Running a great business is about so much more than offering a great product or service. Your responsiveness to prospects and customers alike has a huge impact on whether or not consumers opt to do business with you in the first place, and then whether or not they come back.
But don’t take my word for it. Let’s walk through some of the starkest statistics that illustrate the importance of a business’s responsiveness.
1. Responsiveness Affects Loyalty
According to a survey from Microsoft, 69% of American consumers feel that customer service is “very important” when it comes to choosing or remaining loyal to a brand.
While establishing internal processes for handling incoming questions and requests is a fairly straightforward process, the companies that don’t invest the time to do so put themselves at huge risk. Seven out of every 10 consumers use customer service as their yardstick for a business’s worthiness. Creating a solid plan to ensure responsiveness is clearly a worthwhile use of your time.
2. Poor Responsiveness Causes Frustrations
American consumers do not like bad customer service. In fact, a survey published on Statista found that 27% of those surveyed indicated that a lack of effectiveness when responding was their number one customer service frustration.
Lack of speed and lack of accuracy was the biggest frustration another 22% of the time. If your team is slow to respond or doesn’t have all of the answers readily available when consumers reach out with questions, you’re likely to alienate those people.
Think about this in your own experiences with businesses: You finally get through to someone either on the phone, website chat, or email, and they don’t even answer your question. It’s frustrating. You want an effective response, and you want it quickly. And consumers want the same from your business.
3. Greater Responsiveness Means Greater Revenues
Businesses who provide their customers with a great experience reap the rewards of greater earnings. On average, they grow their revenues at four to eight percent above their market.
That’s likely because Americans are willing to pay a lot more for great service. According to American Express, consumers are willing to spend 17% more to do business with companies that provide excellent service.
How Can You Increase Your Responsiveness?
Now that you see the value of being responsive, you want to build a system and team that’s best equipped to field questions and requests from your prospects and customers, right?
Make It Easy to Get in Touch
The first step to doing so is making sure that it’s easy for consumers to reach you. It’s not enough for a business today to have only a phone number or email address. Consumers may reach out to a business for any number of reasons, and there are different channels of communication that make sense for different needs.
Email can be great for a general inquiry that’s not time-sensitive. But if a consumer has a pressing question, they may want to reach out via phone. If they’re looking for immediate answers but can’t take time out of their day to sit on a phone call, they may prefer a live chat option.
Aside from having these various means of communication active, your contact information needs to be easily discoverable online. All of your contact information should be clearly featured on your website and social media pages. It’s also a good idea to establish your presence on local listings and ensure your information is present and correct on those sites.
Have an Internal System for Managing Communications
With these various communication channels in play, you also need a clear set of internal processes to manage incoming requests. A tool like our Client Center tracks incoming requests, streamlines the response process, and ensures that no one falls through the cracks.
Beyond that, you’ll want to create a document that outlines your company standards for communications. This should cover everything from answers to frequently asked questions, to some basic dos and don’ts when it comes to brand voice and tone. For example, do you allow more casual verbiage when interacting with customers, or do you expect a more formal tone in communications from your team?
It’s also a good idea to set standard response times. Emails should be answered within one business day. Phone calls, chats, and social media responses should ideally be faster. And according to Buffer, most American consumers expect a response to their Facebook message within six hours!
When you’re running a business, the speed and accuracy of your responsiveness to consumers matters. They are often the factors that determine whether or not they do business with you in the first place (or come back again, if they’re already a customer). By following the guidelines above, you can create an effective strategy for managing incoming requests and impressing consumers.