Great customer support comes down to three things – it’s got to be clear, concise, and fast. With this post, I want to push the necessity of a fast response.
Many companies promise replies with a business day or two, which provides for a crappy experience. I remember being locked out of an app for close to thirty hours. Since it was a non-essential app, it wasn’t a horrible experience overall. But if that had been a product essential to my business, that would’ve been unacceptable.
Your speed of response shows your customers your commitment level to them.
Partner or Vendor?
If you’re replying to customers that have been waiting for two days, you’re not invested in them. They’re just a number, another email, something to get out of the way before you can go home for the day. In return, they’ll see you as a required vendor they have to use because there’s no other option. You’re the Wal-Mart in town they buy from because all the other grocery stores are gone.
But replies within a few minutes, that changes everything. It shows your committed to helping them. That you’re a partner with them rather than just a vendor. You win because you’re helping them to win.
When I have a question with one of my websites, I typically contact Media Temple over Twitter. Answers come back within minutes. That quick of a reply shows me the Media Temple team’s commitment to my success.
Aren’t big support teams a bad sign?
Especially in the app world, critics point towards large support teams as failures of the app designers to make their app “user-friendly”. That’s total B.S.
I work on a support team that’s the largest chunk of the company. It’s large because we want to be partners with our customers rather than just vendors. We want to help them and to do so quickly.
Our goal is five-minute response times. When something goes wrong or you need help, more than that is a long time to wait. A large team helps us reply to customers faster.
I’m a partner
By focusing on a fast response, I’ve chosen to be a partner with our customers. Sure, it’s a decision that costs a bit more money but it’s the right choice. If the tables were flipped, I’d want them to do the same thing for me as their customer.
What were some of the fastest response times that you’ve experienced? Did it make you feel like the company actually cared?