Importance of Speed in Customer Service

by | Jan 5, 2017 | Customer Service | 0 comments

customer service staff

Photo by CoWomen

“Everybody has a need for speed and you actually make your product, or service, or services more attractive when you do them fast.” – Brian Tracy

With so much competition, especially in business, customers seek companies that can give them what they want fast. Customers contact a company only when they need something or want help. It would be safe to say that speed in customer service acquires a top priority for customers. This also means that efficiency and accuracy alone are not enough. Consistent fast service is critical too. The customer service team can use tools to ensure they deliver the right information to customers. Is your company looking for customer service tools? You can use the interactive decision trees tool.

Speed in Customer Service

We’ve earlier discussed that outstanding customer support entails a lot of things. It can be quite a stressful task. Maintaining one’s calm, having top skills and knowledge, a robust personality ready to help, the ability to manage time and several tasks at once, showing empathy and care, remembering customer details, and more at top speed – all belong to the customer service realm.

The tasks that service personnel deal with daily tend to become rote and boring, making the job a lot harder. However, this constant challenge must be overcome, while maintaining speed in customer service. Customers have less patience today. Hence, to customers, quality service means efficiency, knowledge, and immediacy. There is a real fear of things falling through the cracks. Also, the temptation to dish out half-baked service, in order, to feed the need for speed of customers.

Treat customers with care and empathy

The best way to ramp up speed in customer service is by putting oneself in the customer’s place. They engage with a company in the hope that their lives would be a lot easier. The company should understand their problems and treat them with empathy and care. All these expectations have the underlying and unsaid need of being delivered to them with efficiency, but also with speed.

One of the top reasons for customers to leave a company or poor comments about a company is slow service. Online transactions and shopping carts are abandoned daily for the same reason – delays and slower-than-expected service and navigation. The challenge for companies is gruelling. A customer’s expectation of speed in customer service differs, despite best efforts. Companies are unable to match each need for speed, resulting in lowered customer satisfaction and maybe even churn.

Personalized services and fast resolution

Customers just want to have personalized service and speedy resolutions to their problems. Companies with a humane outlook and practice speed in customer service gain and retain a larger number of customers. Companies that seem to struggle with retaining customers are the ones unable to maintain and sustain speed in customer service. Customers today know that information is everywhere.

There are several tools to gather and maintain data, and companies have access to all these. This is why customers see no reason to wait or accept slow service with so many choices. Customer loyalty is fast becoming ephemeral and a depleting asset. For companies, speed in customer service means staying current and fresh in the mind of their customers. If a company is always there and ready with service and solutions, customers would gravitate towards it.

Match customers changing expectations

A lot has changed in the business world, in the realm of customer service. Not too long into the past, customers were happy with the bare minimum. Companies aimed for customer satisfaction to stay in business and keep customers loyal. However, customers now want better than the best. Their expectations change all the time and they demand that companies see the issues from their point of view.

A company that is unable to match pace with these expectations, and accelerate the speed in customer service are ignored and side-lined by the customers. Top-quality customer service now encompasses speedy and fast service too. Research shows that speed in customer service surpasses the efficiency, accuracy, professionalism, and knowledge of agents.

Another survey shows that for customers quality in service is now a given, but would be useless without speed. The combined voices of customers are becoming louder and echoing the same sentiment. Slow responses and service should not be tolerated.

Response time

Despite the critical nature of speed in customer service, several companies seem to sorely lack in this area. Based on research, 37% of companies were able to respond within an hour to sales leads, while 23% never responded. The average response time for most companies was about 42 hours. This shows that most companies are unable to/unwilling to make speed in customer service a priority. On the other hand, this gives an upvote to companies that keep up the pace and engage with existing and prospective customers at the speed at which they expect. Such companies pre-empt opportunities and act on them well before their competition gets a ‘whiff’ of them. That’s a great way to forge and stay ahead.

Social media response time

The good news is that speed in customer service is not that hard – technology has ensured it. With so many different customer service channels, communication, and engagement with customers is a click of a button away. It is a colossal waste when companies fail to utilize all the avenues at their disposal to provide the kind of service customers expect. In turn, it heaps problems for their businesses. Customers today, can reach out to companies via social media.

Research shows that more than 50% of consumers use various social platforms to connect with companies. Given that immediacy and speed are the measuring standards of social media platforms, customers expect the companies to be available and respond to them fast. Statistics collected with regard to what customers expect for speed in customer service via social media is an hour to 6 hours. That is all customers are willing to give. The number of hours depends on the social medium being used. 77% of customers say that 6 hours is the turnaround response time they expect via email.

While companies, about 90%, say that they do respond to customers instantly via social media, customers refute this claim. At least 58% of customers say that they did not receive a reply from companies or that the response time was as high as 9 hours. Now, that is too long for customers to want to wait. Slowpoke service results in negativity and customer churn. Over time. it adversely affects the prospects of any company.

In a nutshell

Despite the statistics and consistent demands of customers for speed in customer service, businesses seem to be neglecting this aspect. There is no easy way out. Customers demand near perfection in every aspect of their relationship with companies. Only companies that are able to come close to these expectations have some hope for survival. Every company needs customers. For a business to survive, most of these customers should be profitable and loyal.

However, in today’s tough market, these attributes are not given. They must be earned and fought for since there are far too many similar offerings in the market today. The only point of differentiation seems to be service and speed in customer service. That’s what would make a company stand out. Staying connected with customers is a great idea and helps to build a rapport with them. Ensure that a swift action not only saves time, money, and effort for the customer, but for your company too. Can your company claim speed in customer service today?

Improve Customer Service using Decision Trees

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