Archive for August, 2006



31
Aug

Customer Service and Response Time for Websites

How many times have you emailed a website that you were planning on making a purchase from but didn’t receive a timely response?

Occasionally, about half, most of the time, every time…

The record that I have seen in a poor response time, is 92 days, set by an industrial printer company when I was inquiring about selling a large Xerox printer. I had completely forgot about and gave up on the whole situation two months before they contacted me. This is the absolute worst I have ever seen, but it doesn’t take 90 days to be a poor response time.

How fast should a customer receive a reply?

A business should respond to a customer as fast as humanly possible. I personally am online about 12 hours per day, and my own rule is no more than 5 minutes from when I receive the message. My Microsoft outlook receives new messages at least every 5 minutes, so it should take me no more than 10 minutes to send a response from when it is sent to me. The people that work in the sales and support for my company have a 1 hour limit, during business hours, but the 5 minute rule is always stressed.

Even 30 minutes would be a great improvement over the 24 hour standard that many businesses carry.

To be perfectly honest, my company would have been out of business years ago if we waited 24 hours to respond to an inquiry.

There are situation where you don’t have the answer to a question immediately and need to correspond with someone else to get the information you need. In cases like this, you can follow up on someone’s email, and let them know you are going to get back to them shortly. The point is that you contact your customer immediately with or without the information that they are looking for.

If your current response time is more than a few hours, you can be pretty sure that you are loosing business because of it. Your visitors can find whatever you sell, most likely at the same or better price somewhere else, in just a few minutes.

Don’t loose customers because you don’t respond soon enough. The only thing worse than a bad response is no reponse at all.

22
Aug

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