Does your business need to be 24/7?

Male employee is working overtime at night

If you picked up the phone right now and called your internet service provider, your insurance company, or even your local franchise gym, you won’t reach a voicemail.

Of course, you’ll probably be on hold for the rest of the afternoon—but you’ll be able to speak with a real person (eventually).

It makes sense that larger organizations can offer this kind of round-the-clock service. But smaller businesses rarely have the peoplepower to answer calls after-hours—let alone the bandwidth to engage with online visitors.

Fortunately, outsourcing customer communication can help level the playing field and allow small businesses to offer the same kind of 24/7 service that customers expect from massive companies with massive resources. But even the most affordable solutions are still an investment—which means it’s worth exploring whether it makes sense to burn that midnight oil in the first place.

What to consider before taking your business 24/7:

Your industry

Customer expectations continue to climb—with no end in sight. But even the prickliest people don’t expect every business to remain open past 5pm.

After all, design and marketing mishaps rarely happen after midnight. And there’s no such thing as a pastry emergency (unless you count late-night cravings).

However, for those in the legal, medical, and home service industries, calls can—and often do—come in at any time of the day or night. Whether it’s a flooded basement or an urgent medical question, you never want to be too far out of reach if you plan on building lasting trust with the people you serve.

Your competitors

You might not have a problem with asking customers to wait until morning for a response.

But if your competitors feel differently—well, that is a problem.

Determining whether or not your business should offer 24/7 service can be as simple as checking to see if it’s something your competitors offer. If potential (or existing) customers try to reach you after hours and reach a voicemail instead, you can bet that their next call is going to be to someone else. Likewise, if the competition isn’t available in their time of need, ensuring that you can take their call instead is a sure way to win their business.

Your bottom line

As mentioned, the ability to offer expanded, 24/7 customer service can be a costly investment, especially if an organization relies solely on in-house staff for phone support and online chat. The cost of expanded customer support can be particularly painful when it becomes clear that the expected ROI just isn’t there.

A good way to gauge whether 24/7 customer support is right for your organization is to experiment with expanded coverage. By extending service to nights and weekends, without committing to full 24/7 coverage, your organization can track how much the demand for your support outside of standard business hours.

Which leads us to…

Choosing the right 24/7 support solution for your business

Interested in capturing those night owls and weekend warriors but don’t know if you have the resources or capacity to provide customer support 24 hours a day?

Ruby can help!

Our flexible and affordable solutions were designed to give you—and your customers—as much support as you need. Whether you’re ready to go all in on 24/7 service or want to start small with some extended coverage here and there, our team can create a customized plan that makes sense for your goals and budget.

Have questions? You can read more about Ruby’s full-time, part-time, and backup answering solutions for small businesses—or reach out to us anytime (that’s right, 24/7!), and we’ll be happy to walk you through it.