“Whenever the customer wants it, you should be there”

Many offices typically operate from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM due to the costs and effort of running night shifts or servicing the office at night.

However, the concern is that your customers don’t sleep. When they want a solution, they want it immediately and the earlier they speak to someone, the less anxious they feel. Knowing that most offices are closed after 5:00 PM and on weekends, customers often seek alternative ways to reach out during these times.

As an entrepreneur whose business is centred on customer satisfaction, here are some options to keep your business running after working hours:

1. Social media pages

To effectively keep your business running after working hours, it’s important to be active on social media. Creating pages on platforms like Facebook is crucial. These pages can be set up to automatically respond to messages with customized replies.

The platform also lets the customer know when they can expect a response, based on the average reply time. This helps reassure the customer that they are dealing with a customer-centric organization, whether it’s during working hours or not. In fact, the message can even include an emergency contact if needed.

Here’s an example below:

Typically replies in a few minutes

Hi! Thanks for messaging us.
We’ll get back to you soon first name, last name (of the sender)

2. Auto-responder

An auto-responder is a system organisations use to send an email when they’re out of office, on leave, on a particular assignment or outside their country of operation. The email often contains information regarding when messages will be read and replied to or an option to contact another individual in the organisation that could process the enquiry. Below is an example of an automated message.

Thank you for your message.
I will be out of the office until Monday, August 20, 2018.
If this is an emergency, please contact first name, last name on
xyz@xyz.com, otherwise, I will
reply you on my return.
Thank you.
Yours Sincerely,
(First name, last name)

3. A 24/7 Office Phone

I read a story online about a customer who needed a product on Monday morning. They tried calling a supplier they found online but nobody answered the office phone. They kept searching and found another supplier who answered immediately and delivered the materials on time.

It made me think, what’s the point of having an office phone if nobody picks up? Nowadays, an office doesn’t have to be a physical place. It’s about the people and processes that can operate from anywhere, anytime. Every office should endeavour to use mobile phones, with someone available to handle calls and respond to inquiries anytime. It’s important to keep the business running smoothly all day, while still maintaining good telephone manners.

4. Online Support Services

To make the most of an organisation’s online presence, it’s important to consider all platforms. Websites should have a support system that works on both computers and mobile phones, accessible anytime with an internet connection. These chat boxes should be automated to respond to messages, and allow users receive notifications for answers to their any enquiries.

5. Integration of Chatbots

Chatbots use artificial intelligence to respond to questions from customers. They analyze similarities, patterns, and keywords to provide consistent answers. Chatbots serve as a temporary solution for basic information until a human representative takes over when the chatbot can no longer handle the customer’s requests. Implementing this system across platforms requires a fully integrated technology team.

A successful business focuses on promptly addressing customer needs, keeping communication open, providing clear information, and delivering on time. When these elements work together, a business can definitely become a household name.