It’s no secret that timeliness in customer service is essential to keeping customers satisfied. No matter how great a product or service your company offers, making customers lose time through a lack of information or lag in customer service responsiveness can be detrimental to long-term loyalty. Furthermore, timeliness can be the factor that makes or breaks a sale when a customer is in need of assistance. Here are five reasons why timeliness in customer service matters for delivering great omnichannel customer experiences.
Social customer service thrives upon timeliness. Social media moves fast, and customers are increasingly turning to these channels for service. Research conducted by J.D. Power found that approximately 67% of consumers turn to social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter for customer service. Being slow to respond can hurt customer loyalty, whereas ignoring customers can be truly harmful: Gartner predicted that a failure to respond to customers on social media channels can lead to a 15% churn rate. And just how can social media engagement impact sales? Bain & Company found that companies that engage and respond to customers on social media may expect these customers to spend 20% to 40% more with the brand.
It’s key to optimizing the voice channel. As timeliness in customer service is a must for customers these days, one might think that the voice channel can never be up to speed. Phone support has often been associated with long hold times, and an American Express study did indeed find that 67% of customers have hung up the phone out of frustration over not being able to connect with a live agent. However, brands can deliver timeliness and great service on the voice channel with modern technologies that make the channel more robust than ever. Features such as prioritized callbacks eliminate hold times and contact customers when an agent is available. In addition, IVR menus can help customers move swiftly through options that help them connect faster to the most appropriate agent. Lastly, many contact centers utilize CRM software solutions to centralize customer data and enable agents to offer efficient service with streamlined communication processes.
It’s essential to targeted marketing offers and sales acceleration. Customers typically appreciate targeted marketing offers due to their personalized nature and alignment with their shopping preferences. However, the timeliness of such offers is as important as their quality and relevance. Brands need to ensure that promotional offers are sent well enough in advance to give customers time to act, following up with last-minute reminders that the offer is about to end. In addition, brands may use geolocation data to send offers to mobile customers in-store as well as customer support options that can help with the purchasing process. Timeliness in customer service therefore includes knowing when customers need support the most and being ready to deliver it.
Compelling customer feedback relies on timeliness. To best understand how customers feel, their feedback should be solicited regularly. Sending surveys immediately following a service interaction is the best time to get a detailed portrait of the customer experience, as the memory is still fresh. Periodic surveys are equally important to making regular customer service improvements, preparing strong marketing campaigns, and improving brand products and services.
Customers simply demand it. One can read between the lines of customer service statistics to see that time is often at the heart of customer frustrations. Customers do not like to repeat information, they are sometimes forced to switch channels for better service, or they feel obligated to ask for service due to poor self-service options. Indeed, numerous studies affirm that customers actually demand timeliness in customer service. A Forrester study found that 71% of customers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a brand can do to provide good customer service. Timeliness is therefore not just a positive quality a brand might offer, but an essential practice every brand should deliver.In the fast-paced world of omnichannel customer service, brands are challenged to keep up with their customers as well as their competitors. As the statistics show, timeliness in customer service is a critical component of delivering efficient service, driving sales, and fostering long-term customer loyalty.
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