No customer wants to wait. That’s why customer service response times are a critical measure of your customer service. New and loyal customers alike will expect (and should receive) rapid resolutions and engaged interactions from you.
Remember, customer satisfaction is the biggest differentiator of brands, replacing price and product quality. Below, we explore ways to streamline your customer service practices and increase customer satisfaction.
What is Customer Service Response Time?
Customer service response time is the amount of time between a customer submitting a query and the first response from the support team. Customer experience surveys have established time and again the direct correlation between faster response times and greater customer satisfaction.
Quicker start times begin with the goals you set. Be sure to set goals you can achieve and promise the same to your customers, so they know what to expect. Then, compare goals and outcomes and set up efficient ways to track your first response times.
Automate Your Responses
Customers often just want to feel heard. They have a simple question and need a simple response, quickly. Most questions are about the same subject, so you don’t need a customer response agent to handle these and repeat the same answer over and over again.
This is an opportunity for automated responses to step in and improve your customer service. With this technology, you can let a customer know their email has been received and what they can expect you to do next. Often, all a customer wants is to be acknowledged, and an automatic response is an excellent way to thank them for their message, so they know you are taking their communication seriously.
Use Templates and Text Shortcuts
Rather than drafting a new email for every customer enquiry, your support team should have access to several email templates covering the most common topics of enquiry. This allows them to pull up the template, input the relevant personal details, and add a friendly comment if this seems appropriate.
Not only will messaging templates speed up your response time, but they will also help you keep your communication consistent. This means that every customer will receive the same answer to their question, with little or no deviation, helping to reinforce your brand and keep all your customers happy.
These might seem less personal, and thus less effective customer service, but what’s important is that you manage your time to devote your resources where they’re most needed. When customers need fast responses to simple queries, they will seldom expect you to give them your undivided attention for an extended period. Dedicate your time and energy to the customer service issues that automation, scripts, and FAQ web pages can’t fix.
Categorise, Prioritise and Tag the Emails You Receive
Categorising queries will give your support team members the choice to handle queries, based on the similarity of subject matter and the difficulty level. This practice makes it easy to find solutions and will boost productivity throughout your customer service team.
For instance, it’s a good idea to prioritise questions from customers who are experiencing a recurring issue. As this may be the second or third time that contact has been made regarding the same problem, the response must be more urgent. This can also be the case with particularly important customers, or those whose inquiries require more time to resolve.
Improving Customer Service Response Time Benefits Everyone
If you ask any successful business owner, they will tell you that your customer service department can make or break your company. Being there for your customers when they need you is arguably the most important thing you can do for your customers and, according to Bartercard New Zealand, is one of the hallmarks of great customer service.
Not only can it make your customers happy and enhance your brand’s reputation, but when done properly, it can also improve efficiencies throughout your entire organisation. Remember, businesses don’t drive changes, customers do.