How good is your customer service “after hours”?

There’s a wonderful post and image over at the Church of the Customer blog.

It points out that the Hilton Hotel online reservations service is not available between 2:00AM and 6:00AM. It seems their computer systems need a little shut-eye every night. And yes, there is something extra to chuckle about there — as the site is for a hotel chain.

But before we laugh too loudly, how do we do with our own customer service? How well do we do after, say, 9:00PM in the evening?

It is a question worth asking because there is a lot of buying going on between 9:00PM and midnight.

The kids have been put to bed, the dishes are in the washer, and people are turning to their keyboards to buy flights, vacations, pants, books, movies and a thousand other items and services.

While the world of B2B may slow down considerably after the end of the work day, that is not the case with B2C.

And when you are buying online and have a question, there is nothing worse than a customer service instant chat option that tells you nobody is available, or a phone system that simply ask you to leave a message.

So why don’t we all extend our customer service hours? It usually comes down to money.

But maybe it shouldn’t. In one of our one research briefs on customer service we demonstrated how customer service calls can actually make you money. In other words, your customer service center can become a profit center.

It would be much better to start generating revenues with those inbound calls, rather than leave prospects and customers with the impression that you are asleep on the job.

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