When you run a business in the modern world, your customer service must be on point and effective. As well as offering an effective solution to their problems, clients are increasingly seeking out a quick response.
The internet age has inevitably speed this up, and there are so many different ways of getting in touch with a business these days. You need to make sure that you are on top of all of them. Otherwise, it is more than likely that your customers are simply going to look elsewhere for their goods and/or services. So, here is a detailed collection of many useful tips that you can put into practice when it comes to increasing your customer service response time.
Set Up an Auto Reply Service
Though it is not actually a way of directly increasing customer service response time, it will buy you some time as your customers will know that you are dealing with their requests. It is also a good idea to give a rough estimate of when they can expect to receive a response. You can also put in some useful general information or direct customers to your frequently asked questions page. It may well be the case that the customer is able to handle their own query without you needing to do it for them.
Establish a Series of Canned Responses
Again, this is all about helping customers to help themselves rather than you having to do it for them. Canned responses refer to answers to questions that are commonly asked. Essentially, if people type these into a chat function, they are going to get the answers back that they are looking for without your customer service team even needing to step in.
Ultimately, a bit of customer research can end up going a long way here. You need to work out what sort of questions that your customers are commonly asking you. This way, you are going to be able to pre-empt the canned responses that you need to create. As you move through your business life, you are likely to find that the questions change, which means that you need to adapt your responses accordingly.
With many people realizing that real-life office space comes at a huge premium, there are plenty who are looking at the possibility of using a virtual office scenario. This has the advantage of making the business appear larger, but the packages also often involve having people on the other end of the phone.
So, it is certainly worth looking into the option to get affordable answering services. You never know where and when they could come in handy, so now is the opportunity to make the most of them.
Outsource Your Customer Services
Another potential option is to simply outsource your customer services department. If you run a particularly small business, this could be a viable option as you are not left in the situation in which you are seriously struggling to answer all the calls, emails, live chat messages, and other forms of comms.
Of course, before you go down this particular path, you need to make sure that you are hiring a reputable agency. This means trawling through the customer reviews to see if there is anything that is raising red flags. Another potential option is to try and get a personalized recommendation from a friend or a business associate of some description.
Categorize Queries Based on Urgency
While some customer service requests are going to need to be answered at the earliest possible opportunity, there are plenty more that will take a significant period of time to come back again. Treating every query and problem that you receive as equally important will probably end up being counterintuitive. At the same time, you may also not want to go down the path of simply dealing with each request as it comes in.
There is automation software out there these days that can help out when it comes to setting out the priority order of your different requests. This can respond to certain keywords to determine how urgent the inquiry is with a good degree of accuracy.
Expand Your Customer Service Team
While this may seem like a simple enough piece of advice, it is still one that is worth discussing, nevertheless. Essentially, you could just expand your customer service team and hire more people to take care of the inquiries for you. Of course, this is going to require you to invest a more significant sum of money than outsourcing, but many people think that it is worth taking this approach as you end up having the people working in-house, and you may have a greater deal of control over the customer service strategy as a whole.
As you move through the life of your company, you may find that the people that you initially hire are the ones who come on board in other areas of the business as they have an in-depth knowledge of everything that you are trying to do.
Improve Your Frequently Asked Questions Page
The advantage of having an in-depth frequently asked questions page is that when people start to type in common queries onto the major search engines, you may well find that your pages are the ones that start popping up. Another really great option is to have your own search function on your website and have people answer their own questions in this way. One of the main advantages of going down this particular path is that people are taking care of their own problems rather than having to rely on you to do it for them.
Making sure that you respond to customer service inquiries in the quickest possible manner is a highly important part of running a successful business in the modern world. Otherwise, it is likely that you are going to find that your customers start to leak away elsewhere. All in all, ensure that customers have all the information they need.