Being both available and reachable for customers is critical for all businesses, big and small. These qualities, or lack thereof, can make or break your business. There are many businesses consumers can choose from, and they are more willing to go with the company that is attentive, and giving them the best service. In the internet age, the consumer is more informed, more vocal, and more willing to share their experiences with other consumers. Improving your company’s customer responsiveness online and off will help to please customers and ensure they purchase from you again and again.
What is Customer Responsiveness?
When someone reaches out to you for customer support, how long does it take for a team member to respond to them? This defines your customer responsiveness. Customer responsiveness measures the speed and quality at which your company provides customer service and communication.
If a customer has to wait five days just for a simple email response, they might be more willing to take their business elsewhere. Not only do you want to focus on being quick to communicate via email, but social media, phone, and all other places that you’re listed online. A poll conducted by The Social Habit shows that, of the people who have attempted to contact a brand, product, or company through social media for customer support, 32% expect a response within 30 minutes. There are certain companies, though, that are awesome at customer service both on and offline—see our favorite customer service examples here.
Benefits of Great Customer Responsiveness
Without great customer responsiveness, you will lose out on returning customers. In fact, you should always be focusing on building great rapport with your clients, and one of the building blocks to a positive relationship is to be mindful of your customers’ issues and questions—that’s where customer responsiveness becomes important.
When you treat all your customers like they are your best customers, they will become your best customers. Did you know that the longer a customer buys from a company, the more expensive their orders get each time? This indicates the incredible value just one customer can have on your business’s success. To keep these valuable customers and turn them into repeat customers, it is vital to have amazing customer service. People want to feel that their money is going to a company that values their business, and nothing says “I don’t care about you” quite like a customer service email address that’s rarely checked.
A Forrester study discovered that 71% of customers say valuing their time is the most important thing a brand can do to provide good customer service. So let’s improve that response time, shall we?
4 Ways to Improve Your Company’s Customer Service Responsiveness
If you’re ready to treat your customer’s as rockstars and benefit from repeat, loyal business, we have some tips for you. The below are four smart ways you can improve your company’s customer service responsiveness in a variety of areas.
- Stop making excuses
- Make a system (and use it)
- Listen on social media
- Leverage technology
1. Stop Making Excuses
What do unsuccessful people have in common? They don’t own up to their failures. If they did own up to their failures, they would no longer be unsuccessful. The truth is, succeeding as a business owner means fixing problems when you come across them—it takes work and dedication to succeed, and if you don’t have these two things, customer responsiveness is the least of your worries.
If you do believe in your business, however, and you want to make a positive change, you’ve got to stop making excuses for yourself. Why is your customer service poor? Do you need more employees? Do you need a website update? Have you been slacking on your own responsibilities? Analyze your current customer service process and identify the main issues holding it back from being better.
2. Make a System (and Use it)
Simply relying on your memory is no way to take care of important tasks such as customer responses. To ensure no customer is ignored and every customer is helped within an appropriate timeframe, we recommend establishing some sort of system. Maybe this means your customer service rep blocks out a chunk of time every single day to review all the customer service channels and respond where necessary.
This method is something we’ve recommended for responding to online reviews. Online reviews, by the way, must also be regarded as amazing opportunities to showcase incredible customer service. It is in your best interest to respond to every single review you receive—both positive and negative. Each online review you receive is an opportunity for you to either gain a loyal customer or win over a sour reviewer. You lose out majorly by not responding, especially to negative reviews!
3. Listen on Social Media
Based on our social statistic above, you can imagine that social media is a breeding ground for both customer service fails and wins. There are plenty of companies who capitalize on Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor and more to communicate with their audiences. This helps increase consumer trust, and you can easily be one one of those companies if you make social media combing a part of your customer service response process. If this isn’t something you think you can handle, you may want to hire an in-house or freelance social media specialist to include this in their duties.
If you are online at all (and you should be), it would be a big mistake to ignore all social media platforms. While you don’t need to be on every platform, you can choose one or two that are best for your services or product and audience. Still not convinced? Conversocial reported that only 3% of tweets looking for help from a brand actually tagged the brand. That means an incredible 97% of Twitter users could be tweeting bad or good things about your brand without you even knowing it! Yikes. Any smart brand should realize that listening on social media is crucial to understanding your customer and serving them well. To find mentions of your brand on Twitter even when you’re not tagged, just look up your company name (and common misspellings of it) in the Twitter search box.
4. Leverage technology
Thankfully, for all the extra work technology has given us as business owners, it is refreshing to know that there are also some tech-based solutions to help lessen the human workload. Some business processes can be easily automated with the right software solution, and luckily there are a few on the market that helps with the exact customer service responsiveness issues many small businesses suffer from. Because the reality for many small business owners is the lack of employees, certain things like customer service can be difficult to maintain.
If you’re looking to automatically manage your online reputation, identify at-risk customers (listening is key!), and increase leads, this review management system would do you well. You can also invest in handy web chat software to help turn curious website visitors into paying customers.
Put simply, consumers just want to feel important. They want to know you’re hearing their complaints and their praises. They want to give their money to a company who values them. They want to make relationships with those they spend their money with, and improved customer responsiveness is the fast track to happy, repeat customers.