Customer expectations are high in today’s “instant” society. Quick – if not immediate – responses are the standard for success in business. Let’s take a closer look at how to be more responsive to your customers so you can boost customer loyalty and gain the competitive advantage.
Earlier this year, 33% of consumers surveyed said they want responses from small businesses within an hour. A more critical statistic from the same study shows that over half of customers will definitely go elsewhere if a business takes 6 hours or more to respond.
Faster response times are the number one way to improve customer service according to a study by Zingle.
Clearly, becoming more responsive to your customers is a goal worth your time and effort.
Today’s businesses use a combination of phone calls, emails, text messaging, and social media to communicate with customers. The question is: Are you using the best communication method to connect with your customers?
A majority of consumers prefer email communication (57%), followed by phone (50%), and text (27%). But if your target customer is between ages 18 to 34, they’re less likely to prefer phone and are more in favor of text (42%) (Source).
How well does your business handle customer communication? Surprisingly, 60% of businesses don’t respond to customer service emails. Worse, 90% don’t even acknowledge that a customer’s email has been received (Source).
These striking statistics show us two opportunities for small businesses today:
How fast should you respond to customers? As fast as possible!
Here are a few tips to help you improve your response time.
The first step in meeting customer expectations is knowing what those expectations are. Start by defining your target market. Then ask your existing customers what their preferences are for communicating with your business. Consider sending an email survey or having your sales team make survey phone calls.
Some questions you might ask:
It’s difficult to keep response times to a minimum across all channels simultaneously – especially for small businesses. Manage customer expectations by directing them to the best channel for their needs.
A few ways you can do this:
A well-trained and empowered employee is a confident employee. And a confident employee results in excellent customer service. Take the time to properly train your team and develop a comprehensive and easy-to-use knowledge base or manual.
Setting goals for how your business responds to customers is a good way to motivate your team and give everyone something measurable to work toward. You might set different response times for each communication channel or department. (For example, technical support might require a faster response than sales. Text messaging probably demands a quicker response than emails.)
To maintain customer loyalty and gain the competitive advantage, you must focus on becoming more responsive to your customers.
At UnitedCloud, we’ve worked hard to come up with solutions to support small businesses in this area. Our technology can empower your team to be more responsive to customers through many features including:
Become more responsive to your customers today. Contact a UnitedCloud specialist to find out more.
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Mark Atkinson Previous Experience: Largely sales focused, I owned several small businesses in Ontario. Since living in Alberta, I’ve held a Business Development position with Philip Morris International and Director of Sales ~ Western Canada for Canada’s leading LIVE Events SaaS provider, AudienceView. Certifications: Sales Professional Certification with InBev Full Certification with UnitedCloud First Aid/CPR? […]Read more