We all believe that our customer service is excellent, but how would your company fare if your service was randomly tested without your knowledge? SuperOffice did just that, sending a customer service request email with two simple questions to 1,000 companies of all sizes worldwide to gauge their responses. The results are astounding.
62% of the companies emailed didn’t even respond. When a customer takes the time to reach out for help, they at least expect acknowledgement. More than half of the 1,000 companies didn’t even send an email confirmation to let the potential customer know the request had been received, let alone take the time to respond to the request. It goes without saying that if you don’t even bother to respond to your customers, you won’t retain their business for very long. If you feel you can’t keep up with the emails yourself, invest in customer service software to help you.
The average response time was 12 hours and 10 minutes. To be fair, not all customer service requests can be handled without some research going into the answers. However, in SuperOffice’s case, the questions were, “Do you have a phone number I can call you on?” and “Where can I find pricing information on your website?” These are answers company reps should know immediately. Even if the company doesn’t openly give exact pricing, the reps should be able to tell that to a customer and offer to help get them an estimate. It’s the same with an alternate method of communication if no phone number is available. While 75% of the 38% of companies that actually responded did so within 12 hours, the longest response time was eight days after the initial request. A fast and friendly response to customer service inquiries is one of the easiest ways to make a customer feel valued. How quick is your response time?
2.4% of companies sent a follow-up email. That’s 976 out of 1,000 companies that didn’t take advantage of an opportunity to make sure a potential customer was satisfied or even to ask for feedback on the service offered. Once you have a customer’s information, it is your job to be the proactive one in that business relationship. If you want something done right, you do it yourself, and you can’t always trust a client to be comfortable enough to reach out to you if and when they need help. This is even more important among your long-term clients. Double check your work and make sure you attended to your customers’ needs in full via a follow-up email, call, etc.
When you think about it, all you really have to do to make your customer service stick out is respond, do so within the same business day the request was received (or as close to it as possible), and follow up with your clients to make sure their needs were met. Those three points have been part of your customer service plan all along though, right? Prove it.