9 proven ways to enhance customer response time

9 Proven Ways to Enhance Customer Response Time

Introduction

It is a fact that the importance of an effective customer service strategy not only implies customer delight but also drawing new business. Nowadays, the expectations of the customers are soaring high as they want personalized and faster customer service. Here comes the need of improving customer response time for the brands. The average customer response time depends on several factors such as ticket volumes, frequency of complicated issues, number of agents, proactiveness of the agents, etc. Faster customer response is proven to be a crucial customer service metric for determining CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) scores.

What is Customer Response Time?

Customer response time refers to the total time consumed by your customer support agents to respond to a customer query. A good customer experience depends on how shorter the response time is as customers expect immediate answers and proper solutions whenever they reach a brand. However, there are two metrics that can be used to measure customer response time, such as Average resolution Time (ART) and First Response Time (FRT).

Ways to Improve Customer Response time

9 proven ways to enhance customer response time

The risk of having a slow customer response time can leave your agency in a vulnerable state with severe consequences like negative reviews, negative word of mouth, etc. Hence, there is a dire need for a faster customer response time that can be possible if you can oblige by the following steps.

1. Understand Your Customers

Identifying the nature and needs of the customers is crucial for serving excellent customer service. With surveys and feedback forms you will understand whether your customers are happy with your products and service or not. It will help you to formulate a support strategy that will eventually help you in improving customer response time while providing customer delight in each shopping experience. It will not only delight your customers but also you will receive positive word-of-mouth promotion from your satisfied customers.

2. Define Your KPI

A well-defined KPI is significant for understanding how much the customer service team of a brand is performing against the customers’ expectations. When the goals and objectives are defined for your business, it is much easier for you to plan the whole process of improving customer response time. While defining the KPI for delivering faster response time, one needs to find the specific channels that the customers prefer to reach the brand which will eventually help you in responding to customer queries faster.

3. Automate Recurring Support Actions

If you are really thinking of expediting the process of customer response, without automation it will not happen. It is next to impossible for someone to respond to customers 24*7 to every query which may have a huge impact on the response timeframe. Resolving tickets includes a plethora of touchpoints like assigning priority, modifying ticket status, initiating follow-ups, notifying customers, etc. All these actions including the help desk can be automated and a lot of time can be saved that can be utilized in solving complex customer queries.

4. Use Live Chat for Faster Response

Live chat works best when you have huge volumes of queries coming in. By creating predefined responses for the common sets of queries will help in reducing response time and improve customer satisfaction. By routing the conversations to the proper department, will eventually help the customers to resolve their issues quickly. Categorize the conversation and label it while organizing them in a better way by using canned responses. Thus, live chat can help in managing multiple conversations quickly while improving the customer response time.

5. Utilize Chatbots for 24*7 Support

Chatbots are an excellent way of automating customer communication while offering an exceptional customer experience. Automating the repetitive support tasks with the help of chatbots helps the customer service team in focusing on the complex tasks which speed up the workflow. Deployment of chatbots helps in offering hybrid support, on-time support whenever a customer pings to any of the communication channels.

6. Categorize Tickets Wisely

Attending tickets without prioritizing them is not a good way of resolving issues. Every ticket is important and each one has a different priority level. The support team must categorize the tickets based on priority so that the highest priority ticket gets solved faster. It will help the agents to pick the tickets based on the urgency and difficulty level. Either you can categorize it manually or you can automate the whole process so that it increases customer response time and productivity of the support team.

7. Leverage Omnichannel Strategy

With the usage of omnichannel software, you can use multiple channels at a time to check the tickets and their urgency thereby categorizing the tickets to specific departments. Every ticket has its own importance and is unique, hence prioritizing the customer issues with the help of omnichannel help desk software is significant. Hence, you are allowing the customers to use their preferred touchpoints and you are ready to reach them at any point in time thus offering a seamless customer experience.

8. Expand Canned Responses

Pre-formatted responses commonly known as canned responses can be used to fasten the process of customer response time. Support data and event logs can be utilized for a common set of tickets. Do not stick to default templates of canned responses as they are not related to your business goals. While expanding the canned responses and fitting them to the common sets of queries you can improve your customer response time by reducing the steps taken for resolving customer issues.

9. Monitor Response Time

Setting the performance goals of the customer support agents and monitoring their response time to each query help in enhancing customer response time in no time. There are several tracking metrics such as the number of responses per ticket, average response time, total time spent on resolving the ticket, etc. Setting different kinds of benchmarks for each channel is essential to track the query volumes, time taken for solving the problems, and responsiveness of the support. These metrics eventually help the agents in reaching their individual goals while improving the resolution time as a whole.

Closing Thoughts

While rushing to provide faster customer response time, always try to humanize the process as much as possible. What separates the customer care agents from the chatbots is the ability to understand the feelings and connect with the customers. Always ensure that your support agents must be active listeners so that they can offer the right solution.

Improved customer response time not only refers to a faster response rate but also offering the right solutions at shorter intervals of time. Improving your customer response time indicates that your brand is offering a seamless customer experience while increasing the average customer life cycle. Every company should strive to offer faster customer response time as it will directly improve customer satisfaction.

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