Providing good service is a key way to improve customer engagement and show them that you care. If done right, good service will make customers happy, turn them into loyal advocates and prevent loss.

Although “good” services consist of many aspects, fast response time is an important component. Today’s customers are used to getting what they want quickly. They can get their packages within two days and their groceries deliver to their doorstep within an hour – it’s easy to understand why they want customer service to be as fast as product delivery.

response time - How to Reduce Customer Service Response Times Significantly

So, how long does it take for you to reply to your customers? You need to figure your First Response Time (FRT) out.

What is average FRT?

The average FRT is one of the most important customer service records used to evaluate how you perform. Reducing response time and responding to customers with useful and relevant information is the key to customer service success! Therefore, if you want to improve the customer experience, then you need to reduce the average FRT to be your business priority.

So, how to figure average FRT out?

Suppose that you send 3 customer service emails every day.

The first email takes 2 hours, the second email takes 4 hours, and the third email takes 6 hours. It takes a total of 12 hours to reply to all 3 emails. Now, use the three e-mails you send for 12 hours and the final average response time is 4 hours.

The Importance of Speed to Customer Service

Speed is one of the cornerstones of excellent customer support. Responsive support will tell customers that you have already got their back and let them feel listened and appreciated. It enables the buyer to proceed smoothly from the initial contact to sale, and solve the problem in time when they arise. Therefore, rapid response means that you meet the customer’s expectations.

Sadly, few companies put fast response time first.

A study of the Call Center Helper found that only 12% of customer service managers focused on responding quickly to customers.

How to Reduce Customer Service Response Times Significantly

1.Track all customer interactions

One of the best ways to expedite your response to customer service emails is to sort and prioritize the emails you receive. When you receive a new e-mail, you should go through a “filter” system – just like the patient was in the emergency room at the hospital. You can evaluate emails based on their subject or topic and assign labels accordingly.

Labels allow you to classify and prioritize incoming messages. Create folders to quickly organize support messages based on the type of query. Examples of categories that you can label include inquiry, broken products, returns, VIP customers, and logistics problems.

2.Create response templates

Experienced agents know what types of questions their customers ask more than once. All sellers will experience repeated questions such as returns, cancellations, logistics and refunds. Creating response templates that you can reuse is guaranteed to cut your response times. And you can use it to better prepare your customer service team. This means that each customer will receive the same answer as theirs, with little deviation – helping to consolidate the brand and satisfy all customers.

3.Use automation

Sometimes all customers need to know that their email has been received and that help is in progress. Negative emotions start to appear only when their concerns, problems or complaints are ignored and may affect your long-term relationship with your customers. A good way to solve this problem is to use email to reply automatically.

Less than 10% of companies use autoresponders, but this simple, ancient technology can be used to let customers know that you have received their e-mails and what they should do next.

4.Use a mobile support app

One of the thorniest things for sellers manage is to expect them to be open all the time. Customers need answers anytime, anywhere. In fact, Forrester Group’s research found that 41% of customers hope to get a reply within six hours.

Customer support strategies that include mobile access will make it easier to support buyers on weekends and holidays. A timely response reduces negative feedback and puts you in the right position for the 24-hour response guide.

In conclusion, reducing customer service response time is very important.

Not only does it help you increase customer satisfaction and enhance your brand’s reputation – but also if done well, it can increase the efficiency of the entire organization.

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