Time is Gold: The Importance of Real-Time Customer Service
Before the Internet, there was less competition for selling merchandise. Limited choices and geographic barriers made customers willing to wait. Now with unlimited products that can be delivered with a click of a mouse, customers no longer patiently wait for answers on their concerns.
It can’t be emphasized enough. Experts like United Call Center say the ability to collect customer data and respond to it in real time is what separates successful businesses from the not-so-successful ones.
But just how timely should you be? The faster, the better.
According to Forrester Research, nearly 80% of American online users claim that valuing their time is the most important thing a brand could do. In addition, Social Media Research says that 75% of customers who contact a brand on social channels expect a response within an hour.
But different channels of communication require different response rates. For phone inquiries, answer within 12 hours. For texts, within an hour; email, the same day; blog post comments, within 8 hours; social media comments, within 4 hours; and mail, within 48 hours.
Implementing Real-Time Customer Service
One way to implement real-time customer service is to be accessible 24/7. This may seem like an impossible task, but perhaps paying for a call center service can help.
Other than that, ensure that users can access your FAQ page all the time, or enable purchases online at all times. If you cannot offer live support, at least indicate the exact hours when live support is available.
Give mobile and social media the roles they deserve, too. Tap into customer data, as this will allow you to personally find out where customers are and what they want, and make decisions accordingly.
Overall, keeping customers waiting can lead to agitation. And brands that deliver real-time customer service are the true winners in customer experience.