3 Ideas to Dramatically Improve Your Customer Response Time

In today’s competitive world, focusing on the customer is an extremely important requirement for businesses to succeed. Customers contact you with their queries, problems, and complaints. It is critical to respond quickly to customers. Failure to reply on time may prove to be very costly.

Customers expect you to reply to their email promptly. And they expect this to happen real fast. According to a study by Forrester Research, 41% of customers expect a response to their e-mail within six hours. The study also found that 36% of businesses actually do respond in six hours and 14% do not even respond.

Your customer support team needs to ensure that they read all customer emails as soon as it is received and send a reply within six hours. You would probably have a large number of customers and you may get many emails every day. So your team needs to focus on the job and ensure that they are prompt in responding to each and every email from the customers.

Let us take a look at three ideas that you can implement to ensure that you are able to meet the customer expectations of replying on time.

1. Use Auto response

Make use of automated mail response to ensure that you can respond to every mail the customer sends within seconds. Your mail provider would provide you with settings and options that you can use to send an automatic response to every mail you receive from the customer. The customer would be happy that someone has seen their mail and is working on it. Here, it is important to make sure that your auto mail doesn’t sound like it is a standard mail sent to everyone. Instead of sending the same old generic mail, try to be more personalised. Your auto mail will be effective if you can tell your customer how much time it will take before someone will get back to them with a full response, either by mail or by phone. Provide that information and auto response makes a lot of sense to customers.


2. Use Quick reply or templates

A good idea to use to ensure a quick reply to customer emails is to make use of standard templates or pre-written mail content. Since you know about the products you are offering and possible problems and solutions, it would be easy for your team to prepare a standard template with details of common problems that customers face and solutions to these problems. These may in the form of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) which cover most of the problems the customer could face. Once you have this standard template ready, you can just copy-paste this information in the mail and send it quickly. This would help your team to handle the large number of emails they receive quickly and at the same time ensure a proper response is communicated.

While using this option, you need to take care to ensure that the template used is relevant to the issues the customer has reported. Depending on the kind of products you have, you may need to have two or three such templates. You would need to make sure your free ticketing system send the right set of solutions which cover the problems raised by the customer. Using templates saves time and you don’t have to compose a reply from scratch. At the same time, just copy paste alone may not be enough; you may need to make some changes in the template to make it relevant for the present situation.


3. Use software for customer service

Professional software is available for customer support that provides you with various tools to reply to customers. Such software would have a complete history of all the interactions you have had with the customer so you get a clear picture on how to respond. Some customers keep sending emails and want an immediate response. The software would categorise customers and help you to prioritise and handle such urgent cases immediately. The software can also have inbuilt templates or keyboard shortcuts that you can make use to quickly compose a reply mail and save time.

An important aspect to keep in mind while replying to customer emails is that the reply sent and its relevance is more important than just sending a reply quickly. What you write in your mail is very important. The customer should not feel that you are sending a reply just as a matter of procedure. The way your email is composed should make the customer feel that this is a personalised response and is not a standard mail sent to everyone. The customer should be able to note that the problem/complaint reported and its solution is highlighted very clearly. The customer should not have search through pages together to find an answer.

Remember that a reply is of use if it does not add some value for the customer. The reply sent by you should add value to the customer by addressing concerns.

Timely responses to customer emails send a clear message that you care for your customers and are ready to go the extra mile to help them and solve their problems. This helps to build a strong relationship with your customer and improves customer loyalty and can take your business to new heights.



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