In IT, finance, accounting, and customer support, following-the-sun describes a global workflow strategy where issues are handled between different time zones to prevent delays in responses. This method was introduced so companies could provide 24-hour, round the clock service – following the sun around the globe. When the sun is shining over a given region, the company is conducting business there. This ensures customers’ requests and questions are handled as quickly as possible.
What are some pros and cons for the following-the-sun method?
A round-the-clock strategy isn’t right for every company. These pros and cons will help businesses decide if the method is worth investing in.
- Faster resolution times
- No need for night shifts
- Company gains global visibility
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Businesses gain an edge over the competition
- Workers in different time zones will need to communicate with each other and the main office
- It can be challenging to maintain the same level of quality support across regions
- This method may only be suited to larger companies or global organizations
How do you know if following-the-sun is right for the business?
Organizations can evaluate what’s best for them and their customers by asking certain questions:
Does the business have a global presence? A global presence means clients or customers may have inquiries outside of the main entity’s operating hours.
What kinds of issues are clients having? For simpler issues, a globally accessible FAQ or resource page can provide the help required.
Where are the customers or clients located? Unless the company truly has global reach (customers in more than a handful of regions), this method may not be needed.
Does the company want to scale the business? Scaling and having a presence overseas will necessitate catering to different time zones.
Is the business an enterprise-size company? Larger businesses will need higher levels of support.
Is it important to keep up with competitors? If major competitors offer 24/7 support, their advantage may persuade customers to choose them.