4 Tips to Radically Improve Your Customer Response Time

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If your business exists on social media networks, it is very likely to receive questions and feedback from customers on a regular basis. Your customers may have questions about your offerings or complaints about inadequate service. Customers want to ensure you appreciate that they chose to do business with you and not your competitors.

With an increasing number of customers turning to social networks as a source for customer service, it has never been more important for your business to be available to meet the customers’ needs online. Not only do your customers expect social customer service to be flexible and flawless, they expect it to be remarkably quick.

According to reports, almost 42 percent of customers posting scathing reviews on social media expect the business to respond within 60 minutes. Responding to customer reviews is an essential component in creating a superior customer experience so that your customers remain loyal, spend more and recommend your business to others. However, the act of responding to customer reviews is just one part of customer service. Businesses that are able to retain customers successfully are doing so mainly because of their faster response rates.

According to research, 80 percent of customers are willing to pay more for better service, and 78 percent of customers would recommend a business to their family and friends if they get superior customer service from the business. The longer the response time, the harder it will be to retain the customer. When you are running a small business, customer response time can be a tricky situation to handle. Here are four tips to help you respond faster – and keep your customers happy.

1. Handle big issues immediately: Your business should have a crisis management plan. Everyone should know the usual protocol when an issue arises. It is critical to inform the customer about what is being done by your organization. Even if you have a small team, make sure you have a plan for when you need to address a sensitive issue with a customer. Make sure to follow up with the customer after responding to the feedback on social media.

2. Prepare responses to frequently asked questions: Every organization has a list of common questions or issues that customers are most likely to ask. One of the best ways to respond quickly is to have pre-approved responses that you can instantly send back. You can create email templates and social media responses to send as needed. You can also consider creating an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page on your business website. This way you can direct customers to the resources you already have, instead of having to explain the same information over and over.

3. Build a secure notification system: In some cases, customer questions on social networks go unanswered. This may happen because either there was not a designated person to respond, or the designated person missed the message. In order to address such issues, you have to be precise and clear with your team about their roles and responsibilities. Clear expectations and goal-setting will help avoid confusion.

4. Develop a process for monitoring communication channels: Logging into social media accounts responding to customer questions and comments are not the ideal solution. Instead, you must find ways to consolidate the different social media and email accounts. This will not only make it easier to respond to customer comments, but you will also be able to keep track of queries. In addition, to ensure customer interactions do not consume your entire day, you must set aside a few hours during the day to check and respond to customer questions.

Being smart with time and technology is how small businesses can meet the expectations of their valuable customers. However, you have to keep in mind that not every customer comment deserves a response. Do not respond in situations where you are only adding fuel to the fire. If you are involved in a conversation that is going nowhere, exit gracefully before it gets ugly. You do not have to respond to vague comments, but genuine questions and honest reviews deserve a prompt and courteous reply.

Always remember that your goal is to show your customers that they are important to you. You must acknowledge their problems, provide suitable solutions and engage them effectively, so they do not forget who you are.


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