If you’re looking to build your team towards 24/5 or even 24/7 support, there are two ways to do it: first, you can have people work in your office on different shifts, or you could hire people to work remotely in different time zones and allow that to be your coverage instead. That being said, both of those have their own benefits and detriments, and the choice should really depend on the makeup of the team. After all, according to Gallup, while many customers do value fast support, it’s ultimately good support over anything else that makes them loyal to a company. So, what will enable you to offer the best, most compassionate support to customers in all different time zones?
Hiring in different time zones is a great way to get coverage, both temporal and lingual, in the time zones where you seem to have a lot of need. That being said, if you’ve don’t have a manager capable of working in that timezone, or you don’t have an infrastructure in place to handle remote workers, someone (or many people) working in a different timezone might be difficult for your company to maintain. It can also be tricky, from a tax-perspective, to have multiple employees in different entities. For that reason, especially if you are small, it might be good to consider keep this in-house and taking a look at our following tips to make it an excellent experience both for your customers and for the employees.
If hiring in a different timezone is out of the question for your company, a first step to consider could be working in shifts. If you’ve never done it, it might feel hard to ask someone to work midnight to 8 AM. But, maybe people are looking for more flexibility in their schedule for a number of reasons. For example, when Len Markidan worked at Groove, he was keen to work the overnight or late night shifts so that he could get in some quality time with his wife, a nurse.
So, while it might seem to you to be a huge burden, it’s probable that there are people who are willing, able, and excited to work some of those rotating shifts. Building a team around that keeps the culture close, and also saves you some of the stress of having to find and manage people that are outside of your office.
Some companies choose to have rotations where there is a single agent on call responsible for responding to any urgent inquiries that come in during off hours. This could be a monthly, weekly, or even daily rotation to keep it fair between your employees, but it effectively means that any inquiries that come through during hours outside of your timezone (yes, including weekends!) would be the sole responsibility of that person. It’s also possible to make this something that has multiple team members working on it if you are a large enough team with a large enough need.
The main downfall of this approach is that, while it does cover important or urgent tickets that come through, it still leaves the “normal” or “regular” tickets without any cover. So, if you choose to advertise 24/5 support or 24/7 support, it should be with the caveat that it only covers some types of tickets, or some specific plans. Ultimately, the best tactic is being honest and making sure that what you decide on is marketable or appealing to at least some segments of your customers.