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Keep the customer happy at all costs.

We hear this mantra often, and we almost come to believe in it. The first part, at least. The cost part… eh… not so much.

The thing about effective customer service is its ability to handle scale. On one hand, you want to provide all your millions of users the same great, personal, and professional customer service. On the other hand, you don’t want to be bankrupt by your customer service costs, or to start charging your customers so you can balance the books.

The tipping point for a customer support organization’s scaling is when the customer base becomes truly global, and support becomes necessary around the clock. With this in mind, let’s look at a few of the obvious pitfalls of running a perfectionist 24/7 phone support operation.

Staffing your support crew with night-dwellers.

First of all, it’s very hard to find millennials that welcome the prospect of not having a life and instead work night shifts. And on top of that, hiring them is no cheap business. Best case scenario you overpay. Worst case scenario… you hire a psycho.

Training the night shift to be on par with the day shift.

It’s extremely likely that your customers from the other side of the globe will not care too much that your support agent is barely staying awake at 3:30AM. What they care about is an immediate answer, coming from a trained, competent professional.

Solving actual problems during the small hours.

The other thing customers expect is to be provided with a solution. Otherwise your night shift’s function doesn’t go far beyond an answering machine. And this is where it gets tricky – even well trained support reps are not engineering geniuses. So, what’s next, a 24/7 on-call bug-fixing team?

With all these things in mind, one must surely question the reasoning behind operating a dedicated 24/7 support phone line. And whatever these reasons are, is it absolutely impossible to address them with a super effective self-service solution?