According to Hubspot, 71% of customers believe the most important thing a business can do for them is value their time.
That doesn’t come as a surprise, right? Afterall who enjoys struggling to reach out to businesses and spending long hours on support calls? Or worse—incessantly waiting on hold?
Good customer support agents don’t just find solutions for their customers. They do it quickly so consumers can get back to their routines at the earliest.
It’s a simple formula. In customer service: speed + accuracy = improved productivity and enhanced consumer experiences.
Through this post, let’s analyse how using cloud telephony solutions can enhance customer responsiveness.
But first, let’s start with the basics: what is customer responsiveness?
It refers to your business’s ability to respond to customer queries and resolve them in a timely manner. This includes the speed of your agents in understanding and offering credible solutions for client queries.
While companies usually focus on how to reduce the on-hold or wait time for customers, they pay considerably less attention to providing timely solutions. It would be great if a customer can pick up the phone and immediately reach an agent—but that’s far from reality.
Being a customer-responsive organisation means you have to always be present where your consumers spend their most time—social media and their phone screens. Following an omnichannel approach helps here.
In order to stay abreast with changing customer demands, you need to adopt new technologies—from cloud telephony systems to intelligent routing of incoming calls.
Handling customer queries on various platforms doesn’t require hard work, but smart work. By deploying smart solutions, you can rest assured that all queries will be answered timely and your missed call rate will reduce.
Before discussing how cloud telephony improves customer responsiveness, it’s important to note that wait time differs for different mediums.
Email response time usually depends on the type of product you’re selling and to whom. If you’re a B2B company selling high-end expensive solutions, your audience will expect a faster response time. On the other hand, B2C companies can take advantage of longer response times.
Calls and live chats
Ideally, calls and chats should be answered within 3-50 seconds of ringing since these are instant support options. Customers also reach out through these mediums specifically to get faster responses.
All social media posts and mentions should be replied to within 24 hours of notification. This will show your proactiveness and dedication to your customers.
Although there is an ideal response time for each of these channels, it’s still best to respond as quickly as possible.
How do cloud telephony systems elevate customer responsiveness for your business?
Smart call routing
The automatic call distribution (ACD) feature intelligently distributes incoming calls to the best-suited agents, based on time, availability, skill or any other predefined category. Solutions like toll free numbers and virtual numbers facilitate a seamless customer experience by leveraging IVR services and call forwarding features.
As soon as customers dial your business number, they are routed to the right department and then to an appropriate agent. For example, if your restaurant gets heavy delivery orders in the evening, you can directly route calls to the respective delivery persons for the customers to coordinate.
This saves time and aids faster resolution of customer queries. IVR helps customers navigate customers through various possible categories of issues so that they do not have to narrate the whole scenario.
Cloud telephony solutions offer sentiment analysis—the latest technology in the business arena—to win over customer communication. This feature adds more meaning to what customers say and therefore, agents can better understand their needs. With keyword mapping, it becomes very easy to anticipate the intent behind customer interactions.
Cloud also offers robust reports on sentiment analysis to decipher the customer tones better. You can trace conversations using a single word—this can come in handy to supervise what your agents are pitching to the clients.
Understanding the intent of customers is a great way to respond quickly and resolve queries at the earliest. The more you understand customer sentiment, the faster the resolution will be.
Customer service delivery is accelerated when information can travel from one application to another in a jiffy. Cloud telephony solutions offer flawless integrations that allow critical data transfer between CRM and dashboards, thereby facilitating speedy delivery of information by the agents as well.
When agents are able to access customer data on every platform, they are able to better serve them with the right solutions and improve their responsiveness. For example, you can add notes directly in the CRMs via a dashboard. This means that the call notes you enter in the dashboard will be automatically accessed through the CRM, saving you the time and effort of switching between applications for vital information.
Canned templates and responses
Imagine having a script to refer whenever you run out of answers to tricky customer questions. Pretty convenient, right? Cloud telephony solutions like bulk SMSes use pre-planned responses and templates that can be scheduled as per requirement.
These templates help increase the pace of service delivery and hence, customer responsiveness. Moreover, they keep customers informed most of the time and save you the hassle of always being present over calls or SMSes.
For example, if you missed a call from your customer, you can use a message template saying, “Sorry for the inconvenience, we will get back to you shortly. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org” Customers feel heard this way and do not abandon your brand for a competitor.
Comprehensive reporting systems offered by cloud telephony solutions aid faster support. These performance reports help agents set their goals accordingly and hence, work towards them.
For example, you can have performance reports colour-coded in red and green—based on urgency or importance. This motivates your agents to perform better and they, in turn, encourage others around them to deliver their best. Having team goals is important because they hold your entire team accountable for lagged performance.
This may seem like a small detail but it greatly impacts responsiveness and hence, improves performance figures.
To wrap up:
Customer responsiveness is an important part of customer service. Most of the time, it is better for it to be “done” rather than be “perfect”. This is where being prompt with your resolutions matters. Customers are not looking for the perfect solution. Instead they are looking for smart and timely resolutions to their queries.
Therefore, companies should work towards improving customer responsiveness to maximise customer delight.