Follow the Sun: Are you giving your Customers the Support they expect?
Offering poor service is a fantastic way to lose money, wouldn’t you say?
How about you instead, offer superior, personalised, customer support, free your staff from night shifts, unlock new geographies and learn more about your customers with Follow the Sun?
It would make a difference, wouldn’t it?
For a fast-growing company, customer service can be the defining feature that powers your growth trajectory – or derails it. Word of mouth is crucial and nothing spreads faster than tales of poor customer service.
Follow the Sun support is a methodology proven to deliver outstanding customer service to your client base. It means providing support over the phone 24/7, by routing calls to your offices in the appropriate time zone – following the sun. It means your customer’s call lands with the office most qualified to handle the query and in the right geography to respond to it quickly.
Adopting 24/7 global support can seem difficult for smaller companies, but we’ve helped users with real infrastructure and footprint challenges overcome them, to reap the rewards of Follow the Sun for their customers.
Here are some of the benefits of adopting Follow the Sun, as well as tips for smaller companies on how to access those benefits.
Superior customer support
24/7 customer support means your call centres around the world can pass tickets between themselves, reducing response times for your customers. What’s more, you can access your language support from different regions with the Follow the Sun model, allowing your support to compete with larger companies with more staff. Just make sure your customers are aware of your language capabilities from region to region.
Solve problems faster
Some tickets inevitably raise complex issues that are harder to solve, which can leave your customers without a solution for an extended period. Follow the Sun means you can hand the ticket off to the next time zone at turnover time, meaning the ticket doesn’t sit idle and someone’s always working on your customer’s issue.
Bringing in other time zones also brings new people to the table, who may have a fresh perspective or a different angle that you hadn’t considered. Drawing on the resources of your global support team, rather than just local knowledge, means a huge set of unique skills – a business advantage that could distinguish you from competitors.
Good communication is crucial to make this work – staff must know who’s dealing with each ticket at any given time, otherwise delays will creep in.
Offer personalized support
It may be tempting for small businesses to use email to answer support enquiries, due to the flexibility and ease of use it offers. But we all prefer personal support – speaking to a real person on the phone offers a more human experience, and clients generally enjoy the personal support they get from a representative on the phone. Low-level and intermediate problems can usually be solved immediately.
Speaking to a person also leaves customers more confident that their support ticket has been received and is not sitting unread in some representative’s inbox. With Follow the Sun they have that doubt removed much faster, which helps to build a positive, trusting relationship between you and your customer.
Liberate your staff from unsociable shifts
Delivering customer support from one office requires additional resources and forces your staff to work shifts over a 24-hour period. Overnight shifts are hard to sell to your staff – they lead to disagreements, high absence rates, and even a dip in quality as you struggle to fill the night shift.
With Follow the Sun, staff are in the office during working hours, keeping them motivated, but still allowing your company to provide around the clock support.
Unlock leads in new regions
Support across multiple time zones, whenever they need it, is a benefit that means a lot to your customers. It raises confidence in your brand, and that global perception can increase your marketing potential in the new regions in which your business has a physical presence. Potential customers know they can get help whenever they want, rather than when you’re prepared to deliver it.
So, what do you need to know to make Follow the Sun work for your company? Small businesses face the risk that they might promise round-the-clock support and then fail to deliver it, which could risk customer losses. There are a few steps you can take to make your global team work efficiently.
Find out when your customers need you
Try to find out when customers are most likely to call you, or the location most customers are calling from. That way, instead of opening numerous offices around the globe, you can have just a few offices in some key time zones. It may even be possible to have only 3 offices that are 8 hours apart in the time zone – with flexibility around shift times you can cover much of the world with relatively few offices.
Stagger your start times
Ensuring you have a consistent level of customer support at all times is just as important as the ability to provide customer support 24/7. You can avoid dips in that consistency by staggering the start times of staff in each time zone.
For example, instead of all staff at one location starting at 8am, start times may be 8am, 10am, and 12pm. The method in which you stagger your start times will depend on which key time zones you wish to be fully covered.
This way, there is some overlap between two different time zones, and so during that time period, you’ll have twice as many people working the phones. It also allows staff that are about to finish their shift to hand open support tickets to staff in the next time zone.
Get started with Follow the Sun
Follow the Sun isn’t just for large businesses. Superior customer experience is available 24/7 with a little planning and strategising. Contact us today to find out how we can help your small business get set up with follow the sun support systems.
Visit our dedicated page and find out how you can develop Follow the Sun capabilities in your organisation.