The need to reduce customer service response time is readily apparent, so we won’t belabor the importance too much. In short: if you keep customers waiting too long, they become frustrated — and frustrated customers go elsewhere. Here’s probably the easiest way to think about it: when it takes Amazon 1 second (just one second) slower to load, they lose about $1.6 billion in a year. Now, maybe that’s not a lot of money for Amazon, but it’s a lot of money for most people, and it’s based on one second of difference. Impatience is a real human condition.
And look at this research from CMO Council:
So, if you know you need to be speedy, how do you reduce customer service response time?
Reduce customer service response time: The key is omnichannel
You need to be on every channel that your customers might be on at once, i.e. “omnichannel.” If you have a truly omnichannel approach, you reduce customer service response time — and reduce numerous other issues with customers.
What are the core channels?
- Email: In order to thrive with email support, you need to make sure you have company-wide policies in place for how to handle certain issues so everyone is aligned. These policies are easily turned into scripts and can also help agents respond uniformly and quickly to customers’ concerns. It’s also important to have enough staff to reply back to customers who email you within one to two hours, ideally. This is a reason many outsource — to have that 24/7 coverage. (We provide this.) Sad but true fact: 62% of companies just ignore customer service emails. Don’t be in that 62%.
- Social: It’s important you put guidelines in place for your team so they know how to respond to both positive and negative feedback on social media. We offer our team tons of training on this, with a special focus on moderator mental health.
- Phone: You need to have professionally trained agents who know how to lead with empathy, diffuse hostility, and resolve a host of issues. You also need to make sure you have enough staff to answer calls during your peak times, so you can sufficiently handle customer service demand. If you’re looking for a business process outsourcing (BPO) partner to help you with this, make sure it’s one that prioritizes First Call Resolution (FCR) as we do at Conectys. First-time satisfaction is crucial.
- Live chat: Customers love the quick response times and conversational nature of this medium. One word of caution, though: customer expectations for chat response times are higher than they are with email. Customers on chat will only wait for an average of 45 seconds before giving up. The good news is: the tech is getting better and wait times will increase because of more engagement from the live chat rep or chatbot.
Omnichannel is the quickest path to reduce customer service response time. Be where your customers are when they need you to be there and you’ll be successful.
Learn more about our omnichannel customer service here.