Response time

How quickly do you respond to your customers? Right away? As soon as possible?Not at all? Many businesses lose sight of the importance of responding, and responding in a timely manner.

The worst case in response time is no response. If a business does not reply or acknowledge customer contact, it most certainly will have a negative outcome.  Over on the Small Business CEO blog, the post “Ignoring Customer? Bad Idea” says it all:

I have had negative experiences like this before.  You contact someone via their own custom contact form and then you never hear back from them.  At that point, they’ve lost my business instantly.

Ignoring emails and correspondence gives the impression that if they can’t handle contact requests, then how do they handle customer orders?  It immediately puts a sour taste in people’s mouths.

Ignoring customers is never an option. It communicates extreme lack of interest or disorganization. Better to send a response that says we are looking into it than no response at all. The bottom line is that you must acknowledge customer response.

Speed of response is also indicative of your customer service commitment. Very few people would expect instant response, you should never allow more than 24 hours before responding. Recently, we contacted a vendor about an order and did not receive a response for more than a day. By the time the response came, we had already received the information we needed from other sources, and had also decided that the vendor was not responsive enough.

It would be wise to set a policy for response, and indicate so on your customer contact form. You can have a line that says something like this:  We respond to all customer care issues within (establish time frame). If you require an immediate response, please contact (insert a phone number).

How do you handle response time?

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