How Fast Do You Respond?

Before express shipping was commonplace, people didn’t think that 6 weeks was a long time to wait for the thing you ordered during the 2am infomercial. Before laserjet printers, waiting 5 minutes to print up that report on the dot matrix (then pealing the sides) wasn’t a big deal. Before email, 20 minutes to fax that 10 page document was perfectly acceptable. But technology has sped up the time frame of what we all consider acceptable. We want things shipped next day. If the thing you sent to print isn’t ready by the time you get to the printer, it’s frustrating and if the deck that you need doesn’t hit your inbox within 30 seconds of being sent – we check to make sure the network is up and running. But in many cases, businesses haven’t sped up their response time to match customer expectations.

Forum-Response-icon● Eight in 10 businesses believe they offer excellent customer service through social media – over 90% of consumers disagree
● Just 20% of brands respond to messages that require attention – that means 80% of communications go unresolved
● The average brand response time is 15 hours through Facebook and just under 8 hours on Twitter
● Overall 80% of Facebook users expect a response the same day as do 70% of Twitter users
● A large percentage expect it even faster – more than 40% of social
networkers expect a response within an hour and over 30% want to
hear back within 30 minutes

What This Means To You

What are your expectations when it comes to hearing back from one of your vendors?
Consumers have similar expectations. Either they are your customers and deserve the courtesy of a return message because they spent money with you. Or, they are prospective customers and if you do not give them the courtesy of returning their message now, how will you treat them after they buy your product? The first thing your company needs to do is create a strategy for consumer response. Not just time parameters but language that should be used. There is a great story that has to do with the Three Mile Island nuclear plant accident. The first person to issue a response was a Nuclear Engineer for the plant – while he was probably a brilliant person when it came to nuclear energy, his job was not public relations. A few times during the initial media contacts he used the word “Accident” instead of “Incident”. Either is bad – but what sounds worse, an incident at a nuclear reactor or an accident at nuclear reactor. What you say and the way you say it is important. Also determine a level of escalation. what things can a customer service or social media re do to mediate a situation and what needs to be elevated to a manager. For more information on meeting your consumers changing levels of expectation, please contact:

Al Fiala
amfiala@gmail.com

Sources: Social Media Today; BrickFish; eMarketer

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