How important is response speed when fulfilling a call back request?

12 February

How important is response speed when fulfilling a call back request?

As speed is a key determiner when selecting a service provider, the onus lies on the business to integrate this into the customer experience, from submission of the initial enquiry, through to full-service delivery. A Harvard Business study found that although 37% of businesses audited responded to their lead within one hour, an alarming 23% of companies never responded at all. As this highlights the need for essential improvement, we take you through the importance of responding to enquiries and how that can separate you from your competitors.

What is the nature of the enquiry?

As the call handler, it’s your responsibility to assess the time-sensitivity of each call on a priority scale to ensure that you respond to customer enquiries efficiently. Failure to strike while the iron is hot could result in losing potential customers, which could adversely impact conversion rates. Time sensitivity is likely to differ based on your industry, including the nature of incoming enquiries and call back requests through Response IQ.

The team at Real Business Rescue provide a confidential advice line to company directors in financial distress, including offering the option to submit a call back request through Response IQ. It is common for the financial situation of struggling limited companies to hinge on accessing specialist support which can quickly turnaround the fortunes of the ailing business. Failure to provide a timely reply to businesses highly susceptible to being pushed into compulsory liquidation could be detrimental. Each day spent in limbo could leave businesses exposed to serious legal action, highlighting the importance of delivering prompt service.

On the flip side, for example, the callback request facility hosted by a software provider to book a free demonstration is likely to be less pressing than an existing customer experiencing technical issues. This can typically be followed up by an email guide until the call back request can be fulfilled. The nature of the enquiry will dictate the response speed which will also be largely dependent on the sector you operate.

How can response speed reflect your brand?

Response speed can have a direct impact on customer experience and has the power to distinguish you from other brands. Failure to respond to a call back request could result in disgruntled clients which could deter new customers from using your company. If you are thriving to establish your brand as a market leader, provide outstanding customer service which can contribute to your company image and encourage positive reviews. As businesses have been forced to operate with transparency due to the likes of social media, in addition to being held accountable for bad service, note that praise and recognition can be received just as easily.

The transparency around business activity has increased in recent times due to the likes of social media and online review platforms, such as Trustpilot, Feefo, Google Reviews and Reviews.com. Poor service providers can quickly become the subject of criticism through public domains. On the other hand, positive social media chatter sparked by fast response rates can attract customers and boost online presence.

Where do you measure up against competitors?

If competitor brands are faster than you at delivering a similar service, it is likely that while customers wait for a response, they may consider approaching alternative outlets to determine which provider responds faster. The introduction of 24-hour customer service facilities through online chat and social media has revolutionised consumer expectations when concerning speed. By raising the bar and leading the way for competitors to follow suit, you can handpick customers and speed up your sales funnel.

In addition to improving customer satisfaction, this can rapidly speed up your customer onboarding process. As the integration of live chat on online platforms has raised expectations with obtaining an immediate response, consumer call back requests are now being held in the same regard. As more businesses integrate live chatbots to their sites, this reduces the burden on human agents to answer queries for which the answers are readily available through the likes of frequently asked questions. A study conducted by Accenture found that 80% of engagements with customers can be handled by a chatbot which spares human agents to answer complex enquiries.

As businesses take to social media to provide customer support and integrate innovative call back request facilities to create a portal through which prospective customers can access advice, the challenge is on for businesses to adapt higher speed levels. As response speed is one of the determining factors when selecting a service provider, this highlights the importance of prioritising responses through a call back request, and fast.

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