Treating customers badly hurts your business not once, but twice. First, you anger your user, and then, you drive them into the waiting, willing arms of your biggest rivals. Almost 90 percent of consumers will start doing business with a competitor after a poor customer support experience, according to an Oracle report.
Bad customer service could happen easier than you think. When it comes to customer support, your users expect you to be fast on both email and social media. A Twitter study found that over 70 percent of Twitter users expect brands to reply to their questions on the app within one hour. A similar study about email found the same thing. In an era of smartphones and always-on communication, people see no reason for a delay in company’s responses to them.
So how do you keep your customers away from your rivals and meet their high bar for speed? Here are our tips:
- Make sure you have the right number of people on your team dedicated to customer support. Look at the data about how many customer service messages you receive and what time of day they come in. How long, on average, does it take your team to respond to a message once they open it? Run the math and figure out how many support members you need to be able to respond to your average number of incoming messages per hour.
- If you don’t have the resources to respond to most of your customer service messages in an hour, then set the expectations clearly with your users. Next to your email on your website, tell them what time frame they will hear from you.
- Outsource part of your customer support team to another region, so that when you’re sleeping, someone else can reply. There’s a lot of companies that will create small to large outsourced teams depending on your need. Check out Influx or TaskUs.
- Set up your workflows so you have easy tools to speed up the response process. We recommend a tool for assigning emails to different members of your team, and an integration that lets you see the context on a customer’s order history without having to log into a different service.
- Pick an email and social media management product that’s fast enough. You want one with keyboard shortcuts and no page load. If your customer service team is using it 8 hours a day, those minor inconveniences add up. We, of course favor Front, but you can also find other helpdesk solutions.
- Consider speed over perfection. It might be a nice touch to add emojis or personalization, but if you have to choose between that and a rapid response, go with the latter.
Ultimately, you want to be able to respond to your customers at the moment they are seeking support. To do this, you need to have the right products and processes in place — and avoid providing bad experiences. Hope these tips help!