If your business has customers, there will always be a seemingly endless stream of questions, complaints, and compliments regarding your business. It can be easy to become overwhelmed with an overflowing email inbox; the good news is that there are ways to make answering all those emails more manageable.
When a customer contacts your customer service department via email, they have certain expectations. They expect their query to be addressed. They expect a solution to their concerns and an answer to their questions. And they expect it fast.
According to a study conducted by Forrester Research, 41% of customers expect an email response within 6 hours. With the number of emails that can pile up, this time frame is often unrealistic. However, if your team has the capacity and capability, it can – and should – be done!
There are several tricks that can help your customer service improve their response times while ensuring each email is given the attention it deserves. Remember, don’t sacrifice quality responses for speed – find a balance.
1. Set up an automatic response email to let customers know you have received their inquiry.
Although you are not answering their question immediately, there is still the sense of instant gratification that their email has been acknowledged.
2. Take advantage of the “quick reply” option.
Quick reply (also known as “quick response” on various apps) is an email tactic used by many companies who receive a large amount of the same frequently asked questions. Quick reply emails are pre-written emails that answer common questions/emails with general problem-solving advice. Having these emails at your disposal will cut response time considerably when it comes to frequently asked questions – just copy and paste the response and off it goes. This will save you the time and hassle of typing out the same email over and over, and will free up time to tackle the most specific emails.
3. Use an app such as Text Expander.
If you want to avoid setting up automated emails to address frequently asked questions, the Text Expander app is for you. It allows you to plug in a few keyboard shortcuts and have the bulk of the email ready without having to type out every letter or find and copy a pre-written response. From there, you can customize the name, add other necessary bits and pieces, and send it out. This can save you several minutes per email!
Speed is a competitive strategy that can give you a leg up over your competitors. If possible, go beyond customer expectations and respond within 1-5 hours. On the other hand, don’t feel bad if this is not an option for you. An acceptable email response time is within 24 hours of the initial email, and this is a time frame that every business should meet. Timely responses build customer trust and loyalty, increase customer satisfaction, and improve the overall success of your company.
Do you have any time-saving tricks when responding to emails? Share them with us in the comments below!