When we have a significant online presence, the company’s email and social network’s message box may have a significant amount of notifications from our patrons; so how do we improve our customer service response time?

Think it from your own customer service experience; when you send an email or a Facebook message to a business, you expect a reply soon. But when it arrives weeks later, or never, you lose interest in the product or service you were requesting information about.

As a business owner, you must understand the value of an optimal customer service response time, so today we would like to give you some tips to shorten that time to engage with new and old customers.

Why is so important to have a quick customer service response time?

A study conducted by Forrester Research, an important American market research company, determined that 41% of our clients expect an email response within 6 hours.

Since those customers are the primary source of your company’s revenue, seems obvious why answering to all of their doubts and complaints is so important, right?

Unfortunately, at least 62% of companies do not respond to customer emails at all. And the ones that do respond, take almost 12 hours to do so!

What are the consequences of this? To put it simply, having a slow customer service response time will make you lose new and old clients, but if you have a short reply time, you get lots of benefits:

  • Possible new clients have access to the internet; if they stumble upon your web page and send you an email, they still have time to browse through more pages, and if the one that responds first, has more chances of making a conversion
  • Answering quickly to new clients make them feel important and valued.
  • Solving a complaint or a doubt for a client about your service or product improves the chances of making them buy it again
  • If your customer service experience is fast and personalized, the easier it will be that the customers you already have recommend your service to possible new ones

To improve your response time is as important as offering a quality service or product, something not many companies seem to pay attention to. A study by Call Centre Helper found that barely 12% of customer service managers care about responding quickly to their clients’ emails.

Strangely, they care about 47% for the customer’s satisfaction; something they can’t fully achieve if they do not respond to the patrons’ emails!

Now, if you still think that losing new customers or not fulfilling their expectations are not enough reasons to speed up that response time, we will give you one that definitely will: when the customers that contacted you via email did not get a response on time, they will contact you through another channel.

That means you won’t have to deal with the same client once, but twice! Are you interested in reducing your customer service response time now? Let’s review some options to do so.

Tips to reduce your customer service response time

Whether you receive warm emails or messages applauding your product, questions, or complaints; the goal is to reply to all in a short time.

Depending on how big your business is, you can choose among many options to improve that rate, and give your patrons a useful and fantastic customer service experience.

First of all, notice what you are doing wrong. Companies with poor customer service and slow response times have many things in common:

  • They don’t prioritize inquiries
  • Let their workers do all this work manually
  • Don’t hold agents accountable when they actually are
  • Forget to establish standardized processes

Not all the messages you receive daily are equally important; if your employees respond to them as such, you are accidentally ignoring the inquiries that need immediate respond for some that can wait a little longer.

Do not be afraid of automatizing your email response; a good idea is to settle an automatic reply that lets customers know their request is being handled and that it will be solved in short time; it will make them feel valued.

Now, if your business is small enough for a couple of workers to review the customer service experience by themselves, make them accountable for that job.

Other great options to help you reduce that customer service response time are:

Customer service software implementation

There are hundreds of options to choose from. Setting up and automatic email response is clever, but providing your employees with a software that stores every single digital interaction, is more useful.

This kind of software allows you prioritize, classify, and to understand better the behavior and doubts of your clients. For example, if a patron has had many troubles with a service or order in the past, a software can help you review the issue in a shorter time.

Using this type of tools help you save time, which means you get to save money.

Set up time-based email alerts

It’s common that, when you prioritize inquiries, the less important ones remain in the forgotten email basket.

The fact that those emails are not as important as others, does not mean they are not important at all. So to keep track of those request that demand less attention from your team, setting up email alerts can come in handy.

Use templates

It takes a bit of time to learn which template to use according to the request sent, but it will definitely speed up your customer service response time.

Once you identify the most common questions your customers ask, you can create templates to answer them quickly; all you have to do is personalize it with their name and extra help.

This tip saves you time and diminishes the number of mistakes new customer service employees can make.

The best response time your company can ever achieve is an hour or less. We know it sounds difficult for large companies, but something quite attainable for small ones.

Proper customer service is a team effort; delegate responsibilities correctly and reward small victories.

Also, keep in mind that a quick customer service response time is not useful unless you offer a quality customer service experience; people want their questions/complaints replied fast, but they also want a professional, personalized, and helpful response.

Our final advice would be that after prioritizing messages, start replying to those that need the quickest answer and the ones that have the most laborious requests. That way you have the less critical inquiries and compliments left in your queue.

City Wide Jani Inc. are a commercial cleaning company based in Chicago. We have over time proven ourselves to be the most efficient and most professional operation in the city. We are licensed, bonded and insured, as well as being accredited by the City of Chicago as a (MBE) Minority Business Enterprise and (WBE) Women Business Enterprise. City Wide also has a consistently maintained A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau of Illinois. City Wide is an owner-operated business that emphasizes that highest levels of quality control. Our senior management take an active role in the day to day operations of the company, including site visits to crews and are always available to clients.

We manage a diverse range of facilities across the city and take immense pride in maintaining them to the highest standards. As a company and a service, we always exceed our customer’s expectations and our business has been built on our reputation for unbeatable customer satisfaction. Our combined decades of experience, in both management and in our outstanding cleaning crews, means we can provide the perfect, cost effective solution for your business.

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