I'm Curious -- Do You Answer Emails & Help Desk Tickets On Sunday?

by markaustin 47 replies
Hi Everybody,

Like the title says, I want to know if you answer emails & Help Desk tickets on Sunday? Or do you take the day off?

I just had to deal with an annoyed customer who had sent an email requesting help late Saturday night. I answered him this morning (Monday) ... which in his mind was not good enough. (Note: Usually I answer within a couple of hours)

My train of thought is this: I am very dedicated to my work, and I really love what I do. I love working online. I love dealing with people. I love helping people. BUT, I'm also married -- happily married and I want to keep it that way. I do not go to the office on Sundays -- instead I spend all day Sunday with my wife.

What about you? Do you answer emails & Help Desk tickets on Sunday? Or do you take the day off?

Mark
#main internet marketing discussion forum #answer #curious #desk #emails #sunday #tickets
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
    I do if I happen to be online on Sunday, but when I'm the customer, I don't expect others to reply on weekends.
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    • Profile picture of the author pwebbiz
      Mark,

      Hey! I've bought a couple things from you on eBay! I remember the great customer support you provided me when my computer's hard drive was wiped and I needed a download link re-activated! That being said, I like your support!

      Now to the matter at hand: If I'm home and in front of my computer (and awake...) in the event I get an email from a customer it will be replied to or otherwise dealt with in a matter of minutes!

      If I'm out somewhere then when I get home, before I address anything else (except maybe using the little internet marketers room) I check and address all emails. I think this is the highest level of dedication that I can contribute. Sometimes I get carried away and check my email on my phone but I like to avoid doing that.

      Anyway, what I'm trying to get at is you're an internet marketer for a reason. You want to have a job that let's you live on your schedule and you're entitled to that. The only suggestion that I have is communicating to people (maybe by autoresponse on the weekends) that you do not check your email on the weekends, but it will be your top priority on Monday morning. I think this is a fair trade off because you get the weekends 'off' hassle free and your customers are kept informed that you're not ignoring their email - you just haven't seen it yet.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dave OSullivan
      Hi Mark,

      Yes, I do answer email and support requests on a Sunday. Mainly because the computer's on 24/7 and I don't have to leave the house, so if I see it, I like to deal with it.

      As Chris said though, if it's the other way around, I don't sit there expecting a reply at the weekend.

      Dave.
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      • Profile picture of the author privateye2500
        Yes, nearly always....sigh...I'm addicted to customer support - what can I say?

        Melanie
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        • Profile picture of the author Amino Zawawi
          Always answer if I'm available in front my computer. The problem is, as a freelancer, many clients expect me to be online 24/7. It is very frustrating, since I get "Where were you?" emails at 1:30 am on a Saturday. I used to get so guilty, but then decided that my beauty sleep is more important
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          • Profile picture of the author Richard HAN
            I'm on the comp for almost 20 hours daily so, if a ticket comes in, I am able to answer it almost immediately.

            But, I try not to. On my helpesk software, I clearly indicate the timing (time zone plus office hours) that our helpesk operate and how long to expect a reply (up to 48 hours). In addition, Sundays are off for me. It's family day. So, unless I'm very free when it comes in (rarely), I prefer to keep to the time I indicate.


            .
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  • Profile picture of the author Tirmizi
    well Most of the time I am working from home, So everyday is like sunday ;-) however, if I don't have some big assignment or deadline coming , I usually reply to all my emails ... regardless of sunday or saturday...



    Tirmizi
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    • Profile picture of the author paul65
      Originally Posted by Tirmizi View Post

      well Most of the time I am working from home, So everyday is like sunday ;-) however, if I don't have some big assignment or deadline coming , I usually reply to all my emails ... regardless of sunday or saturday...



      Tirmizi
      Tirmizi, exactly the same here for me. Everyday for me is typically the same. I try to respond to any questions as soon as I get them. If it is a complete review and something very involved then I will respond and give them a time frame. I try and always at a min check my emails every hour, except when I am sleeping lol. My customer support to me is just as important as the product I deliver.

      This business is like any other business off-line or on-line. When you run your own business expect to be attentive 7 days week. The most successful off-line businesses require allot of time to become successful and this is also true for most on-line businesses. Now that does not mean to outsource in order to free up your time. However when many people are just getting started they may not have the recourses to outsource.

      Cheers,

      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Johnny Slater
        To be completely honest I pretty much live online so I usually answer any support request within an hour of it being posted, even if it's 1am my time. My day usually ends around 2 to 3am my time and I will handle support requests up until then, regardless of what day of the week it is.

        That being said, I do take entire days off every once in a while and when I do any unanswered support requests are usually dealt with the very next morning. I try to never leave anything unanswered more than 8 hours but there have been a few times when I have went more than that.

        Even when I took a week off to visit my family last month I took my laptop with me and checked for support issues at least 2 times every day.

        This is just my personal practice and the way I prefer to run things but I would never expect anyone to be at my beck and call 24/7. Online business is no different than offline business, we all need to sleep sometime.
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  • Originally Posted by markaustin View Post

    Hi Everybody,

    Like the title says, I want to know if you answer emails & Help Desk tickets on Sunday? Or do you take the day off?

    I just had to deal with an annoyed customer who had sent an email requesting help late Saturday night. I answered him this morning (Monday) ... which in his mind was not good enough. (Note: Usually I answer within a couple of hours)

    My train of thought is this: I am very dedicated to my work, and I really love what I do. I love working online. I love dealing with people. I love helping people. BUT, I'm also married -- happily married and I want to keep it that way. I do not go to the office on Sundays -- instead I spend all day Sunday with my wife.

    What about you? Do you answer emails & Help Desk tickets on Sunday? Or do you take the day off?

    Mark
    There is nothing wrong with you taking the weekends off. Even offline businesses take a day off (usually Sunday). As for me, I have an autoresponder set up which says that I won't answer emails on weekends because I have a life outside IM.:p

    Now, in reality, I do sometimes check emails on weekends, but it's not customary. Best of all, the customer doesn't expect me to answer his support emails on weekends, so when I do get to answer them sometimes, on a Sunday, they are more than surprised.

    Some people think that once they purchase your stuff they own your life. Such people don't deserve to be your customers.

    Arindam
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    • Profile picture of the author Liane
      Originally Posted by markaustin View Post

      Hi Everybody,

      Like the title says, I want to know if you answer emails & Help Desk tickets on Sunday? Or do you take the day off?

      I just had to deal with an annoyed customer who had sent an email requesting help late Saturday night. I answered him this morning (Monday) ... which in his mind was not good enough. (Note: Usually I answer within a couple of hours)

      My train of thought is this: I am very dedicated to my work, and I really love what I do. I love working online. I love dealing with people. I love helping people. BUT, I'm also married -- happily married and I want to keep it that way. I do not go to the office on Sundays -- instead I spend all day Sunday with my wife.

      What about you? Do you answer emails & Help Desk tickets on Sunday? Or do you take the day off?

      Mark
      Originally Posted by Arindam Chakraborty View Post

      There is nothing wrong with you taking the weekends off. Even offline businesses take a day off (usually Sunday). As for me, I have an autoresponder set up which says that I won't answer emails on weekends because I have a life outside IM.:p

      Now, in reality, I do sometimes check emails on weekends, but it's not customary. Best of all, the customer doesn't expect me to answer his support emails on weekends, so when I do get to answer them sometimes, on a Sunday, they are more than surprised.

      Some people think that once they purchase your stuff they own your life. Such people don't deserve to be your customers.

      Arindam
      You know, I totally agree that everyone needs to set a specific day to have off (or at least a specific set of hours each day). I think the easiest way to keep your customers happy with your choice is to make that very clear; e.g., have something on your website (or your voicemail) that states, "I am in the office from 9AM to 5PM and will respond to all inquiries immediately during those hours" - or something to that effect.

      That being said, last Sunday afternoon I called my business sponsor and left a message, fully expecting him to call me back on Monday afternoon (I'm EST, he's PST). My view of him and his support jumped ten-fold when he called me back 5 minutes later.

      So what do you do if you're out of the house? What if it's within your normal business hours but you decide to take a "day off?" Why not carry around a cell phone that is capable of pushing email? There are so many Blackberries, iPhones, and other capable phones out there. You can sneak a peak to see if you've received an urgent message that requires a quick response, even if it's just to say, "got your email, will do my best to help you Monday morning."

      Hope that helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author EndGame
    I'm in a long distance relationship at the moment, so I am 24/7 at the moment. I try and answer all emails within a couple of hours (unless I am asleep).
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    • Profile picture of the author Kate Anderson
      I think it's great if you can take weekends off. Personally, I really can't, at least I don't feel that I can.. My mind is always on work these days, and so I feel that I should at least check in during weekends.

      Just the same I am learning to be more patient with others who don't answer emails or tickets on weekends.. I have to remember that some people are actually smart enough to be on a schedule.
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  • Profile picture of the author Britt Malka
    On Sundays, yes, normally, unless for some reason I'm not working.

    Saturdays, never! I take one day off, from Friday afternoon/evening till Sunday. People, i.e. our customers, seem to have learned that by now.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tracy Yates
      When support requests come in, I do my best to answer those as quickly as I can as they enter my inbox.

      I find that customers, whether they bought your product(s) directly from you, or from a fellow reseller, they certainly appreciate fast responses and will definitely keep you in the front of their minds when doing further shopping for something you sell.

      And, that is always a plus.

      But, on the same token, if you can't get to your support responses as quickly, I don't think that should count against you in any way. Sometimes I think people in general lack patience in this online world of "get-your-fast-fix-now" gratification system.

      Personally, I never get upset by not receiving a reply 10 minutes after I email someone when I need assistance, and am always pleasantly surprised when I get a response back within 48 hours.

      Sometimes, I never get a response back at all from certain folks. That is where the real problem lies.


      Tracy
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
    It's nice to have an answer fast when looking for one, but I don't expect help to be available 24/7 unless its my hosting provider.

    I'm patient in getting answers if I know the time frame. A note or autoreply with hours would satisfy me. I also don't expect replies when it is nightime in the time zone of the marketer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason K. Thomas
    I answer my emails everyday. It helps to have a BlackBerry
    That being said, you should always clearly state what your response time is (1 business day, 24 hours, etc.)
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason James
    If you outsource your support you can have someone check it everyday for you :-)
    I get a text message or phone call if anything urgent comes up that i need to personally handle.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Ellis
      I certainly make sure I have someone available at all times, including weekends. If something needs to be escalated, I'm also always available (24x7)... this is why I love my BlackBerry!
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      • Profile picture of the author Michael Mayo
        Jason and Michael, Wow!

        My neighbor gave me a whole basket of Blackberries the other day!
        I didn't know I could use them for customer support issues! :p J/K

        Actually, Myself being a IM Junkie I take the week ends off.
        But, More often than not, I've been busted by the wife checking my sites and email just to make sure every thing is OK before I go to sleep.

        Consider it, Counting Sheep! Bhaaaa!

        Have a Great Day!
        Michael
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        • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
          Although if I'm home, I will answer support issues on a Sunday (any day of the week is the same), I have a Mail Slave who informs customers that I'm not available but that they will soon be taken care of. THat keeps 99% happy. There is always that 1% that flies off the handle when they can't get something instantly -- I refund them.
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          • Profile picture of the author new guy
            I usually check my stuff Sunday night but you know what, there is nothing wrong with taking some time off. I mean really, you could just post your support hours on your website or set an autoresponder to run on the weekends or whatever. Why do people expect you to work 24/7 are they at work on the weekends? Likely not. So why should they expect us to be? I have no problem turning my computer off Friday night and picking up again Monday morning. Just be sure that through the week you stay on top of it.
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          • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
            I always answer if I'm home.

            IF you never or as a general rule dont answer on Sundays or between certain hours then your support desk should tell this.

            Garrie
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  • Profile picture of the author mojoisland
    I take Sunday's off. I don't even get online.
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  • Profile picture of the author lindajess
    When I'm a customer, and I have a complaint, I usually wait until Monday. If it is that huge, then I'll send it, but no, I don't expect an answer until Monday usually. Also, if I'm online, and I see it, yes, I try to answer it. But most of the time, I try to stay away from the laptop and computers on the weekends. If not both days then at least Sunday. 99% of the time, I wait until Monday, especially if there is a complaint, that way I can give that person my full attention.

    This is just a way of making money, and if I upset one person by not answering an email on a weekend, then personally, it's their fault for being upset. They are the ones who wrote on a weekend, knowing that most people do not work weekends.

    We all have lives to live, and if we have to work during the week and on weekends, we are missing out on a great deal of living our lives...

    Does that make sense?
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    • Profile picture of the author JamieBing
      If I am in the middle of a major launch or something similar, I do try to take care of "hot items" on Sunday. That can also be said for Saturdays when things are running smoothly.

      When I was outsourcing my support I did expect it to be checked daily but that still turned into a bad situation :-( so I am back doing most of it myself.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rob Canyon
      Mark,

      Just a thought... Maybe have someone write a script that on Sundays in your time zone throws up a webpage that says... Store Closed come back Monday - Saturday and support too.

      Controversial... or Crazy... You decide...

      Cheers,

      Rob
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      • Profile picture of the author Liane
        Originally Posted by Rob Canyon View Post

        Mark,

        Just a thought... Maybe have someone write a script that on Sundays in your time zone throws up a webpage that says... Store Closed come back Monday - Saturday and support too.

        Controversial... or Crazy... You decide...

        Cheers,

        Rob
        I love that! So reminiscent of downtown (anywhere) 20 years ago, and some small stores still today. But you have to admit, it was frustrating when, as a kid, you headed to the candy shop, only to find out it was closed and would not open again until the following week. And if I were a kid looking for candy, at that point I'd head over to the competition...
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      • Profile picture of the author markaustin
        Originally Posted by Rob Canyon View Post

        Mark,

        Just a thought... Maybe have someone write a script that on Sundays in your time zone throws up a webpage that says... Store Closed come back Monday - Saturday and support too.

        Controversial... or Crazy... You decide...

        Cheers,

        Rob
        Rob,

        That's an interesting idea.

        Mark
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        • Profile picture of the author fm1234
          All of my sites that deal with paying customers run support pretty much 24/7 -- it obviously isn't all me doing it of course. Until I could afford support staff I worked seven days a week, including holidays, usually in the range of 18 hours per day. I still don't take regular days off but rather "save up" for regular breaks that can be anywhere from a day to a week. I have no idea how people working at home can possibly need a regular day off or weekend thing every week, but that's just me I suppose.


          Frank
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          • Profile picture of the author gdavis01
            I think it is important that you answer help desk tickets. Coming from a customer’s point of view, if the problem of the customer involves money, you might just don’t know how much money the customer would be losing because of that problem.

            Either have a person that could take your place when you are away or make use of existing technologies like getting a blackberry so you can easily attend to customers’ problems.
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  • Profile picture of the author iceintentions
    When I used to have my ecommerce site I would answer emails everyday of the week. It never really bothered me though and left a good impression on my customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author dbarnum
    No, my whole team takes weekends off (except our phone help who is there 24/7 year-round) and this is noted on our site. Enjoy time with your family. That's part of what working from home is all about

    Give yourself a break - and some benefits.
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    • Profile picture of the author BIG Mike
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      • Profile picture of the author eljay003
        It would be ideal to have someone online to answer queries any time on any given day. Customers have different needs and some may have technical emergencies on a Sunday... if your service does not provide for a 24/7 assistance, some clients may simply be tempted to look for ones who do.
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  • Originally Posted by markaustin View Post

    Hi Everybody,

    Like the title says, I want to know if you answer emails & Help Desk tickets on Sunday? Or do you take the day off?
    Mark
    I pay a friend and his wife to do my tickets for 3 different online ventures, they are always at home and they just logon every few hours and deal with them, so I guess yes, I do answer tickets on Sundays because we sell product on Sundays and folks get fricken irate when they buy things online and don't get access to them.

    Now if only these same folks would spend as much time learning how to click on Clickbanks "You Must Click Here To Finish Your Order" button as they do ranting about how they never got their e-book / product, the world of customer support would be a better place.
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