Are Customer Service Response Rates Hurting Your Business

What Happens When a Customer’s Request or Complaint Is Ignored?

Speed and convenience are both highly valued by today’s consumers. We want it fast, and we want it easy. In 2011, Oracle reported that 50 percent of consumers gave a brand just one week to respond to an inquiry before they stop doing business with them. In 2020, waiting a week for a company to respond sounds like an eternity. There are too many options available at a click of a button to wait that long for a response.
You might assume that the urgency attached to today’s consumer communications would result in a more diligent response rate. Unfortunately, statistics show that most companies fall far below the 100% response rate you might expect.

Customer Relationship Management in the Digital Age

There are several reasons why companies aren’t as responsive to customer communications as they should be. One of the biggest issues hindering customer service response rates is the use of multiple communication channels by consumers.
For many years, a customer had only three options for filing a complaint or requesting information from a business – in person, over the telephone, or by mail. All of those methods are still available, but now we also have email, chatbots, and social media. Seeking assistance In-person is seldom convenient, snail mail takes too long, and telephone customer service is notorious for long wait times and the limitation of automated options. Many companies have seen a significant increase in requests for support through email, but the real hotbed of consumer communication today is social media.
With both individuals and businesses utilizing social media, it has become a natural go-to for consumers frustrated with a lack of response through private channels. It provides convenient access to a company’s communication channel. It is often assumed that a public display of the consumer’s complaint or concern will carry more weight. Unfortunately, according to SproutSocial, 90% of social media contacts by consumers go unanswered.

Poor Response Rates Harm a Business

No one likes to be ignored. This is especially true when you want to resolve an issue with a product or service. The repercussions of silence may be more damaging than you realize. Look at these stats:
  •  66% of consumers care more about the experience than price.
  •  56% of customers will boycott a business when they experience poor customer service.
  •  people tell an average of 15 others about their bad experiences.
  • 67% of customer turnover could be prevented by handling the issue instead of ignoring it.
According to all the stats, only one thing is worse than ignoring a customer’s communication – giving a rude response or a response that indicates their issue won’t be resolved. So, follow the old adage, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

Why Aren’t Companies Responding?

There may be some cases where the company truly doesn’t care about customer communication, but that is seldom the case. After all, without customers, no business will succeed. The reasons behind the lack of response are multiple, but generally, they relate to the increased volume of customer communication and poor visibility of accurate response rates.
According to SproutSocial, in 2017, over 35% of the messages received by brands on social media needed a response. This showed a 146% increase over the data collected in 2014. We can easily assume this activity has continued to increase with the growth of social media use each year. Managing this kind of growth in your customer service department creates an obvious challenge.
The bigger issue relates to visibility. Many brands aren’t even aware of the high volume of customer inquiries that go unanswered. There is more than one reason for this.
First off, many brands outsource their social media management. If no one in the company is reading the social posts from consumers, it’s natural to assume the response rate will be quite low. The bigger problem is one of priorities.
Customer phone calls are still considered a top priority, which has some legitimacy. However, that means email contacts are often left until “I have more time.” Social media communication is even further down the priority list since these messages don’t usually have designated routing to the appropriate personnel.

Solving the Response Rate Problem

The customer service sector generally sees automation as the solution to volume and visibility issues. It has been used heavily for telephone response and often for creating email responses. Automated social media response has been more limited, often only answering direct messaging and not public posts. The biggest complaint consumers have about automated response is the lack of personalization and not finding the answer they need.
Innovative technology like Guest-Note uses a combination of automated function and real person interaction to create a personalized solution for all your customer communication management. Messages from all channels, including social media, are routed to the person most connected to the issue. You establish routing based on location or department or other criteria.

Turn a Negative Into a Positive


Guest-Note solves the visibility problem while also giving personalized attention to your most engaged customers. Just as no response makes for an unhappy and vocal customer, a quick, positive response has the opposite effect. When companies come through and show consumers that they care, 47% of those consumers will share their praise with the world and give you kudos online. Learn more about how can improve response rates for your brand.

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