The idea of your business being open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week may fill with you dread, not only because of the cost that you imagine it to entail, but also because of the additional responsibility it involves. However, there are solutions to both of these challenges and considering them could help you benefit from the huge number of advantages that 24/7 business hours bring.

24hr opening isn’t as uncommon as it used to be. Customer buying habits have changed and more and more business are finding that their customers want to speak to them when it’s convenient – not when opening hours dictate.

Here we take a look at some of the benefits of longer opening hours, which you may not have thought of, and discover some solutions that could help you overcome the fears associated with it.

Customer Schedules

By limiting yourself to traditional business hours, you’re missing out on key periods of time where potential and existing customers are at their most proactive and motivated. Most people are unable to make personal calls or browse the web during traditional business hours as these are also, by default, traditional working hours. So, evenings and weekends are the times when potential customers are most likely to go in search of your products, or be influenced by your marketing. 1 in 9 British employees work through the evening and night, meaning that a whopping 90% of potential customers are not available during normal business hours. 

Even those customers with part time jobs will have other distractions to contend with during the day, such as childcare, trips to the supermarket and social occasions. Through opening up your hours outside of these timeframes, you can profit from the quieter periods of customers schedules, when it’s far easier to get their attention.

Unpredictable Interest  

Often, people act on inspiration or react to unforeseen circumstances when it’s comes to needing products. For example, falling pregnant might require a search for a new home, or noticing a threat to your health might result in you being on the look out for a quality healthcare provider. It is therefore difficult to predict when potential customers might be at their most susceptible. Restricting your opening hours significantly reduces the chance of you monetising these opportunities when they are at their most lucrative, instead, forcing you to limit yourself to leads acquired only during office hours, after the moment has passed.

Competition

Some industries are part of saturated markets and therefore constantly struggle to remain superior to their competitors. There can be times when it is hard to have a unique selling point when developments are fast across the board, however, 24/7 business hours are still a rarity and are, therefore, a great way to stand out from any crowd.

The convenience factor of longer opening hours makes you extremely attractive to customers with busy lives, which is almost everyone, in fact, 90% of customers believe an immediate response is important. So, having longer business hours makes you the obvious choice compared to companies who have more hoops to jump through. Convenience is crucial and another way in which you can stand out in this way is by offering a live chat service 24/7 too. Live chat is the most popular form of communication between customers and businesses as its efficiency is second to none.

Customer Service

24/7 opening hours are a sure fire way of boosting your customer service ratings. They allow you to be accessible as and when your customers need you, and ensure that you respond to any queries quickly. There’s nothing more frustrating than waiting on hold with a company, or simply being unable to speak to anyone between 5pm and 9am when you have an urgent issue. This is particularly the case with companies such as letting agencies and clinics, who have a significant responsibility when it comes to customer wellbeing. Full-time workers in the UK work an average of 42.5 hours a week (8.5 hours a day) so if you want to catch them, you have to start thinking outside the box.

Once you start to deliver excellent customer service, your reputation will improve rapidly and word of mouth will ensure that you are the first in your field to spring to mind when your target audience require your service or products.  

Productivity

Another benefit of having 24/7 business hours is that they improve workflow. There is a tendency to lose motivation towards the end of the day, whereas it is always the middle of the day no matter what shift your staff are working when business hours are endless. This may help with overall productivity as staff will be motivated for longer. Furthermore, no closing time means there are no limits to when the management team can initiate change in reaction to problems, or simply to introduce new growth strategies. This, in turn, helps your business to develop at a faster pace.

Return on Investment 

Almost every business has a strategy in place, for example a marketing strategy, designed to attract a constant stream of new customers. Closing just as your customers leave work, and opening just as they begin, causes the return on this investment to be stunted. Potential new clients will have access and be susceptible to your efforts in their free time, for example peak internet usage is at 11pm, so any reaction triggered by your online marketing will need to be capitalised on during the late hours of the evening before its effects wear off.

24/7 business hours allow for more fluidity and you can be ready and waiting to convert leads into new business as soon as and whenever they arrive. This is a key way in which you can steal a majority of the market, as most of your competitors will miss out on the significant percentage of the interest the comes their way during some of the busiest customer activity times.

Time Zone Limitations

If you’re thinking of branching out, whether that’s through an attempt to penetrate a new target audience, or you’d like to globalise your company logistics, 24/7 business hours are a must. This level of accessibility eradicates the issue of international time zones, opening up, literally, a world of opportunity for your business.

You customer base could grow exponentially as there would be no limitations to when your products or services could be delivered, or to when your customers could communicate with you. Furthermore, other areas of your business would have the freedom to grow without time zone restrictions, for example you could start to supply abroad or use foreign suppliers to help cut costs.

How to Make it Work for You

As you can see, there are endless benefits to increasing your business hours, but many will still feel restricted by the potential cost of doing so. Luckily, 24/7 business hours are no longer reserved for bigger players, thanks to the option of outsourcing your communications. Now, there are companies like Cymphony who specialise in call-handling and live chat services, who can integrate seamlessly into your business, providing help when needed.

Switching to 24/7 business hours no longer requires a huge re-structuring operation, you can simply hand over the reigns at the end of your working day, and take them back when the next begins. While you’re taking a break, Cymphony would take over; handling customer queries through the night and during weekends; helping your business to grow without limits and without sacrifice. This might sound expensive, but Cymphony work on a pay per minute basis, ensuring that there is a return on anything you invest.

In addition, you can rely on the fact that any communication is being handled with the upmost professionalism thanks to the experience and skills of highly trained call-handlers and live chat agents. Thanks to its affordability, outsourcing in this way is opening the door for any businesses to achieve its full potential, creating an equal market amongst competitors that isn’t based on unfair advantage. Could it be time to take your business to the next level?

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