The Importance of Responding Quickly to Customer Feedback

Customer feedback can be negative or positive. Regardless of which it is, the customer has taken the time to express their opinion to you. If you acknowledge their communication about your business or product, they feel heard and valued. And since an unhappy customer is more likely to leave feedback than a happy customer, you have a tremendous opportunity to turn a negative into a positive. 
Unhappy customers seldom wait very long before expressing their displeasure. They are most likely to communicate their negative feedback either immediately or shortly after their experience. The big question is: How quickly do they expect you to respond?
Customer Feedback Response Times
Customers have multiple communication channels they can use to express their opinion of your service. The means of communication can alter the expectations of response time. A customer’s age and gender can also be a factor in the amount of patience they are willing to exercise.
Feedback in Person
When convenient, such as a retail situation, customers will often give you or your employees feedback in person. This gives you the best opportunity to rectify anything that went wrong or to thank them for expressing their appreciation. Don’t wait. Act immediately. They expect you to.
Phone Call to Customer Service
Businesses love being able to automate this time-consuming task rather than hiring extra employees or outsourcing to a call service. Customers, on the other hand, hate this technology. Having to call customer service on the phone has become a situation where you plan to block off part of your day in hopes of reaching a real person and finding the right solution. According to a 2017 Microsoft report, 30% of customers said the most frustrating aspect of modern customer service is not talking to a knowledgeable live person.
Email Correspondence
Almost every business now has an email dedicated to customer service inquiries. If there isn’t an email, then there is at least a contact form on their website that sends an email to someone inside the organization. Email is one of the most popular means of sending feedback or requesting information from a business. 62% of customer service data respondents say that email is their preferred means of contacting customer support. 
The majority of people (80%) said they would expect a response to an email within 24 hours. 37% said they would expect a response in less than an hour. (Based on  a study by Arise Virtual Solutions)
Social Media
Do you recognize your social media accounts as customer service portals? If you don’t, you need to start paying attention to posts and messages coming from customers. This is especially true of the younger generations, aged 18-34. Look at these stats for that age group:
  • 65% believe social media is an effective customer service channel
  • 50% have praised a brand on social media
  • That same 50% have complained about a brand on social media
It isn’t just feedback that brands receive on social media. 55% of this audience ask customer service questions through social media. Are companies responding? Yes! 85% received a response to their question through social media. 
Expected response time on social media?20% said less than an hour; 57% said less than 24 hours. Over 15% expected a response in less than 15 minutes through Facebook.
Chatbot and Live Chat
When it comes to customer service through online chat, people are 3-4 times more likely to use Live Chat than an automated chatbot. It comes down to the “live person” preference again. Almost 50% of those surveyed by Microsoft had used Live Chat for customer service compared to only 10% using an automated chatbot. People considered chatbots less effective than other options.
How will a delayed response affect your business?
A brand’s level of customer service will have a direct effect on consumer loyalty. 96% of people factor in customer service in choosing one brand over another. Each year consumers have higher expectations for customer service than the year before. In a competitive market, you want to be the one that meets or exceeds these expectations, not the one falling behind. 
When it comes to Facebook, the platform actually measures and reports the responsiveness of your business page to messages. It puts that out there for everyone to see. You want your page to have the badge that says, “Very responsive to messages.”
Response time is especially important for negative social media posts or negative reviews. The majority of the time, if you respond in a helpful way to a negative post, you will win a loyal customer. If you ignore it for 24 hours or more, 50% of people say they won’t buy from you again. In addition, 62% of the people who read the negative post will not buy from you either.
Technology Comes to the Rescue
As you can see, the majority of customer feedback and customer questions are now initiated online through multiple channels. That presents a logistical nightmare for any organization. The fact that consumers also prefer to communicate with a “knowledgeable, live person” adds to the complexity of the situation. Learn how can help you deliver personalized customer service while also shortening your response time across channels.

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