Busy seasons result in extending support hours for customers in the field. While extending support hours can be great for the customer providing after-hours support difficult to manage. Putting one employee in charge of a dedicated after-hours phone puts more pressure on that employee and makes tracking support calls complicated. Luckily, the days of passing around dedicated after-hours phones are becoming a thing of the past. Businesses are prioritizing ways to improve their after-hours support methods reduce employee burnout improve visibility of customer issues and make call tracking easier. Here are two strategies to maximize your after-hours support efforts:
1. Team-Based Support
Employees are more likely to experience burnout if they have an unmanageable workload or unreasonable time pressure.1 Dividing the work between a team spreads the work out and gives employees who are occupied with another task the chance to finish while another employee takes the incoming call off their plate. That way, it’s not all on one person to answer every call and do follow up on all the missed calls and voicemails when there’s a surge of calls.
Burnout is a bigger deal than you might think. 76% of employees experience burnout on the job at least sometimes.1 Burnout can lead to poor performance and increase employee turnover, making this a key focus for many businesses.
To combat effects of burnout, companies on the frontline are moving to a team-based support strategy. Structures may vary, but functional teams and regional teams are two examples of successful team structures.
Organizing teams based on their departments (Parts, Precision, Service, Agronomy).
For larger organizations, group teams by region (North, South, Central, etc).
Dealerships have historically structured support resources by individual store location, dedicating one person from each department from each store location to be on-call during after-hours. Many businesses are adopting a Functional Team approach that spans across multiple store locations requiring fewer people to be on call. In return, this method helps a company’s bottom line and employees’ job satisfaction.
2. Dedicated Support Hotlines
Establishing phone numbers that are dedicated for customer support is critical. It's easy to have customers call individual experts directly, but when does their workday end and how are those calls transitioned to after-hours support? Some benefits to using a dedicated hotline for your team of experts are:
Improved Response Time
The ability to ring multiple people at once increases the odds a customer is connected to someone live sooner. 90% of customers with support questions rate an immediate response (30 minutes or less) as important or very important.2 Quick response times drive increased customer satisfaction and repeat business from those customers.
Customers and employees both hate voicemail. Ringing a team hotline reduces the chances of missed calls and increases the chances that a customer will be connected to a live person instead of hearing "leave your message after the beep." However, if someone does leave a voicemail, the entire team is notified and able to listen to it and follow up quickly.
Everyone on the team can see who called and when enabling better team collaboration. No more missed call chaos wondering if someone went through the voicemails and call logs on the after-hours phone. The whole team knows who is assigned and what the status of each ticket is.
Ring schedules give you the ability to set the hours of the day your VoiceHub calls will ring each team member. This allows you to give each team member set downtime to decompress from work and gives you the ability to rotate who is scheduled for after-hours support.
Ability to Prioritize
Group your team members into primary and secondary groups to prioritize who gets the call first. If the primary group is unable to answer, someone from the secondary group can. That way the customer’s call is always answered, and you can still mitigate the potential for employee burnout.
Overall, a team-based support strategy coupled with dedicated support hotlines can result in improved customer experience and reduced employee burnout. Customers still have the simplicity of one number to call, but they now have a better chance of getting a quicker answer to their questions.
- Ben Wigert, Employee Burnout: The Biggest Myth, Gallup (March 13, 2020), https://www.gallup.com/workplace/288539/employee-burnout-biggest-myth.aspx
- Michael Redbord, The Hard Truth About Acquisition Costs (and How Your Customers Can Save You), Hubspot, https://blog.hubspot.com/service/customer-acquisition-study