When operating a business, one of the most important aspects is customer service. Of course, the quality of customer service makes a huge difference. Nobody likes customer service reps that are rude, unknowledgeable, or just unwilling to help. However, the thing that matters most in customer service is the response time. Responsely is a service that can help.
If you take too long to respond to inquiries, complaints, and communications in general, customers will lose trust, faith, and patience. Let’s take a closer look at customer service response times and what you can do to speed things up.
Average vs. Expected Customer Service Response Times
Before we talk about how to speed up your response times to pressing questions and complaints, it is worth discussing the average times. Research shows that for those businesses that regularly respond (many don’t respond at all!), the average response time is somewhere over 12 hours. This may seem like a relatively short time, just half a day, but it’s too long compared to what people expect. Some can even take up to eight days.
Studies show that 88% of customers expect responses to their complaints and questions within 60 minutes, with 30% expecting a response within 15 minutes or less. Even if you think that your 12 hour response time is sufficient, the chances are that you have customers who are unhappy and losing patience.
How To Improve Customer Response Time
Automatic Email Responses
An easy way to improve your customer service response time without responding is by using an automatic email response system. When a customer sends a question or complaint to the customer service email, the software will automatically send a predetermined or set response that you have set up. Automated email responses, while not personalized for individual customers, at least let people know that you have received their messages, that help is on the way, and what to expect next.
These automated email systems will only go so far due to not being personalized. It is pretty clear to customers that these are generic messages, but it is a good starting point, and they can help placate customers for at least a few hours or days.
Using Templates For Common Inquiries And Complaints
Another way to improve customer service response time is to use templates for common inquiries and complaints. An experienced customer service agent working for the same company for a few months can get a good idea of the most common questions and complaints.
Based on these common inquiries, agents can put together a file or list of responses to those common questions. Instead of personalizing a response to each query, a customer service agent can send a template response. Response templates for customer service not only help with response time but with consistency as well.
Engage In Triage
It would help if you realized that the bigger the complaint or, the more pressing the question is, the faster it needs a response. People with basic or generic questions can probably wait for an answer, but people who have serious issues need a reply now. Whether you are using software or just a couple of human beings, triaging complaints and inquiries needs to be done. The most critical complaints and questions are addressed first.
Hire Dedicated Customer Service Reps
Another way to improve your response times is to hire an extra customer service rep or two. Of course, this depends on your business’s size and the number of inquiries/complaints you usually receive.
Using software can help, but you need real humans to answer and provide solutions for complex questions and complaints. Automated responses are a good starting point, but people quickly get annoyed with them.
Your customers or clients want to speak to real human beings. If you find that your response times are too long and that your current staff cannot keep up, the solution is to hire more customer service agents.
Something else is to split customer service between multiple avenues, such as email, phone, and social media. This way, you could have a person dedicated to each type of customer service, and things should speed because no one system will be overloaded.
Using Customer Service Software
We touched on the software above, and there are some great platforms, services, and software, such as Responsely, designed to improve customer service quality and speed. These systems are engineered to make doing business easier, and if you find the right one, they can do a lot more than respond to inquiries promptly. You can significantly improve your customer service for a low cost, leading to happy customers who are willing to spend money and spread the good word.
There are numerous ways to improve customer service response times, and we would recommend investing in such software. This can help make your business run more smoothly, and there is no reason not to take advantage of it.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.