No matter what type of business you are into, the industry you belong to, or your country of origin – customer support can make or break the deal for sure, and your organization may not be an exception. A bad customer experience will always end up, losing customer loyalty towards your brand, hence added to the advantage to your competitor. Where on the other hand, a satisfied customer stays loyal to your brand & turns to you in the need of the hour, turning the tides in your favor. But what exactly constitutes Customer Response Time? Well, before you jump into it, you must know what customers’ think is a Customer Response Time.
Here is a list of a few things that customers think as a quick Customer Response Time. The list include:
- The response time to a call. How fast is it?
- Customer friendly support staff and the amount of knowledge they do possess
- The number of channels to contact (chat, email, phone, etc.)
- Automated tools with self-service menu
- Consistency across all platforms
Out of all the above parameters, how quick you are into a call plays the biggest dividend. Nobody wants to wait & to be put on hold, and it’s a universal fact. So, delay in response will cost you badly, even the probability of your business losing a large chunk of customers is high. That eventually results in termination of the existing contracts & missing the potential ones as well. You indeed end-up experiencing a huge fall in profits and earning a bad reputation. According to recent surveys; the bad reviews travel faster i.e. a satisfied customer will tell only 11 people about your customer support but share the bad experience with about over 15 people. So, customer service matters the most to businesses of all sizes.
Gone are the days of responding within 24 hours or taking 2 business days to solve a query. The time & technology has entirely changed the perception of customer service, and taking customers for granted these days can cost you a ton. They expect a faster response time to their queries, such as; a reply to their email within 1 hour, 30 seconds for calls, 10 minutes for live chat, and so on. Of course, it varies on which channel they are interacting, but still a faster approach can win their heart for sure.
Before you jump into any conclusion and start working on how to reduce your response times, you must understand your business first. Once you are set with all the above mentioned parameters, you can easily better your response time.
- Introducing Automation: By introducing automation to your system, you can reduce the response time to a great extent. When you receive a query from the customers via email or any other channel, you can give an estimated timeline via notification with regards to their issue, which indeed is a great thing. Customers stay assured that their issues will be addressed within the given time frame, thus reducing the need of follow-up emails and repeated callbacks.
- Adding Personalization: Well, you can give immediate response with automation, but customers do expect that personal touch. With CRM integration, you agents can have A-Z info about a customer on their screen, it creates a psyche in their head that you really care about them. And, the best thing is your agents don’t have to ask for the same info time again.
- 24/7 Tech Assistance: You can’t attend all the queries & response faster, if your contact center is operational for 8 hours only. What if a customer is having a problem after business hours? He/she might end up reaching the voicemail or get delayed response for other reasons. A 24/7 support is the ideal way to make it faster. Different customers have different time zones, your day might be their night. You need more people working for you remotely, and you are available 24/7.
- Use Advanced Call Center Software to Aid your Support Staff: These days you are available with a number of advanced call center software solutions that make the job easy for your support staff. They not only save a lot of time from getting wasted, but also make them more efficient, by boosting productivity to a great extent. You can use chatbots or other software tools instead that can manage the things more efficiently. You can also set up an IVR system for the same.
- Empowering Callers for Self-service: If you have proper learning resources in place, then customers can troubleshoot smaller issues by themselves as well. In this way you can allow more time for agents to deal with complex or urgent issues. You can upload HD quality video tutorials or manuals in different languages to guide the users towards the solution.
- Train Your Agents: Training is a must to get the best out of agents, and surprisingly most of the companies ignore this part of customer support. Of course, managers might have seen some kind of spark in a person that’s why they have hired him/her, but further training makes them more effective. Things like understanding your process, how tickets window work, typical response, & so on can certainly make the difference to your customer experience.
- Divide and conquer: Expertise varies from person to person. So, instead of random call transfers, you can make sure a particular issue is handled by the specialists in the field. This way, you can save a lot of valuable time from getting wasted in call transfers and solve the escalating issue in just 5 minutes by assigning it to the right person.
- Go multi-channel: People like to be served via multiple channels. From phone calls & email to live chat & social media, you must keep the door open for your customers through different channels. Sometimes the same person may try to contact you on different channels for the same problem. But with the right technology in place, you can restrict your agents from responding to the same issue time again. You can use an app or service that can combine all tickets from a single customer.
What’s your business plan post Covid-19? Well, keeping the current scenario in mind, the only way to sustain growth and make profit is directly proportional to your customer service. Hope this pandemic lasts long, but it must have let you understand the importance of customer service, right? Most of the modern business phone services have already tested the success by providing a great user experience to their customers with VoIP solutions. So, why haven’t you capitalized on this technology yet? If not, then this is the best time to do it.
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