Public Business Hours for Your Fake Business

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It's been a while since I've posted under the "stealth" category. If you're unaware, these stealth posts are for businesses made up of just one or two people that try to give the illusion of a thriving office environment, instead of just a living room/office.

Most businesses have 9-5 business hours. It's not necessary that you post business hours on your site. And responding to customers during business hours may be difficult, depending on your day job, service or technology.

Why does this have to be limited to normal business hours? Because emailing your customer at 9pm will give the impression that you're a one-person show, or you're emailing from outside the US. If they think of it in a positive light, they may just think you have excellent customer service.

If there are customer inquiries that force you to check something in the database, it may be not be possible for you to do so during the day. You could check this in the evening (when you get home) and then send out a prepared email from your smartphone the following day during a break at work.

If you have a CRM you can log in to and check from your smartphone during a break, and then compose an email and send, then you may be able to handle most support calls during the day. You may not be able to handle calling customers, but usually an email is enough. For receiving/making calls while protecting your identity, read up on these:

If you need to get back to a customer after hours and it can't wait until the next day (like an emergency bug fix) then contact them and explain that you would have gotten back to them sooner but your office staff was out of the office for an event. Yes, it's a lie. And no, I don't do business this way, but I used to. But it's better than getting back to them the next day, especially for urgent situations.

Photo courtesy dno1967 CC BY-SA

Next post: What the fax?

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