24/7 support: Overview, solutions, and benefits
24/7 support ≠ big support team
24/7 support = smart strategy + right technology
In a world where time zones blur and businesses operate around the clock, meeting your customers’ needs at any hour is the key to sustainable success. Contrary to conventional belief, 24/7 customer support does not require a round-the-clock customer support team but – strategic planning, automation, and resource optimization.
In this blog, we’ll explore 24/7 support overview, strategies, solutions, benefits, and, most importantly, the role of technology so that you can ensure that your business is always ready to meet your customers’ needs.
Your AI copilot for customer support
What is 24/7 support?
24/7 support simply means customers receive assistance as soon as their queries arise, with a company ensuring round-the-clock support – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Let’s understand this via a hypothetical situation that most businesses encounter in their early growth stage.
Imagine a product company in the USA with customers worldwide. One of their customers is in Australia, with a significant time zone difference. When this customer faced a project management software issue during their business hours (USA's nighttime), the company's support team wasn't available.
However, the customer simply visited the company's website, chatted with the chatbot, and accessed a vast knowledge base. They were able to quickly resolve their issue, and despite the time zone gap, they could continue with their operations without any delay.
While talking about brand reputation, Forbes mentioned – if support is available 24/7, it signals that a company is dedicated to providing timely assistance at any given moment. (Source)”
Which businesses should provide 24/7 support?
Deciding on 24/7 support also depends on cost, technology, team capabilities, infrastructure, and, most importantly, customer queries.
However, there are some domains that must provide 24/7 support, and support agents must be available at all times. For example, IT infrastructure and data centers, where downtime or technical issues can result in privacy and security breaches or significant financial loss.
If you are on the fence about 24/7 customer service, here’s a questionnaire that will help you make the right decision.
24/7 customer service consideration questionnaire
1) Company growth
- Is your business experiencing substantial growth in terms of customer database or expansion into new markets?
- Do you foresee an increase in the volume of customer inquiries or support requests due to your company's growth?
- Are there plans to offer your products or services to customers in different time zones or regions?
2) Customer demands
- Have you received feedback or requests from your customers for 24/7 assistance?
- Are your customers from various time zones, making it difficult for them to access support during traditional business hours?
- Are there instances where customers have simple queries that they can resolve with the right information or emergencies that cannot wait until the next business day?
- Is your average response time higher than the industry standard?
3) Industry specifics
Is your business involved in any of the following industries where 24/7 support is absolutely essential?
- Have you assessed the impact, including knowledge base and chatbot integration, of providing 24/7 support on your operations and finances?
- Can you pinpoint areas where self-help tools could enhance customer satisfaction and streamline support for a successful 24/7 support system?
- Have you considered AI-driven chatbots and comprehensive knowledge bases available to seamlessly enhance your 24/7 support and assist customers beyond regular business hours?
5) Final consideration
- Based on the responses above, do you believe implementing 24/7 support aligns with your business goals and customer needs?
- Are you willing to make the necessary investments in technology and infrastructure to ensure a successful 24/7 support system?
Fill out the questionnaire and use these insights to take action. If the assessment points to a need for 24/7 support, invest in it to enhance customer service and growth potential.
A number of well-known tech giants offer 24/7 customer service to meet customer expectations. Amazon, for instance, has a dedicated X help account that operates 24/7 in multiple languages.
How to provide 24/7 customer support?
Let’s explore effective methods and tools to maintain 24/7 customer service, ensuring your business meets the needs of a global and always-connected customer base.
Level up your self-service with advanced technology
Across industries, fully 81% of all customers attempt to take care of matters themselves before reaching out to a live representative. (source)”
And yet, as per another survey by Statista, 43% of customers worldwide could not find information through self-service. (source)
Here are the most preferred self-service options –
One: Knowledge base
A knowledge base is a centralized repository system to collect, manage, and organize information. It is a collection of articles, troubleshooting instructions, how-to guides, demos, FAQs, and more in a structured manner.
To structure a robust knowledge base, you can use AI-native tools such as DevRev. It’s smart knowledge base helps in identifying common customer queries, uploading online and offline articles and other relevant content, preparing step-by-step guides, FAQs, and more.
With easy navigation and search functions, you can enable your customers to find the right information within seconds without having to raise support tickets and wait long times for the customer support team to respond.
Chatbots can drastically elevate the customer experience – they can answer questions instantly, leading to a reduction in wait times and eliminating the risk of minor issue-led escalations. Here are the four steps to get started.
- Implementation: Choose a chatbot platform that aligns with your business needs and integrate it seamlessly into your website or application.
- Training: Train your chatbot to understand and respond to common customer queries by using AI and machine learning to improve its accuracy over time.
- Customization: Customize your chatbot's responses to align with your brand's tone and style, ensuring a consistent customer experience.
- Integration: Design your chatbot to seamlessly transfer customers to live chat support – connect them to service agents when the query exceeds its capabilities, ensuring a smooth transition.
To set up a seamless customer support system, integrate a robust chatbot such as DevRev’s AI-powered Turing Bot. You can get started by exploring the complete guide to chatbots.
Three: Helpdesk support
While self-service and chatbots play a significant role, there are scenarios where customers require direct human assistance. To provide 24/7 helpdesk support effectively, consider the following:
- Remote support tools: Implement remote desktop and screen-sharing solutions to assist customers in real time, regardless of their location.
- Round-the-clock agent availability: Ensure you have a team of support agents available at all times so that they can resolve customer issues as soon as possible.
You can enhance their efficiency as well as your product by bringing your customer support management to DevRev’s support app. In addition to live chat and ticket management, it creates an interface between customer and development teams, driving product decisions based on customer feedback.
- Prioritize critical issues: Implement a system to quickly identify and prioritize critical customer issues to resolve them promptly.
- Multichannel support: Offer support through multiple channels, including email, phone, chat, and social media, providing customers with various options to reach out.
By incorporating these strategies for chatbot and helpdesk support, you can provide a comprehensive 24/7 customer service experience that meets the diverse needs of your global customer base.
2. Build, expand, and train your customer service team
Ensuring 24/7 customer support requires a well-structured and trained team. Here are key strategies to consider to build a new team and improve your existing team:
One: Build local teams
Establish customer service teams in different geographical regions. Local teams are attuned to regional nuances and can provide personalized assistance, enhancing customer satisfaction.
Example: An e-commerce company expanding into Asia establishes a customer service center in Singapore, staffed with employees fluent in local languages and familiar with regional preferences.
Two: Expand with the Sun model
Implement a ‘follow the sun’ approach, where support shifts seamlessly across global time zones. This ensures continuous availability without overburdening any one team.
Example: A software company has support centers in the USA, Europe, and Asia. As the day ends in one region, the next team takes over, creating a seamless transition.
Three: Utilize everyone on your team
Unlock the capabilities and availability of every team member. As companies expand, teams may become disconnected, hampering the overall customer experience. For instance, customer-facing teams may lose touch with product development, and developers may become detached from customer needs.
DevRev bridges these gaps, aligning both teams and enabling you to serve your customers more efficiently.
How, you may ask.
DevRev’s support app helps streamline support and product enhancement. Developers can gain insight by accessing support tickets and understanding customer expectations, issue intricacies, and their significance, impact, and urgency. They can also identify patterns in the number of tickets related to similar issues, leading to more effective solutions.
Here’s an example of a product-centered customer service approach. DevRev enables businesses to take a comprehensive view of clustered support tickets and assign them to relevant team members for quick and efficient resolution.
What are the best practices for a better CX?
Implement AI-driven automation to streamline processes. Chatbots, automated responses, and self-service options can enhance efficiency and provide immediate assistance, even during non-business hours.
Example: A leading e-commerce platform employs AI-driven chatbots on its website. When a customer has a query about a product, the chatbot analyzes the inquiry, searches the product database, and provides relevant information instantly, enabling the customer to make informed decisions at any time, day or night.
Harness the power of AI and predictive analytics to identify customer trends and common patterns. By analyzing historical data and customer behavior, businesses can proactively address issues and offer tailored solutions.
Example: A leading software company uses predictive analytics to anticipate user needs and industry trends. By analyzing data, they develop software updates with essential features, ensuring a seamless and innovative customer experience that keeps users engaged and satisfied.
Employ various technology tools to enhance operational efficiency. These may include Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, data analytics platforms, and project management tools to streamline communication and optimize processes.
Example: A global software development company utilizes a comprehensive CRM system such as DevRev. It allows the company to efficiently manage customer interactions, track support tickets, product enhancements, and more. It also facilitates communication between different teams, ensuring a cohesive and streamlined approach to customer support and service.
Effective self-service, with a knowledge base, interactive tutorials, videos, and chatbots, enhances CX by enabling customers to find answers, troubleshoot, and engage independently.
Example: In a hypothetical scenario, a cutting-edge e-commerce platform employs AI-driven chatbots on its website. These chatbots analyze customer queries, swiftly search the product database, and provide relevant information, allowing customers to make informed decisions at any time, day or night.
Involve all teams
Make improving customer experience a collective effort. Encourage cross-departmental collaboration, provide CX training, establish feedback loops, and enable unified
communication, and bridge the gap by making product enhancement a customer-centric process for improved experience.
Example: A product company receives numerous user queries related to a specific function. While customer support agents can resolve these queries initially, they also collaborate with the development team to improve the function, preventing similar queries from both existing and new customers in the future.
What are the major benefits of 24/7 support?
Providing 24/7 support yields several significant advantages, enhancing customer experiences and business outcomes:
Expand global customer base
Round-the-clock support goes beyond geographical barriers, accommodating customers from different time zones. The inclusivity not only expands your customer base but also fosters international growth, improving overall customer satisfaction.
Increase customer loyalty
Offering assistance at any hour demonstrates your commitment to customers. In return, they tend to exhibit higher loyalty, sticking with your brand and becoming advocates.
According to a 2022 survey by Statista, nearly eight out of 10 global consumers deemed good customer service important to keep them loyal. (source)”
Platforms like DevRev enable companies to enhance customer experience through using AI, streamlined ticket management, and more, fostering greater satisfaction and long-term loyalty.
Reduce wait times
Swift responses and issue resolution reduce wait times, resulting in improved customer experience, all the while preventing minor problems from escalating into larger, more challenging ones. The proactive approach minimizes customer frustration and enhances overall satisfaction.
Gain competitive advantage
By offering 24/7 support, your business gains a clear advantage by showcasing a commitment to customer satisfaction that sets you apart from competitors.
44.5 percent of organizations worldwide revealed that they perceive customer experience (CX) as a primary competitive differentiator. 45 percent of organizations stated that they thought artificial intelligence solutions will reshape their customer experience (CX) in the next five years. (source)”
When most companies are struggling to keep up with query management and resolution, AI-powered platforms such as DevRev enable companies to automate the management so that agents can focus on customers.
Invest in 24/7 customer service for consistent growth
Once you have set up a system to provide around-the-clock support, invest in the next most important steps: quality and management. Start with knowing your customer with customer data analytics and then create strategies and a knowledge management system to enhance customer satisfaction.
To strengthen your customer support system, you can bring in AI-based platforms such as DevRev, train your team to solve customer queries faster and efficiently and improve your products with the customer-centered approach – for better CX and even better ROI.