Of all the resources we have at our disposal, time is the scarcest. Improving internal processes like customer service response times will speed up your customer support and create the client satisfaction numbers you’ve been looking for.
Reducing Your Average FRT (first response time)
Your average first response time is a calculation that compares the total time it took for your department to respond to emails within a given period against the total number of responses sent during that period.
Your published SLAs (Service Level Agreements) should define your expected email response time, giving you a specific number to measure against. Customers expect an immediate response when they have a problem and your SLAs set the precedent for that expectation. Your ability to respond within the promised timeframe is a vital piece of creating a rockstar customer service experience. Consider offering chat and phone support options to your customers as well to further reduce response times!
Take a moment to calculate your average FRT and then read on for some additional information on why you should improve it, as well as how best to go about fixing it.
Why Speed Matters to a Customer, and How it Reflects on Your Business
You might be surprised to discover that your customers’ expectations on response times are quite a bit different than your internal metrics. The average customer service response time is 12 hours, while almost half of the customers surveyed expect a response in 4 hours or less. Having workflows in place to remind your team that a response has not gone out is a quick and easy way to ensure communication lines are open and that you are hitting your SLAs. Even if you have an automated response that goes out, be certain that there is a quick and personal response from a team member to follow up. The human connection is vital to the success of your workflow and keeping customers happy! Consider offering chat options to customers as well for those customers with an immediate need.
Responding to your clients quickly shows them they are important, which they are! Your customers are the bread and butter of your operation. Without them, you don’t have revenue. Providing a rapid response to customer inquiries shows:
· You take your customer issues seriously
· You prioritize the customer experience
· You value your customers
A client who feels appreciated and listened to is going to stick around. Conversely, a customer who has a negative customer service experience is not only likely to leave, but also more likely to share their experience.
A recent survey indicated that 62% of unhappy clients will share their bad experiences with others; clients just tend to be more vocal when they are not satisfied.
At the end of the day, it is how the customer defines their experience that drives what they will do next. The customer definition of service is the only one that matters. Check out this video with our COO, Joel Vaslow along with Corey Odvody, President at Americom, that touches on how great customer service can be defined. This is episode 1 of a 5-part series. If you have a little time, watching the full series would be a huge benefit to your understanding of customer service!
How Responding Quickly Can Grow Your Revenue and Reputation
Your customers want to feel the love and it’s easy enough to show them by making simple changes to improve your customer service response times.
It costs more to attract new customers than keep existing customers!
Studies show that 82% of customers will stop doing business with you if they aren’t satisfied with the customer service provided. The solution is easy: keep your current customers happy by providing top-notch customer service. Check out this great article for additional information on why customers leave, and what you can do to stop it.
4 Key Changes to Improve Customer Service Response Times
At this point, you are most likely aware that customer service response times are a vital piece of your company’s success. You may be wondering how best to go about improving your customer service response times, and we are excited to fill you in! Although there are several adjustments that can be made to create a more efficient and satisfying customer service experience, these 4 changes will give you the most bang for your buck:
1. Implement an automated customer service software, such as Tigerpaw One, to integrate your service order management and automate time-consuming processes so you can focus on what’s important, your clients. Automated customer service software allows your team to work smarter, rather than harder by streamlining tasks such as:
- Capturing help desk requests in real time
- Automating ticket generation and tracking the process from initial client interaction to completion
- Alerting team members, managers and leadership of missed SLAs
- Syncing all interactions with your client in one place so they are readily available to the service representative assisting them
- Tracking customer service representative time and billable hours in one place
- Automated reporting and enhanced visibility of metrics and data
2. Define the process and focus on accountability, so that each team member knows what’s expected and all teams are committed to the client experience. Set up a workflow for this process. Implement automated reminders to alert customer service representatives if there are inquiries that have not been responded to within the approved time. Ensure an escalation process is in place and that each team member understands the procedure to minimize response times for more difficult issues.
3. Create templates for common issues, no need to recreate the wheel, something as simple as a password reset or a request for a customer service phone number can be accommodated with a template email rather than a customer response. Creating templates and canned responses can speed up the process while still providing the excellent customer service your clients want.
4. Establish and track SLAs (service level agreements) to keep you and your customers on the same page. Your SLAs are a commitment between you and your customers based on the level of service you determined you could provide. You need to know what your response times are, and more importantly, you need to be alerted when you aren’t hitting those promised response times for your customers. Maintaining your published SLAs is key to providing the best customer service possible and keeping your customers happy!
Regardless of how you choose to improve your customer service response times, the most important thing is to have a plan and commit to it. Your clients deserve a reasonable response time, and what’s more, they expect it.
Are you ready to grow your business and maximize your customer service response times? Do you want to automate your ticketing process and create an escalation process that works for your company?
Download our 4 Pillars of Success eBook to get all the tips and tricks you need to optimize your customer experience today!