In a global world like ours, people are increasingly expecting round-the-clock services. For international companies, or companies with international clients, having someone at the other end of the phone without interruption can be crucial.
There are two traditional solutions to this requirement. You can have your staff work shifts to cover nights. However, extensive medical research has shown that it is highly detrimental to health, as the internal body clock is disrupted. Negative effects have been recorded on a molecular level, with night workers being at a higher risk of Type 2 Diabetes, heart attacks and mental health issues. From a customer’s point of view, talking to someone who sounds as though you have just woken them up doesn’t project the most professional image!
The second solution is to take advantage of time zones and outsource the night shift to another part of the world. Although it seems to solve the issue, call agents from another country don’t always have the linguistic skills to perform efficiently, and lack of local knowledge can also be unsatisfactory.
Now, there is a company in Wales, UK, which has found a creative solution to this problem.
Moneypenny provides call centre solutions to the high end of the market, and had found that there was an increasing demand for a 24-hour service, but they were reluctant to ask their staff to work nights as they were well aware of the issues described above.
In addition, when the management suggested working nights, they were met with little enthusiasm. It all changed when they offered their staff a much more attractive option: splitting their time between the UK and Auckland, 6 months at a time. Now, who could say no that that?!
How does it work? During UK working hours, the staff in Wales handles the calls as usual. At the end of the business day, they literally flick a switch and the calls are seamlessly routed to New Zealand, 12 hours ahead, at the beginning of their day.
The staff work 4 days on / 4 days off, which allows them ample time to savour the lifestyle and travel, while working normal hours; the company is able to provide its customers with a 24-hour service, by a staff which is always alert and in a good mood.
While Moneypenny admits that it doesn’t come cheap, they feel that the investment is worthwhile as it is still financially viable considering their high-end clientele.