In today’s technology-driven world, fast and agile customer service is becoming increasingly important. Most people these days expect their products and services the moment they ask for them. And the longer they wait, the less satisfied they will be with your customer service.
In fact, in one research article, it was revealed that people overestimate actual wait times by as much as 36%. In another research article, it was also revealed that 34% of callers who hang up due to long waiting times won’t call back ever again.
These studies show that longer waiting times diminish customer experience, which could also mean lost sales, bigger service issues, tainted brand reputation, and customers ready to switch another provider at a moment’s notice.
So, what can you do to reduce customer wait times and achieve better customer service? Read on as we discuss some tips and tricks that will surely help your customers feel less frustrated and dissatisfied the next time they interact with your business.
- Identify the Bottlenecks in Your Process
Wait times often result from bottlenecks in your processes. Once you identified these choke points, you’ll be able to improve them to mitigate their impact on your customers’ wait times. One example of a bottleneck process is the lack of access to product information and inventory records by your sales agent, which could result in a delay or barrier in closing sales or enticing new customers.
By providing them with tools that will allow them to access this information on-demand, they will be able to provide prompt and accurate information to your customers more effectively.
- Optimise Your Customer Channels
Likewise, many customers end up waiting too long because they are interacting with the wrong channel. To avoid this, you need to evaluate all the points where your customer might initiate an interaction – such as your website, your online chat reps, or even to the sales team in your bricks and mortar store.
- Make sure your website has clear detailed information that will tell your customer the correct channels and process to reach your business.
- Check that all your salespeople and customer service reps have the information they need to correctly route customers the first time they call.
- Ensure that all your routing systems can transfer your customer to the right customer service rep promptly.
Understand that wait times can also occur because your customer is not connected with the right service rep who can address their needs. Make sure all your channels and front-end process are as accurate and effective as possible to ensure that your customers can connect to the right person on time.
- Provide Customers with Product Info While on Hold
According to the same research mentioned above, 88% of callers surveyed said they wanted to hear product information when on hold. About 20% said they’ve purchased additional products based on offers like these in the past.
Not only will this technique help entice your customer to buy more while on hold, but it also makes the wait times feel much shorter since you’re keeping them occupied instead of leaving them with a background music or worse – total silence.
- Focus on Your Customer Expectations
As stated earlier, the concept of “fast and prompt” customer service has heavily changed since the advent of new technology in the market. It also has become more contextual. Depending on your business type, a 15-minute wait time can either keep your customers within your business and is totally acceptable, or it could drive them away forever.
This why you need to evaluate your expectations in your business and in your industry. Here are some key points that can help you do so:
- Identify the expectations in your industry. If you have a call centre operation, make sure your hold time does not exceed 1 minute 55 seconds holds According to statistics, 34% of callers hang up if they’ll be put on hold more than that average.
- Identify the expectations set by your marketing. If you promise a one-day delivery, make sure to fulfill it or your customer service hotline will be ringing non-stop.
- Identify the expectation set by your past performance? If you have served your customers well in the past, this will be their expectation going forward.
- Optimise Your Customer Service Staff
Another culprit for wait times is inadequate staffing. So, once you have finished optimising your systems and process, make sure you have the right teams on board.
As your business grows, the number customer calls you receive also increases, which may not only impact your hold times but also the overall service level of your operation as well. This could also get worse if you have insufficient customer service representatives.
To address this issue, you can outsource call centre agents to an external service provider in order to handle any overflow call volume. Doing so will dramatically improve the quality of customer service and decrease wait times during peak times – which translates into more satisfied customers.
These are some of the ways you can reduce your wait times to zero and improve your customer service levels today. To learn more about how Global Outsourcing can help improve your customer service through outsourcing, just send an email to [email protected]