Six Creative Tips for After Hours Customer Support

Your business day may end at 5:00 pm, but for your customers, they are just getting started. Assuming they don’t spend their workday surfing online and making personal calls for things they need at home, after 5:00 pm may be when they start to reach out to your business.

An easy answer to the after hours support problem is to outsource to a country with the appropriate time zone, but the right answer is for businesses to learn how to do this themselves. For the best customer experience, consider these six tips for after hours support.

Have an emergency number

Just knowing that someone is available may be enough to appease customers and hold them over until the next day. They may take a moment to question whether their perceived emergency really is one and instead wait until your normal business hours. But showing that you are available all the time assures them that you care about the customer experience.

Mobile support

Much of the work we do today is done remotely. If you rotate your team to have a member available for support through a mobile app one evening a week, customers can still get help after hours. It’s important to tell customers in advance that this option for support is limited. This is similar to your emergency number option where customers know a person is, at least, reachable.

Have a canned support message (with links!)

A response from customer support telling someone to go to the knowledge base can be extremely frustrating. But an after hours canned response can include the exact links to the five most commonly asked questions. If the provided links don’t answer the question, make it very easy for customers to access the next level of support.

Prerecorded tutorials

There are some questions that customer support is asked over and over and over again. Pre-recorded tutorials can be one method of support after hours. By reviewing the most common support requests, your team can create some ‘how-to’ videos that walk people through troubleshooting. In your canned support message mentioned above, offer tutorials that walk people through the exact steps to solve a problem.

Customer forums

Create a customer forum where your existing users can help other people out with their questions. Offer incentives such as a point system for a discount off a product add-on or send logo items once they reach a certain level. Many users do like to help other people and may be online quite a bit after hours. These are the people that are an unofficial part of your customer support team. Treat them well since they can play a important role by helping with after hour support needs and enhancing the customer experience.

Offline chat

Although chat is intended to be a live experience where customers receive an immediate response from customer support, chat can still be a tool for after hours. With HappyFox Chat, you have the option for “offline messages”. The customer can submit their name, email, and a message from this “leave a message” window. They don’t have to log-in to post a question or remember to get in touch the next day. As soon as agents are available, they can access these offline messages and begin responding. So although it’s not an immediate response to a problem, it shows your willingness to stay connected.

Whatever method you use, always communicate that you care about your customers and genuinely want to help them solve the problem. And with that in mind, why not look into HappyFox, the customer support software that helps you reduce the chaos? Learn more about the product, schedule a live demo of HappyFox!

Tina Arnoldi

Tina Arnoldi, the founder of 360 Internet Strategy, is qualified in both Google Analytics and Google AdWords, and part of the Google Partners program. She helps clients develop and manage their internet strategy. Tina is also an experienced presenter, offering instruction on topics including Google tools and social media.