According to research by call handling service alldayPA, more customer service calls are being made on the weekend. Greater customer expectations are pushing companies to work longer hours to suit their needs, so is this a clear sign that the 9-5 working week is quickly becoming a thing of the past?

You might already find yourself working into the night to meet deadlines, but other tasks that once seemed menial are taking over. Customer service enquiries may have been few and far between when you began your venture. However, as your client base grows, so does the backlog of customer issues.

A recent infographic by alldayPA revealed that the volume of calls made on a Sunday in the past two years has increased more than any other day of the week. Your customers are now putting off their queries and complaints for the weekend when they have more time. This means you have to fit a new working schedule around their needs.

Keeping customers happy is always a top priority in any field, so you must act accordingly. As the saying goes; ‘a happy customer will tell 2 people, an unhappy customer will tell 4’. In this day in age, perhaps we should be saying 4,000 if they use social media!

Why are times changing?
The change could be down to the new deadline-driven culture. Workers are now under more pressure to work out of office hours to make sure they get the job at hand done. During the week you can expect your customers to be hard at work and too busy to phone customer service lines.

This idea is supported by the fact that weekday calls had actually declined over the past 2 years. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays all experienced a drop in call rates, with Wednesday seeing the biggest decrease.

Many larger companies now own their own call centres to handle these out-of-hours calls, however many SMEs don’t have the funding or man power to keep up with demand.

Whilst building your business, you’ll have been told about the importance of separating your home life and work life. Shutting off your mobile after 6 may have even been made a strict rule in your household. Are we now going to start hearing people go back on their preaching?

In a word, no.
The 9 to 5 may be on its way out, but you certainly don’t need to sacrifice your free time. There are ways you can work around the new popularity of weekend calls.

Remember, it’s all about being accessible. Sending an email just won’t do when your client needs a fast response. They want to talk to a human, not an answer machine. Although social media has opened up the customer service playing field, it’s still not a fool proof plan for handling customer complaints. If someone does complain online it will be in the public domain forever and your business will suffer. Also, when your social media team aren’t around to answer tweets, your customers will look elsewhere. Clickfox found that 40% of complaints that were unresolved via Twitter resulted in phone calls.

For SMEs, outsourcing can be an efficient and cost-effective way of handling calls. You’ll be safe in the knowledge that professional customer service advisers are screening your calls. To train and recruit new staff to take on this role would be out of the question for most SMEs, so outsourcing is often a more sensible option. This enables your business to be accessible to client, but also gives you time to have a break away from the office.

You can also schedule after care calls with clients to see how they are getting on with your products, or how they feel about your service. By doing this you are showing your client that you care and you can also nip any problems in the bud before clients feel the need to complain. Since you’ll be scheduling the calls in advance, you’ll be able to fit them around your current working life.

Imagine a world where Monday mornings are focused on more pressing tasks, rather than chasing voicemails and returning missed calls. Perhaps if we spent less time on small tasks and got back to our main workload, the 9-5 routine wouldn’t be on the brink of extinction after all!

Sue Ratcliffe Infographic

Sue RatcliffeSue Ratcliffe

Sue Ratcliffe is the Head of Client Services at alldayPA, a telephone answering service, specialising in bespoke packages to suit any size business.

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