With today’s booming technological advances, customers expect more from companies, especially when it comes to customer service. The level of quality of customer service drives the entire customer experience. To keep your company at the top of people’s minds, it’s important to deliver beyond customer expectations. One way to do that is to always ensure superior customer service. That means providing your customers with not only the best customer service but also the fastest response times.
This guide will help you improve your customer response time through:
- Setting Clear Goals
- Identifying and Addressing Where You’ve Missed the Mark
- Implementing Staff Training
- Using Customer Service Software
- Developing Proper Processes
- Providing Customers Self-Service Options
Defining Customer Response Time
Customer response time is defined by the amount of time it takes a business to respond to its customers’ queries, regardless of the mode: email, phone, social media, messenger, or other.
According to a recent survey, 75% of customers say that the most important attribute of customer service is a fast response time. While ten years ago, most customers desired a response within 24 hours, it seems that today, the expectation is much sooner.
Why Response Time is Important
Customers expect immediate answers to any questions or concerns they have when it comes to a company’s product or service, and rightly so. Customers expect what they paid for. In fact, they expect businesses to go above and beyond to retain their business. One of the most important factors that keep customers coming back is how a business responds to them, including how quickly.
Prompt response is a key customer concern when deciding which businesses they will continue to engage with and whether they have received a satisfactory level of customer service. If your customer service is not meeting the standard or going above the mark, you may lose customers, which will impact your revenue.
6 Ways to Improve Your Customer Response Time
#1. Set a Clear Goal
Set the standard for how fast you want calls to be responded to? Is it within four hours, eight hours, or one hour? Consider the average response time you currently have and decide if it’s reasonable or if you’ve missed the mark. If it’s taking more than a day, you’ve probably missed the mark. Set a new standard and use the strategies below to help meet that new standard.
#2. Identify/Address Where You’ve Missed The Mark
As you’re reviewing past calls, identify where you missed the mark and try to determine why. Where was the time spent during that window when the customers’ needs weren’t being addressed? Sometimes it will be clear, and in other cases, you may need to do a little digging. It’s only in knowing why you’ve missed the mark that you can take steps to fix it.
#3. Implement Staff Training
Use staff training as an opportunity to address issues in customer response time. Ensure all team members are aware of the various processes, the goal, and have the steps they need to be able to quickly address customer issues.
#4. Use Customer Service Software
Customer service software is a smart investment to ramp up your customer service. Helpdesk solutions are available to help manage customer queries for efficient response times. Some customer service software even has the option of implementing a ticketing system that can allow you to prioritize queries. That helps to maximize your team’s time and resources.
#5. Develop Proper Processes
You may notice that you have common or recurring queries from your customers. If that’s the case, put processes in place that will aid your staff in being able to address those issues quickly. Not having a proper structure or process in place is often one of the key reasons why businesses find it hard to improve their response time. The other thing is when organizations have solid outlined processes, it becomes easier to manage customer service communication.
To that end, you could develop canned responses or implement tools like live chat, chatbots, etc., for providing quick responses to recurring queries.
#6. Provide Your Customers Self-Service Options
Allowing your customers the luxury to help themselves is sometimes the best possible support you can give. To do that, you give them quick access to immediate knowledge without them having to wait on personal assistance. When you have a comprehensive knowledge base including product guides, tutorials, FAQ pages, etc., it can act as a self-service portal for customers. While the knowledge base doesn’t replace human support, it does allow them to feel empowered to quickly get the information they need without having to wait for a response, and they’ll appreciate the information that was so readily available to them.