The (shortened) news article below has created some debate online (what?!? that never happens!) and illustrates the growing chasm between customer expectations and behaviour, and the challenges businesses are faced with trying to meet them.
People are online researching and shopping when it is convenient for them, which is often not during what is historically considered normal business hours.
We compared an Australia Post 2020 Consumer Survey, which analysed what time over 12,000 respondents shopped online, with data from the same period from our own Australian clients.
Although Chat2 Concierge clients’ customers displayed a similar pattern to the Australia Post data, there was an even larger number of people online from 10pm to 9am.
However, both show that approximately half of total customers were shopping online between 5pm to 9am.
Which makes sense doesn’t it? Most people are working (either paid or unpaid) during normal business hours. The only time they have to research and shop online is often once the rest of their household is at rest.
We all know that attracting, serving and keeping customers happy are key to the survival of any business. But are customers placing unrealistic expectations on businesses?
Or despite these expectations are businesses seriously impacting their profitability and longevity by effectively ignoring customers outside of their business hours?
While it appears (at the time of publishing) from a poll run by the news publication, there is a fairly even split of for and against, some of the comments below from Australian business owners and managers are interesting…
All of these commenters accept that receiving enquiries 24/7 is a fact of doing business in 2020, but there is a disparity in whether they think it is fair, or understandable due to different timezones and working lives, and how to manage it.
Some say they expect and welcome enquiries 24/7 because they understand that their customers have lifestyles different to their own and shouldn’t be forced to shop to their hours. Through to the other end of the spectrum where they say that customers wanting service outside of 9-5 (in the business’s timezone) are ‘selfish’ and ‘entitled’.
It would be interesting to see how these commentators’ businesses fare a few years from now…
Whether you agree or disagree, this type of customer service chasm will not be going away.
However, there is a very simple, cost-effective way of keeping both parties happy, and therefore growing the tradesperson’s business.
By having Chat2 Concierge on the tradesperson’s website our team would have received the enquiry and responded to the potential customer’s enquiry in under 20 seconds – 24 hours a day.
- acknowledging the customer’s enquiry
- engaging them to obtain as many details as possible
- setting an expectation of when the business would be able to respond to them with a quote
- then securing and passing on the qualified lead’s details…
The tradesman would have slept through the night, rest-assured knowing that the business was still engaging potential customers and preventing them from bouncing to a competitor.
Instead, he responded angrily in the heat of the moment, causing the matter to be publicised on social media (200,000 engagements and counting) and leaving both parties dissatisfied.
We can guarantee that this businessperson certainly did lose that customer and who knows how many else?