Ways to improve customer service response
Business customers and consumers are becoming impatient and more demanding. They expect their service providers to quickly or immediately respond to their concerns. In most cases, they would relate their level of satisfaction with the amount of time a business takes to respond to them.
For a business to have effective customer service, it must continuously engage its customers. The quicker a company responds and meets its customers’ needs, the more likely the customers will become satisfied and loyal to the business brand. In other words, customer service response times are a measure for any business’ customer service and success.
So, the question is, how can you improve your customer service response times? Good news! This article discusses some of the best ways businesses can deploy to ensure accurate wait times and faster response to their customers’ concerns.
Firstly off, let’s find out what customer service entails.
Understanding customer service
Customer service is the support or the assistance a business offers to their customers- referring to help you give your customers before, during, or after they buy your products or services. The support you provide should enable your customers to have an enjoyable experience with your brand or business.
There is more to customer service than just providing goods and services. It’s also an important part that helps you create an emotional connection with your customers. And for you to do that, you need to ensure you provide upbeat goods and services.
Of course, there are several ways to show that you care for your customers. However, you can never dispute the impact a timely response means to your customers. Therefore, effective customer service means being attentive to their needs and providing convenience to their concerns.
So, what are customer response times?
Customer response time is the amount a business or customer service agent takes to provide feedback to their customers. It can also be when a customer places an order for goods or services and the time it takes for them to receive the goods/services.
Simply put, customer response time is the delay or faster communication from businesses to their customers. Since the customers are business, every business should watch out how long they take before providing them with goods and services. And ensure that every customer leaves their business satisfied with their expectations met. When consumers leave your business feeling happy, the chances are high that you can turn prospective customers into loyal advocates of your brand.
Customer agents responding to customers’ calls.
How you identify the amount of time, you take in responding you’re your customers
To help you improve customers’ experience, you must first ensure you calculate your average first response time.
How to calculate first response time (FRT)
First, you need to gather critical data from your customer service agents. Get;
- The total time they took to respond to emails during a selected time
- The total number of responses sent in during the period chosen
You may decide to take the data within a week or even a month; ensure the period for both data matches. Then, divide the total time taken to send responses by the total number of responses. This will provide you with a specific number of hours, which is your average first response time.
Suppose you take too much time responding to your customers, and then you risk losing customers, especially the impatient customers. So how can you improve your customers’ service wait times?
Here are some of the tips to improve customer response time
Set automation responses
According to a Google study, taking more than 20 minutes before responding to a text is considered rude. Most customers would think that their problems, concerns, or complaints are being ignored. That’s not good for your business!
Therefore, it would be better if your customers know that their concerns have been received. And the most excellent way to overcome late responses is through email automation. They’ll be sure that the text they send went to the correct address through email automation since they get instant replies. This ensures an improved relationship.
Also, you can set up two SMS customer auto-replies; these would prevent your customers from thinking that you’re ignoring their text messages. Of the auto-replies, one would address after business hours. In contrast, the one would address those texts that come in during your business working hours. The two are all critical in letting your customers know that they will hear from you or when to expect replies.
Use templates and text shortcuts
You don’t want to have your customer agents repeatedly custom respond to the same questions by consumers. Thus, to help reduce customer wait time, ensure your customer service agents create multiple auto-replies from some of the commonly asked questions by the customers.
Therefore, let your customer service team list down some of the most complaints, concerns, and questions by your consumers, then create a template that cuts across the concerns. Develop and expand canned responses. This would speed up their work and significantly speed your customer response times. Also, it would help keep the business communication consistent.
Creating messaging templates provides the best pre-packaging answers and concerns to the most frequently asked comments and questions. These help you have a readily available solution for your customers. Also, having a packaged answers for the entire business ensures consistency across your agents. They would provide some answers to similar questions.
Another critical way to help write responses is to make shortcuts of the most commonly used words. Assigning shortcuts would help reduce the number of hours one would take to type a whole paragraph that would longer time.
Categorize emails or queries based on priority
Sure it would be good to operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. However, this may not work well with messages. How’s that? Not every query or concern is urgent. Treating every other news as critical or a priority may not benefit your business.
So, one of the best ways you can ensure adequate customer wait time is by categorizing and prioritizing the emails you receive. Create a triangle system where a message is received, assessed based on a subject, theme, minimum time to resolve it, and the complexity of the concern.
Also, consider categorizing your customers’ concerns based on importance and urgency. All these would make it easier for your customer service staff to find easy solutions to your customers’ issues and help improve your productivity across your entire customer service.
Provide Omnichannel communication strategies
Omnichannel communications are various communication strategies that boost or ensure unified business-customer connectivity or interactions across multiple channels. For instance, your customers may start a conversation through a chatbox. But, if you realized their concerns would take much time to resolve, you can send them the answers through their email. Or you might refer them to your live agent so that they talk over the phone.
When you adopt an Omnichannel communication approach to boost your customer experience, you consolidate channels and customer content from different channels and put them under a single source. This enables easy reference, especially for those agents who were aren’t available when the customers were explaining themselves.
In other words, Omnichannel communication strategies ensure seamless interactions; thus, the customers won’t have to repeat themselves. Therefore, providing Omnichannel communication strategies would help reduce your customer wait times. You can have all your customer’s details regardless of the channels they use to reach you.
Leverage technology to adopt self-service measures
Nothing feels good than having the power to help yourself whenever you have a problem. Therefore, it’s critical to provide self-service platforms like having a fast, responsive live chat system with self-serving features, such as self-checkout or live chats.
You can also direct your customers to the most frequently asked questions sections (FAQ). This would help answer several of your customers’ questions without necessarily having to contact you.
Expedite massage routine
It’s no secret a business may have various customer agents. However, it would be of great help if every staff knows what they need to handle as far as customers issues are concerned. Therefore, you should choose which messages a specific agent should take. Also, promote team collaboration and allow a person to direct a relevant notification to the appropriate team member. All these would help reduce customer wait times, especially in multiple businesses.
Improving your customer service response time is essential to the success of your business. Therefore, to maintain an effective brand, increased sales, or get your customers satisfied with your services or goods, you must ensure you reduce your customer wait times.