Broken Processes Cause Slow Response Times
…and your slow response is probably aggravating your customer
71% of customers say that valuing their time is more important to them than any other aspect of customer service1, and by 2020, customer experience will be the most important factor differentiating B2B brands2. Even if their products and services are high-quality, businesses who respond slowly face a significant and increasing risk of being replaced by a competitor.
Yet the average response time to a customer service request is 17 hours and 28 minutes, and just 22% of businesses provide an answer with their initial response3. These slow responses aren’t just frustrating customers, they cost you money. The order status, contact details, or certificate of origin your customer needs can’t wait 17 hours. They need it now because ultimately the delay to your customer cascades to a delay to their customer.
When your business responds slowly it is almost always because the process connecting your customer with the information they need is slow, inefficient, or even completely broken.
The information your customer needs is rarely accessible even to the customer service agent; When you don’t have information at your fingertips, your customer has to wait.
The answer isn’t to conduct more training, answer the phone quicker, or hire more staff, as these solutions are band-aids that mask the real problem.
Instead, the solution lies in removing barriers between your customer and the information they need. This can be done best through a customer portal: a self-service system that allows your customers access to important data without the need to call or email.
We recently built a customer portal to help our client who had lost an important customer to a more responsive competitor. Despite their superior quality and experience, our client was at risk of losing more customers because they could not respond fast enough to simple requests.
We built a system that automatically extracted the most common information that customers requested – such as invoices, documents, and certificates – and made it available directly to their customers through an online portal.
The portal enabled the customer to instantly access information that would previously have taken hours, or even days, to receive.
By breaking down barriers between your customer and the information they need, your response time for common requests is virtually eliminated. This one change can radically improve the level of service you provide and transform your business.
1. Improved value draws in new clients and increases retention
In the example above, our client’s customers loved the portal. Because they could instantly access the information they needed, their cycle time was reduced and their profitability increased.
Providing this level of value gives you a signi cant competitive edge over your competitors.
2. A customer portal will free-up staff time
Responding to customer requests takes up valuable sta hours. By reducing the number of requests that require sta action, you can free-up time for the situations that really do need your sta ’s attention.
3. Engaging customers leads to growth
High-performing businesses that successfully engage their customers experience 50% higher revenue, 34% higher profits, and 64% lower customer attrition, according to research by Gallup4.
1. Forrester – Communication Challenge Preferences for Customer Service Are Rapidly Changing. Do You Know What Your Customers Need? – blogs.forrester.com/kate_leggett/13-03-15-communication_channel_preferences_for_customer_service_are_rapidly_changing_do_you_know_what_your_cus
2. Walker – Customers 2020: The Future of B2B Customer Experience – www.walkerinfo.com/customers2020
3. SuperOffice – 2016 Customer Service Benchmark Report – www.superoffice.com/resources/guides/customer-service-benchmark-report
4. Gallup – Maximizing Business-to-Business Customers: A Better Way to Grow – www.gallup.com/ services/170852/b2b.aspx