Saturday, May 24, 2014

5 Ways to Increase Your Company’s Response Speed

A pervasive complaint from customers about businesses is about poor response time. Customers complain about extensive hold times, four-hour windows when a service person may or may not appear, or waiting days to get a callback. Poor response time damages a business’ brand and bottom line, but solutions are available to reduce your company’s response time.

Virtual Private Network

A virtual private network (VPN) gives employees secure, remote access to the business’ internal resources, such as order management, inventory, documents and even internal calendars. Access to these resources allows your employees to answer customer questions or problems on the spot, as well as provide a timetable for the delivery of a replacement part or new order.

FAQs and Searchable Databases

Customers often try to find an answer for themselves before they call a customer service line or hop on a live chat with a customer service representative. Developing an FAQ with substantive answers is a good way to address common problems or issues. For more technical or multistep solutions to problems, a searchable database of articles helps customers solve their problem immediately. As a bonus, the business gets credit for good response without direct action.

Upgrade Fleet Management

Unnecessary idle time and poor route planning have a significant impact on your fleet’s response time. Service calls and deliveries can be unpredictable and reduce customer trust. Businesses that start out with one truck often develop unofficial policies to guide their fleets, but upgrading your fleet management can more than pay for itself in customer goodwill. A specialist in fleet upfitting in Calgary advises outsourcing fleets to a management service with GPS, which will dispatch the closest vehicle to the address, reducing the time between receiving the service call and getting a vehicle on-site to a minimum.

Hire Dedicated Phone Staff

To address long hold times on the phone, you can hire a person or several people to exclusively manage customer calls. If the volume of calls is too excessive for your phone system or for an internal staff to manage, you can also outsource to a call center.

Email Answer Templates

Customer emails often contain comparatively easy questions, but setting up templates to answer the 10-20 most common questions can streamline the answer process. Many of the answers will come directly out of the FAQ and only require the customer’s name be placed at the top of the response.

Complaints about company response times are grounded in customers’ actual experiences. By instituting active measures, like a VPN or upgraded fleet management, and passive measures, like a substantive FAQ and article database, you can improve your company’s response time.

Informational Credit to Western Truck Body Mfg.

Source: B2C_Business

5 Ways to Increase Your Company’s Response Speed

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