How Good Is Your Customer Service?
Roman advises contact center management to monitor 10 calls for each rep every week. Calls should be evaluated, graded and reviewed with the reps. Many call centers monitor only two to four calls per rep per month, says Roman, which means these service staff don’t receive enough oversight or support to ensure service levels remain consistent or even improve.
5. What is the optimum response time for an e-mail inquiry?
Answer: b) 4 hours
Optimally, consumers should get an answer within four hours. Liz Kislik, president of Liz Kislik Associates LLC, a customer service management and employee development consulting firm in Rockville Centre, N.Y., says, “If you’re not responding within four hours … your customer is having increased anxiety.” Kislik notes current studies from JupiterResearch and the Customer Care Alliance, a research and advocacy group whose member companies are dedicated to customer care, have found a large proportion of e-mail requests do not get answered for up to three days, leading to extremely disgruntled customers.
“Generally consumers expect a response within 24 hours; they are thrilled if they can get it in less than four hours,” elaborates Greg Gianforte, CEO of Bozeman, Mont.-based customer experience management solutions provider RightNow Technologies. In fact, anything more than a day will damage your relationship with the customer, he warns.
However, Gianforte acknowledges different types of questions may warrant different time frames. If the question is related to order placement, you must reply as soon as possible. After all, if a customer is ready to place a birthday gift order for delivery the following week (or day), but can’t get a speedy answer to his shipping- or product-related question, he quickly will move on to a competitor that is able to answer the question right away. However, if the query is about a technical issue, such as a repair, a response time of up to 24 hours is more acceptable.