Customer Responses

How to speed up customer responses?

Nobody likes long waits. Take for example ordering food. If you are promised delivery within 30 minutes and your food arrives after 45 minutes, you become an unhappy customer and will probably not order from the same place again, unless they have a secret sauce that keeps you hooked. All customers seek to do business with companies that provide exceptional products or services.

However, it is those companies that provide exceptional after-sales services that tend to retain and maintain long-term relations with their customers. This majorly involves speedy query resolution. So what changes can you introduce in your business to speed up customer responses?

Set automated responses
An automated response can be set up in various scenarios. If your company provides satisfactory services and your customers like giving positive feedback, typing out a thank you mailer to all of them will be monotonous and time-consuming. Rather, set up an automated-response for customers. You can also set up automated response software for when it is a query, complaint or support related. Let them know you’ll get back to them shortly. It will reassure them that their query won’t go unanswered.

Provide self-service options
Not everybody likes to or is patient enough to wait for a customer support executive to respond to their query. Some customers will proactively visit your website or other online forums in order to find a solution to their issue. Which makes it essential for you to provide enough resources online for those customers who don’t mind self-service. This can be in the form of FAQ’s or a forum that host discussion of different topics.

Offer to call back
Customers who consult your support via telephone may not always have the time to stay on the call until their query is resolved. And at that moment if you are not able to provide a solution, let them know that you have understood and acknowledged their query and will call them back as soon as you find an appropriate solution. Make sure you ask them what time is best to get back. You don’t want to call the customer in the middle of the night to tell them the good news.

Analyze inbound calls
This involves identifying the hours where inbound calls are at their peak. Knowing what time frame will have maximum call flow means you can assign more agents during those hours, maximizing the productivity of your business.

Study your team’s performance
Set goals for your support team based on every call. This can include average handling time, average hold time, average transfer rate, number of calls per agent per day, number of times one customer is put on hold, and anything else that is related to your customer support process. This way you can identify the factors that are slowing down your customer support process, and work on improving them.

Keep support agents updated
By giving your customer support agents access to detailed and updated knowledge base, you enable them to be fully aware of all the processes related to your business. This reduces the chances of your customer support agents having to put callers on hold and finding supervisors for the solutions, and also reduces the average call handling time.

Don’t make false promises
If you tell your customer that you will get back to them within one hours time, but actually take 2 hours to get back, it delays your response time by one hour. This may not seem important to you, but you must respect your customer’s time. If you promise something to your customers, make sure you deliver. Otherwise, nobody will take your word seriously.

Smart escalation
There are times when your front-line support team may not be unable to attend to a customer. This is where a smart escalation matrix for customer service helps reduce the time the customer has to wait to get a response. By setting a specific time for each department to handle a particular query, it ensures that if within that time frame nobody has responded, it will automatically get escalated to someone from a higher department. This way a response is always guaranteed, in the shortest possible time.

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