Business Tips: Increasing Sales Via Faster Customer Response Time
In the competitive world of sales, responding to each and every customer’s concern quickly is key to success. It’s not rocket science if you think about it, really. Just put yourself in the customer’s shoes — would you be happy doing business with a company that takes ages to respond to your inquiries?
Response Time In Sales
That’s why it’s not surprising to find out that, according to a study from Autodeal about car dealership response times, the probability of sales success increases when a dealer reduces their response time to six hours. If a dealer responds in less than six hours, the chances of closing a deal is significantly higher. In fact, dealers in the study who responded in one hour or less were 48% more likely to close a sale when compared to dealers taking up to 24 hours to respond.
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Response Time and Customer Retention
In the case of customer retention, response time is just as important. Research has shown that about 20% to 25% of customers who wait hours for a response from a company won’t purchase from that company again. And the longer a company keeps their customers waiting, the lower the chances are that these customers will return to do business with the company again.
There are, of course, other factors that will affect a customer’s decision to do business with you. But, the data clearly indicates businesses should never take their customer response time for granted. It’s just good business sense to recognize that delivering the fastest response times possible will translate to happier customers and boost your sales in the long run.
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So, how can your business improve your customer relationship through better response time to customers? Here are some simple yet effective tips:
Create a customer relations team.
A team focused on just one thing — attending to customer inquiries and concerns — will ensure faster response times. A dedicated team charged with the specific task of tending to inquiries decreases the chance of any inquiry lost in a sea of other customer concerns. Having a customer relations team means there will always be somebody available to handle customer concerns day in and day out.
Set a minimum response time for your customer relations team.
Responding to customer concerns in less than an hour increases the likelihood of repeat business. Make sure that your customer relations team has a goal of responding to inquiries in under an hour.
Create a simple customer relations system.
Establish a process to help your staff audit, manage, and respond to customer inquiries, quickly and easily. Consider assigning one team member to track and audit messages, another to handle new inquiries, and a third to receive follow-ups. When delegating people for each task, look for those who are familiar with company departments and operations. The resolution process will run much faster if the people who receive inquiries are able to instinctively forward each inquiry to the right hands.
Provide easy and convenient ways to reach you.
Is your company easy to contact via landline, mobile phone, email, social networking sites, and live chat? Will your representative responds ASAP? If so, that sends a strong message to customers that your company is reliable. Live chat is a particularly popular way to provide customers with an easy and convenient way to reach you. Live chats are clearly convenient, and they provide real-time response to a customer’s concerns.
Provide your customer service team with the right tools so they can do their jobs flawlessly.
When team members have the best tools, they can do their jobs flawlessly. Learn what specific concerns constitute typical customer inquiries. Then, train the team on how to properly address the more common issues. This training will allow them to respond to some concerns almost immediately; leaving more time for issues that may require further research. Effective training improves overall customer care quality, which of course has a very positive impact on customer satisfaction.
Prioritize your queue.
Customers have different concerns — some may be complicated to handle and some may be easy to solve. One approach is to begin to address the harder ones first and then take care of the easier ones later, or as time allows, while waiting for more info internally on more challenging inquiries. Some organizations apply the first-come-first-serve (FCFS) rule. With the FCFS rule, you will be able to attend to those who send in their concerns first.
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For your business grow and succeed, your customers must be happy doing business with you. When your organization prioritizes its response to customer inquiries, whether they are from returning customers or new ones, you demonstrate your commitment to every detail of their concerns. This means that you not only focus on improving the quality of communication with your customer, you also focus on getting back to your customers more quickly — the quicker, the better.