“I don’t mind waiting on the phone for 30 minutes for my customer service solution,” someone once said.
Never? Shocker. Late responses irritate your consumers. They have errands to do, work to do, family time to spend, catching up with friends to do, or spending time in nature to do. Whatever it is, the bottom line is that anything is preferable to waiting for something or someone to respond with answers.
So, what does it mean in terms of time when we talk about delayed responses? How damaging can a late reaction be to your business? I’ll give you a hint: it’s a lot.
What constitutes a late response?
Simply simply, reaction time is the time it takes for someone from your team to respond to a customer who has contacted you.
Customer reaction time is an important management issue since it has a significant impact on customer satisfaction. Your customer will get increasingly unsatisfied the longer they wait.
Customers are most irritated by having to wait on hold and repeating themselves to many customer service agents.
So, what exactly does a late response entail? How do you measure up in hours, days, or weeks?
Most business schools emphasise that you have a 24-hour window or one business day to respond to your consumers. It’s non-emergency interactions we’re talking about here.
You’re annoying your clients and eroding your brand if you’re approaching the 48-hour mark.
If your consumers are complaining about late responses, it’s time to address the problem and find a solution. To begin, figure out your average response time.
The entire time taken to offer all initial responses divided by the total number of queries your team responded to yields your average response time.
If your results are significantly different from the average projected response times, you may need to reconsider your customer service procedures.
Why late responses can undermine customer satisfaction
Your product’s customer service is an extension of it. It’s a way for customers to get in touch with you if they have any questions. How you provide customer service reflects your attitude toward your clients.
They are deserving of respect.
A delayed or non-responsive reaction conveys the idea that your consumer is now on their own and must fend for themselves.
Customers make decisions based on emotions, which is one of the most important aspects of company. You will most likely lose a return customer if they feel alone, unloved, or unimportant.
Customer dissatisfaction hurts not only your relationship with that customer, but also with others they know. Consider this: a single unhappy review or social media post might result in the loss of dozens, if not hundreds, of consumers.
When it comes to late responses, you must know how to appease customers and avoid letting poor customer service destroy your business.
How to start a conversation when your response is delayed
So, you’ve failed to respond to one of your valuable clients in a timely manner. Is there anything that can be done to help? Yes. When attempting to smooth things over, the first sentence is critical.
Make it personal by including the recipient’s name. It will demonstrate that you aren’t just employing random email templates but are devoting time to them.
The way you welcome them will be primarily determined by your relationship with them. When speaking with a CEO, for example, you will begin the conversation differently than you would with a coworker. Pick one of the following options:
- Greetings, morning and afternoon
- (Name of the Recipient)
Remember to appeal to the customer’s compassionate side in your message and treat them with respect.
How to apologize for a late response
As previously stated, the initial sentence of your late response reply is quite important. You should begin with an apology, such as: Sorry for the delay in responding.
- Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding.
- Sorry for the delay in responding.
- Please accept my sincere apologies.
After that, you must carefully select your words. In fact, you should explain why you were late in responding without making excuses.
Perhaps you’ve experienced organisational or technological issues, or the email in question landed up in your spam folder while your company transitions to new software. At work, you may have been overworked. If you and the person in question work in the same field or company, you could even tell them about your current project.
Personnel changes, leaves of absence, or even vacation time could all be reasons for your late reactions to crucial messages.
After you’ve explained why, you can move on to the message’s main point.
Reread the message and thoughtfully respond to the sender’s questions. You can also keep the conversation going by adding other questions to the message.
Finish by thanking the sender for their patience and assuring them that you’re dedicated to responding to them more quickly in the future.
Finish with a greeting that is appropriate for your connection and communication medium.
- Warm regards
- Thanks \sCheers
- Take precautions.
How to avoid late responses
You must avoid late responses if you want to keep clients satisfied and keep them coming back for more. You can accomplish this by:
Purchasing customer service software is a wise investment.
Making use of auto-responders
Making ready-to-use scripted responses is simple and quick.
Using chatbots or live chat support
Keeping your inbox in order
Messages are prioritised based on how long they have been waiting.
Creating a helpful FAQ section
When you get messages, allocate tickets to agents automatically.
You should also consider keeping track of the types of customer support inquiries that are being submitted, as well as gathering information on what is preventing your agents from responding to clients quickly. You will be able to decide the best practises for the future by accumulating this knowledge.
How can live chat software help to minimize late responses?
Traditional support channels, such as phone or email, allow you to assist only one customer at a time, whereas live chat allows you to assist numerous customers at once and give round-the-clock service.
Canned replies are one of the tool’s most appealing features. This eliminates the need to type the same sentences again and over. You can add dynamic material in the form of pre-formulated templates with only a few clicks and speak with your customer more efficiently. What’s not to like about that?
You’re sending your consumer the message that you’re always available and that they won’t have to wait until next week for a solution to their difficulties if you use live chat software.
In fact, while conversing asynchronously, your consumers may feel assured that they will receive real-time responses.
It’s never too late to improve your customer service game
Unless, of course, you leave a trail of never-ending late responses behind you. If that’s the case, your customer is already looking at your competition.
It’s nice to nail that first connection, but having your consumer stick around for years is a tremendous success.
Providing excellent customer service through a variety of channels, including live chat software, is critical for business growth.
Don’t be hasty, and show your customers how much you value them.