24/7 Customer Service
As a child, I thought that many businesses were like Bedrock of the Flintstones. At a certain time, a loud whistle would go off and everyone dashes out of the door to run back home. Even when young, I knew most people didn’t slide down a dinosaurs back to do so. (Okay, I didn’t “know”, but I was pretty sure…” So, what is accurate? When do people quit working? Let’s look at the past to present.
A History Lesson on the Workforce
Prior to the industrial revolution, in our agrarian days- we worked sun-up to sun-down.
Then as the industrial revolution hit America, people started working long shifts- 10, 12, 16 hour days in many cases.
(On a personal note, my great-grandfather recanted stories of when he pulled wooden pegs from railroad ties that were used as nails with a tool similar to pliers. A penny per pound. You worked long and hard and fast because if you didn’t there was someone behind you who was promising that he would)
Robert Owen raised the demand for an eight-hour day in 1810, and instituted it in his socialist enterprise at New Lanark. By 1817 he had formulated the goal of the eight-hour day and coined the slogan: “Eight hours labour, Eight hours recreation, Eight hours rest”.
While that was a great slogan and he campaigned hard for better work/life balance, Henry Ford is actually the one most responsible for a standard 8 hour workday. Other business owners were amazed that although Ford’s people worked less hours, they were more productive. Many businesses followed suit and the shorter workday became the norm.
After WW2, as America became more white collar and industry and technology advanced, many people worked 9-5. Often a quick lunch was considered as part of the workday. Most people brought lunches to work so there was not the time of driving, ordering, etc that became popular.
In the 80’s companies started expecting people to actually work 8 hours. so while they were allowed to have lunch, they had to make up that time. Earlier hours or later hours, but still 8 hour workday.
In the 90’s an ugly trend occurred. Many managers and supervisors wore the hours their team worked as a badge of honor. One of the root causes was globalization. As our e-commerce and traditional business channels became more widespread, the expectations now increased. Technology- this thing that was supposed to make out lives easier- now just raised the demands of the job. Example- An architect signs off on a blueprint, mails it off- the people have a few changes and mail it back. This takes a few days. Once everything is clear, building begins. Since many companies want to finish a project as quickly as they can and start on a new one, they now want an architect to email the client, get approval, move forward in a day.
As Millennials entered the workforce, this paradigm changed again. Many of them wanted flexible schedules, telecommute, work to the goal, not the clock. The tradeoff for this allowance though is that often now this new workforce was tied to their emails and phones all hours of the day.
Today we see an amalgam of traditional 9-5, flex schedules, 4-10’s and other workloads.
All this history lesson was to show that very often the businesses that thrive on customers 9-5 are missing out on a huge audience because the 9-5 people are often working as well. Now we pick up the kids from school, make dinner, clean-up, walk the dog, enter nightly routine here- and before we know it it is 10, 11 before we get any “free time”. This is often the time that we do our online shopping, set up appointments, read reviews and even make purchases.
If there is a question late at night about your product or service, are you available? Are you able to offer the same level of customer support that you do during working hours? Do you have the capability to make sure the customer’s questions are answered and all roadblocks to closing the sale are lifted? So what is an affordable and easy solution?
Live Chat Software from BirdSeed.
Many live chat software will often only offer their Live Chat Service during regular business hours, and when the chat operators are away, they tell web customers to simply leave a message. However, with our Commercial Live Chat System, we offer live chat using video to interact with your customers while you are there to chat “real-time”, and also a number of tools to engage your website visitors while you sleep! Our goal is to be the complete customer engagement tool. COntact us today to experience how we can help your business turn into a 24/7 online without taking more of your time.