Follow The Sun Model: Principles For 24/7 Customer Support

Gladly Team

Read Time

6 minute read

In today’s global business climate, it’s important to be everywhere at the same time – what some call the “Follow the Sun” model. Luckily, the digital world and the advent of global ecommerce makes this 24/7 customer support model possible.

To start, you should only consider the Follow the Sun support model if your market and industry has a global or international presence, and if your organization is big enough to make that kind of reach necessary. But, if you’re already there (or if your company is moving in that direction,) you should learn about this useful model, including its pros and cons.

Below, Gladly explains what this 24/7 customer support strategy looks like for customer service teams, and lays out some factors to help you determine if the Follow the Sun model makes sense for you.
 

What is the Follow the Sun Model?

The Follow the Sun model provides 24/7 customer support by having customer service teams across multiple time zones. So, as one team’s work day ends, a CX team in a different time zone could resume the support work as their day begins.

Why Ecommerce Brands Use the Follow the Sun Model

Especially if you’re a product-based company, 24/7 customer support is an expectation for a lot of customers. Product malfunctions and issues don’t stop just because it’s late in the night! The Follow the Sun model allows brands to spread customer support over multiple time zones, which provides the necessary support that customers might need at odd hours of the night, or if they themselves are living in a different time zone.

As you can imagine, this leads to more energized and happier employees who aren’t expected to work long, late-night hours. It also means customers can get the support they need regardless of the time of day.
 

Why to Invest in a Follow the Sun Support Model

As you’ll see in the pros section below, there are a lot of benefits to integrating the Follow the Sun model. You can provide 24/7 customer support across multiple time zones, improve your query resolution times, and have access to simplified knowledge sharing between your various teams across different regions.

Does that mean that all customer support teams should invest in the Follow the Sun model? Not necessarily.
 

Invest in the Follow the Sun Support Model if:
  • You have an international and/or global presence
  • You are receiving a high number of calls, emails, inquiries, and support requests at late hours of the night
  • You are looking to scale your business
  • You have a large, enterprise-size company that needs a higher level of support
  • You are receiving feedback from customers and clients about the need for 24/7 support
  • You have to keep up with competitors who offer 24/7 support and are gaining an edge over you
  • You have a costly night-shift overpay policy that is taking away too much from your business

Although not all organizations will need the follow the sun model, there are plenty of varying reasons why a support team could benefit from providing 24/7 support and improving the customer experience through this model. 

Follow the Sun Model: Pros & Cons

If you’re still unsure if a 24/7 customer support strategy is right for you, we’ll break down some of the biggest pros and cons below:

  • Pros:
    • Faster resolution times
    • Eliminate night shifts
    • Global visibility
    • Workers will be more energized
    • Customer satisfaction will improve
    • Gain edge over the competition
  • Cons
    • Difficulty coordinating handoffs between clients as they finish or begin their shifts
    • Communication issues between members of different time zones
    • Cultural hurdles between customer service agents working with customers of different regions or nationalities
    • Maintaining quality support and providing training across regions
    • Only relevant to larger companies or global organizations

There are plenty of reasons to adopt a Follow the Sun support model to your customer support strategy, but only if it makes sense for your needs and your market. Luckily, a lot of the cons can be mitigated with modern customer support software that fills in the gaps for your workers.

Gladly can make support more seamless across the globe

The biggest problem with the Follow the Sun approach is maintaining quality, communicating, and coordinating handoffs between agents in different regions. Gladly solves these problems by providing:

  • Omnichannel support that allows you to change communication lines or transfer calls with ease so you don’t have to end the interaction and make repeated calls or messages
  • Lifelong conversation timeline that help to make sure agents know exactly what a customer’s issue is before the point of contact
  • Unique customer profiles that gives agents all the context they need to thrive in an interaction
About Gladly

Gladly is a customer service platform for digitally-focused B2C commerce companies who want to maximize the lifetime value of their customers. Unlike the legacy approach to customer service software, which is designed around a ticket or case to enable workflows, Gladly enables radically personal customer service centered around people to sustain customer loyalty and drive more revenue. See how Gladly works today.

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