to be active and reaching out to your team means you can organize your workplace schedule to suit your client’s needs.

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