Understanding the Importance of Speedy Customer Service
Here’s a scenario you may be familiar with in your own life. You order delivery pizza – or Chinese, or whatever – and the person taking the order assures you that your delivery driver will be with you in twenty-five minutes. He actually arrives in twenty-three and, satisfied you pay the tab and tip him the standard ‘fee’.
Imagine though if he arrived in fifteen minutes. Chances are that you’d be extremely satisfied, pay the bill and tip the delivery person a bit extra while making a mental note to order from the establishment again because the service was so good.
The same applies to any service business, especially a retail business. These days the difference between a company successfully building a base of loyal customers and one struggling to do the same is not just the quality of their customer service, but the speed as well.
What the Research Says
This is more than just a general statement though. There is a slew of current research that backs up the assertion that faster customer service equals more loyal customers.
For example, a Genesys Customer Experience Survey found that the number one ranking factor for great customer service among the more than 3,000 consumers surveyed was “a timely response”. That factor ranked higher than efficiency, professionalism, first call resolutions, effective follow-up and even knowledgeable agents.
A similar survey, this one conducted by Zendesk, found that 69% of participants associated a quick response to their questions and concerns with having received a response they considered timely.
These are just two studies making these findings, there are many more. And it’s not that consumers are willing to put up with subpar service to get it faster, in fact they really do want it all. But, increasingly, they want it all fast.
How Can You Improve?
Providing high-quality customer service is essential to improving your customers’ experience, but as we have just seen, doing it quickly is just as important to them now. And they don’t just want to have to watch for an email or wait for a call back. They want speedy responses delivered to them in the way that is most convenient and acceptable to them, and increasingly that is via social media and even messaging apps rather than old-fashioned email.
Here are some tips to speed up your customer service:
Offer More Self-Service
There will always be those people – and therefore those customers – who feel it’s almost always easier and more efficient to do something themselves than rely on others. And there is no reason why you shouldn’t give these people what they want. Expand your website FAQs, add interactive sizing charts, take advantage of ‘try on’ app technology.
Any way that you can add extra self-service options for your customers is likely to be a help and it will, in most customers’ minds be speeding up the customer service experience so you’ll be creating exactly what you need without actually doing too much extra on a daily basis.
Set up Social Media Alerts
You want to offer customer service via social media but you don’t think you have the time or manpower to do so efficiently. However there are tools and bots out there to help you.
For example, there are a growing number of tools that allow you to specify the types of social media posts that need to be escalated and a keyword alert system lets you specify phrases and terms that should receive a quick response. The API then monitors your social feeds and alerts you when something comes up that really should be addressed asap.
Get Used to Using Messaging Apps
Right now there is no faster way to communicate with many of your customers than via messaging app. Facebook is pushing customer service via the Messenger App in a big way and it is certainly something you should consider getting into. Instagram is also improving the instant direct messaging options available and for those targeting a younger demographic – the 16-30 crowd – Snapchat is the fastest growing method for social media customer service.