Unless you’re happy with providing below-average online customer service, you need to be quick in getting back to customer emails. Why? Because 77% of customers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide good online customer service.
As a customer service agent, you are constantly bombarded with emails from customers, so it’s difficult to reply in a timely manner.
The pressure is real. We get it.
That’s why we created this guide showing you how you can use AI-powered automation to manage your inbox efficiently. Handling all the emails pouring through, prioritizing them, and getting the right person to respond to queries in a fast and efficient way is where good customer service starts.
So, without further ado, let’s walk you through customer expectations on email response times, followed by seven ways AI can help you manage your inbox.
How quickly do customers expect a response?
Fast, yes. But how fast? Let’s look at the research on this:
- 31.2% of customers expect a response in one hour or less.
- 50% of customers who email you expect a reply within a 24-hour window.
- And, according to customers themselves, the most crucial characteristic of a good customer experience is a fast response.
Despite these expectations, only 12% of customer service managers focus on quickly getting back to their customers. This creates an excellent opportunity for you. If you can focus on responding quickly to your customers, you can easily stand out from the crowd.
How to improve your email response time
Here are the first steps that you need to take:
Set clear goals for your team by defining how fast their response should be
What helps you hit the bullseye here is an actionable goal – not a vague one. So how do you set up an actionable target? By defining what a ‘fast’ timefrane is to your customer service reps.
Set a quality standard by spelling out what a ‘quality’ response is
An essential – and often overlooked – aspect of good customer service is making sure reps give a proper answer to the customer. A fast reply should never be a meaningless one. That’s like getting your order delivered quickly, but with the incorrect contents.
Your response should either solve their problem completely or tell them that you’re working on their query (more on this below).
But a word of caution: never hold back on replying to customers just because you’re waiting to give them a full response to their email. If you can’t manage to reply with a full answer to your customer’s question, informing them about working on their query will save you from more work.
A good solution for this is implementing automation into your customer support systems to send an immediate response to your customers letting them know that you will respond to them within a given timeframe.