"Hello, Anyone There?" Why Quick Response Times Matter
As an MSP, your company sells your products and services to other businesses - the typical nature of the business-to-business sector. And, as a business yourself, you probably understand this concept: time is money. You don’t want to waste this valuable resource in any way.
Now, stop to think: are any of your current business practices wasting this resource for your leads, prospects, or clients?
Your Response Times
Communication is a two-way process. And, you need to make it feel like it is to anyone who reaches out to you. Leaving any comment, inquiry, or feedback waiting for too long without even a simple acknowledgement that you received it reflects badly on your part.
What might those that contact you be thinking?
- “Did they receive my message?”
- “Are they ignoring me?”
- “Do they care?”
- “Are they really this bad at customer service?”
These, and a million other related thoughts, will likely run through their heads - and, most will negatively affect the way that they think about you. It’s even worse if you don’t respond at all. This all but ensures that the person who reached out to you is going to think poorly of your company, and may choose to take their business elsewhere.
So, when do you need to ensure that your current and potential customers are responded to promptly? If you want to leave the most positive impression, then it needs to be with EVERY aspect of your business, internal and external. This means when:
- Someone inquires about a product or service on the phone, through your website, or on social media
- You receive feedback
- You get comments on your blogs, social media posts, and YouTube videos
- A client has a question or concern
- A potential employee applies to work for you
- An employee messages you about about a work-related question or concern
The longer time that is spent waiting, the more likely it is that the strength of your company and brand will deteriorate in their eyes.
Improving Your Processes
Fortunately, technology makes it a bit easier to improve your response times. For example, when someone fills out a form on your website or sends you an email, you can set up automated responses. These responses shouldn’t be the end-all to your communications though. In these automated responses, you need to let the recipient know that:
- You received their message
- You will be following up with them
- When/how you will be following up with them
- There are alternative contact options if there is some sort of urgent matter that needs addressing immediately.
And, you need to make sure that you actually reach back out to them in an acceptable timeframe specified in that communication.
In other instances, you can proactively monitor communications that come in so that you can leave an actual response shortly after you receive something from them. A good example would be social media.
If someone messages your company through Facebook with a legitimate question or concern, they’re expecting you to respond promptly: 85% of people using Facebook will be expecting a reply within 6 hours. Your goal should be to have the "Very responsive to messages" badge appear on your page. This signifies that you have a response rate of 90% or more and a response time of 15 minutes or less.
The best bet, to ensure that no communication goes left unanswered for long, is to set up processes within your business that make sure that the right employee can respond to the right person in a reasonable timeframe. Reach out to us if you would like advice or assistance in doing so.