It’s no surprise that customer expectations for service are at an all-time high. In fact, according to a recent survey, 88% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services. And 76% of customers say it’s easier than ever to take their business elsewhere.1 Very often, customer perceptions of their experience boils down to the little things like whether anyone responds timely when they reach out to a company. Organizations that have a plan to reduce response times can earn the trust and word-of-mouth goodwill of happy customers. But responding quickly is easier said than done. Here are four simple ideas to help reduce customer response times and delight your customers.
1. Build a Repository of FAQs and Automate Delivery
Short knowledge base (KB) articles can help quickly and thoroughly answer the questions your support team sees the most. Once you’ve done the work of taking stock of which questions are most repeated, and answering them, you can both automate their delivery and make them available in a self-service environment. Beyond the reduction of manual work for your team, your clients will appreciate getting immediate, robust answers to common concerns.
If you’re wondering how to create a good set of KB articles when your team is already so busy, consider asking each team member with the most front-line, day-to-day customer experience to create one short article per week. Once these articles are reviewed and approved internally, socialize them among the team so that other agents become aware of what’s already been covered in the knowledge base, and get an idea of what still needs to be contributed.
2. Don’t Waste Time Deciding Who Will Answer Customers
Team managers may be spending up to an hour a day just sorting through service tickets and assigning them to the right team or agent. Kayako Automations can save time by creating rules to assign conversations automatically. You might decide, for example, that you want all your VIP customers assigned to an L3 agent or support manager.
3. Set Team Goals for Response Times
Establishing specific service-level agreements, or SLAs, is one of the most effective ways to make sure teams are focused on improving response times and the customer experience. Stringent expectations for ‘first reply’ times can have a big effect, even if overall resolution times still take a day or two.
4. Use Peer Motivation to Your Customers’ Advantage
It can be a great motivator to know the extent to which one’s teammates are improving response times. Displaying performance statistics on a wall board is one way to foster transparency and build healthy competition in the best interest of your customers.
Customers have more choices than ever and are harder to impress. They can too easily give their business to more responsive companies. For better or worse, the overall experience a company provides is what stands out in customers’ minds when it’s time to make the sale. Providing an outstanding customer experience just by reducing initial response times can have a real impact, including deepening brand loyalty and inspiring referral business. Luckily, making simple improvements to response times is well within reach for even the busiest and largest teams.
- Source of data: State of the Connected Consumer, Salesforce, 2018.