In a perfect world, you’d send an email and get an instant reply. However, sometimes life gets in the way. Email has had a significant impact on the workplace since the late 1990s. Its impact is only expected to grow, with Statista projecting that 4.3 billion people will be using it to communicate in 2023. For context, that is half the world’s population!

Based on this, how businesses leverage their average email response time to improve their operations, will be a contributing factor to success.

What is the appropriate amount of time for an existing customer to wait for a reply to their email? How do you ensure that a warm lead turns into a hot one? Does internal email response time affect employee engagement?

What’s The Average Email Response Time?

Average email response time is calculated by averaging the time between all of the emails that are sent out as replies and when the email they are replying to first arrived.

According to a recent Google survey, 44% of consumers expect a response within 4 hours and a massive 87% within a day.

With this in mind, it is important for businesses are tracking their email response times in the organisation and making sure customers and leads are not left waiting. Remember 78% of sales go to the first company to respond.

A contributing factor to your average email response time is the nature of the initial email. For example, a complicated request that requires input from multiple stakeholders will undoubtedly require more time to execute than a simple information request.
So what is a suitable response time? This depends on multiple things such as:

  • The sender’s level of urgency for the email
  • What the sender anticipates from your prior emails
  • The commitments you’ve made to customers (for example, SLAs) in a business setting

Individual perceptions of what constitutes a reasonable response time (which depends on demographic). The research conducted by multiple industry leaders such as Microsoft and Hubspot shows a wide range of different expectations. However, there is a consensus that the majority of customers expect an “immediate” response, that being 10 minutes or less. The research conducted by multiple industry leaders such as Microsoft and Hubspot shows a wide range of different expectations. However, there is a consensus that the majority of customers expect an “immediate” response, that being 10 minutes or less.

Average Email Response Time By Industry

To surpass your competitors, you must first understand email response time in the context of your industry. We’ve compiled data on average response times in the corporate travel, finance, logistics, real estate, and retail industries.

Email Response Times

Corporate Travel

According to a study by HiverHQ, the average response time for a customer or potential customer emailing a corporate business is 36 hours.

When you consider the potential value each prospect has to businesses in this industry, this statistic points to money being left on the table. Corporate travel contracts tend to be fairly large recurring contracts for Corporate travel businesses. The enquiries are time sensitive and responsiveness plays a large role in providing the end solution to the customer. Customers in this industry who are not serviced promptly will switch their corporate travel provider. Speed really matters in this industry, yet the average response time is the slowest of the industries we are comparing in this article due to the complexity of the requests.

Finance

Our research shows a better showing for the Finance sector, though not mind-blowing speeds at an average of 14 hours. This is still a long time to wait for an email response and gives leads plenty of time to find other options in a heavily saturated market.

The Finance industry is enormously populated with ads, affiliates, promoted content, etc. so getting a lead is tough enough. Why wait to respond to them once you have them on the hook and risk them dropping off?

A faster response time would guarantee that all that advertising spend doesn’t go to waste.

Logistics

The logistics industry is the best performing, coming in at 12 hours. This average response time might sound good (and relatively speaking, it is). However, we need to be cognizant of the fact that nearly half of the people sending emails expect a response within 4 hours. This is three times worse than that.

Still, congratulations to the Logistics sector for being the fastest on our list.

Real Estate

With an average of 15 hours, once again at first glance, the Real Estate sector isn’t doing too badly. But upon delving deeper into some of the statistics did give us more insight. According to an in-depth study by wavgroup.com 48% of buyer inquiries were never responded to.

That’s half of the inquiries, just ignored. It is inconceivable to equate these inquiries to tangible business and profits.

Retail

This industry is massive, worth 5.6 trillion dollars in the United States alone. If any industry has mastered responding to leads and customers quickly, it must be this one, right? Unfortunately not. Our research found that the average email response time for retail businesses is a massive 17 hours.

There are of course some outliers here (as with every industry). Behemoths like Disney’s retail department, Abercrombie and Office Depot have all managed to get their averages down below 2 hours. Which according to the aforementioned Google research is likely to keep shoppers happy.

It also shows why they’re on the top of their game. Imagine contacting two retail businesses; one responds in under 2 hours, the other a whole 15 hours after that – it’s not even a competition as to where you’ll end up spending your money.

Why Does Email Response Time Matter For Business?

As we have alluded throughout this article, time is a powerful consideration when it comes to customer service interaction quality. An answer to a question will be more appreciated and valued if it arrives within a short time but frustrating if it arrives 72 hours later.

Customer satisfaction research consistently shows a link between faster response times and higher levels of customer satisfaction. According to Forrester Research, 77% of customers believe that the most essential thing a firm can do to deliver outstanding online customer care is to value their time.

As with most things in life, expectation dictates experience. If you can exceed your customers’ expectations by getting back to them quickly, it reflects positively on your customer service and on your company as a whole. Email response time matters because it is an element that is easily measurable, with a direct and immediate impact on your customer’s experience.

What about using email to communicate internally? How fast should employees respond to emails from each other? A study by Jeff Toister shows that 41.3% of respondents expect a response in one hour or less.

However, there is a big caveat to this data; expecting individual coworkers to respond within an hour is inherently unreasonable and unproductive. This is based on the principle that constantly checking your inbox is distracting and responding for the sake of responding creates mediocre responses that generate more emails. Additionally, meetings and calls can last longer than an hour. Expecting employees to check email during meetings is unreasonable.

Email response time management can be used to streamline communication internally. This can be done by ensuring a minimum number of hours should pass before a coworker responds to a request from a fellow coworker based on the company average. This can make internal email interactions more meaningful, thus improving productivity for the company as a whole.

Email Response Time Best Practice (2022 Updated)

Regardless of what industry you are in, there is always room for improvement when it comes to email response time. Reading this, you are in the right place to discover the most effective tactics for improving response times to customers, prospects and also within your own organisation.

Customer Service Software Implementation

If your company still manages hundreds (or even thousands) of customer service emails with a shared access mailbox, investing in and implementing customer service software is the simplest approach to optimize your customer service procedures.

Customer service software records every communication or interaction you’ve had with a customer during your business’s engagement with them. This means you can go back in time and figure out what their difficulties are, as well as the specifics of the things they’re interested in, and utilize that information to be more helpful in your response.

Furthermore, if you use the correct tools for the job, you’ll be far faster than if you tried to piece together all of this data from a shared inbox or another low-tech method.

timetoreply integrates with multiple CRM (customer relationship management) software including, Hubspot, Active Campaign, Constant Contact and Salesforce. Our integrations allow you to sync your contacts, push response time statistics back into the software and even have tasks created within your chosen platform when alerts are generated from timetoreply.

Take Advantage of Automated Email Replies

Sometimes all a customer wants to know is that their email was received and that assistance is on its way. Negative emotion emerges only when their issues, difficulties, or complaints are disregarded, and it has the ability to harm your long-term connection with the consumer.

Using email autoresponders is a wonderful technique to get around this. Autoresponders are employed by less than 10% of businesses, yet this basic technology may be used to inform customers that you have received their email and what to expect next. The ‘what to expect next’ is critical.

You can also take this opportunity to share and reaffirm your ‘email values’ such as:

  • Message/Value
  • Details
  • Thanking them for their message
  • Letting your customers know that you are taking their communication very seriously and giving it the attention that it deserves
  • Operating hours
  • By stating this, they understand that if they email late at night or on a weekend, it may take several hours (or even days) for their email to be read.
  • Managing expectations
  • Keeping your consumers informed about when they might expect a response goes a long way toward regulating their expectations. By preventing frequent follow-up inquiries, including a time frame relieves the pressure on your customer care personnel.

Links to FAQs and instruction manuals

Your clients will not always locate documentation such as FAQs or manuals on your website, no matter how simple you think it is to use. They may only provide a mild nudge in the right direction, and by using self-service.
This is a quick stop-gap measure that you can put in place before you compose a comprehensive response.

Utilize Real-Time Email Alerts

It is always the intention to respond to each and every customer service email, but occasionally one or two slip through the cracks. The example we’ve used throughout this article is when you are waiting for some information before you can react comprehensively, and the third party takes longer than you initially anticipated. In a case like this, it is easy to move on to another task and forget about the customer’s email. This does not take away from the fact that whatever the cause, your customer’s need to be attended to in a timely manner.

Set up time-based email notifications to minimize emails being lost in the system or response times taking far longer than they should. This can be done manually through timetoreply and can be integrated with a whole host of CRM software. Simply determine how fast you want to respond to your customers and set up an alert to go off before the deadline.

Make Use of Templates and Shortcuts

When you’ve been in business for a while, you become familiar with the types of queries that your customers frequently ask. Make sure your website and help documents reflect these types of queries using this information. It can also be used to properly prepare your customer care representatives.

Instead of forcing your team to come up with unique responses to the same queries over and over again , you can provide them with customer service email templates to make their job easier. It will not only help your team respond faster, but it will also help your team maintain consistency in their communication.

This means that every customer will receive the identical answer to their inquiry, with little or no variation, so reinforcing the brand and keeping all of your customers satisfied.

Of course, a template will not be able to manage every customer service request and this practice should be used with moderation.

Establish an Email Response Time Policy

If you’re in charge of a team, set a realistic internal and external email response time policy with clear expectations so that everyone is on the same page. Your employees will be able to execute as expected if you provide clear targets.

Signing up for timetoreply should be your first step if you’re ready to start measuring and tracking your average email response time (and the average response times of your staff).

Without a solid platform to assist you to measure your average response time, it’s nearly impossible to do so reliably, and we provide everything you need to get the job done. Use it to determine a beginning point for you and your team, and then track your progress as you make progress.

Key Takeaways – Email Response Time

Based on market research and customer expectation, it’s safe to say that businesses are losing out on huge amounts of revenue. It’s important in business not to leave anything on the table and by something as simple as implementing email response times, beating the average is easy.

Responding to emails (customer and prospect) quickly should be more than a company goal, it should be standard practice.. This is achievable by implementing customer relationship management software and integrating it with email response time management software, taking advantage of automated email replies, utilizing real-time alerts, making use of templates and shortcuts, and lastly but most importantly establishing an email response time policy.

timetoreply connects to your teams’ mailboxes (or the entire domain) to measure email response times and provide real-time reporting and actionable insights. Gain the clarity you need to make the best decisions for your customer-facing and sales teams.

Real Estate

With an average of 15 hours, once again at first glance, the Real Estate sector isn’t doing too badly. But upon delving deeper into some of the statistics did give us more insight. According to an in-depth study by wavgroup.com 48% of buyer inquiries were never responded to.

That’s half of the inquiries, just ignored. It is inconceivable to equate these inquiries to tangible business and profits.

Retail

This industry is massive, worth 5.6 trillion dollars in the United States alone. If any industry has mastered responding to leads and customers quickly, it must be this one, right? Unfortunately not. Our research found that the average email response time for retail businesses is a massive 17 hours.

There are of course some outliers here (as with every industry). Behemoths like Disney’s retail department, Abercrombie and Office Depot have all managed to get their averages down below 2 hours. Which according to the aforementioned Google research is likely to keep shoppers happy.

It also shows why they’re on the top of their game. Imagine contacting two retail businesses; one responds in under 2 hours, the other a whole 15 hours after that – it’s not even a competition as to where you’ll end up spending your money.

Why Does Email Response Time Matter For Business?

As we have alluded throughout this article, time is a powerful consideration when it comes to customer service interaction quality. An answer to a question will be more appreciated and valued if it arrives within a short time but frustrating if it arrives 72 hours later.

Customer satisfaction research consistently shows a link between faster response times and higher levels of customer satisfaction. According to Forrester Research, 77% of customers believe that the most essential thing a firm can do to deliver outstanding online customer care is to value their time.

As with most things in life, expectation dictates experience. If you can exceed your customers’ expectations by getting back to them quickly, it reflects positively on your customer service and on your company as a whole. Email response time matters because it is an element that is easily measurable, with a direct and immediate impact on your customer’s experience.

What about using email to communicate internally? How fast should employees respond to emails from each other? A study by Jeff Toister shows that 41.3% of respondents expect a response in one hour or less.

However, there is a big caveat to this data; expecting individual coworkers to respond within an hour is inherently unreasonable and unproductive. This is based on the principle that constantly checking your inbox is distracting and responding for the sake of responding creates mediocre responses that generate more emails. Additionally, meetings and calls can last longer than an hour. Expecting employees to check email during meetings is unreasonable.

Email response time management can be used to streamline communication internally. This can be done by ensuring a minimum number of hours should pass before a coworker responds to a request from a fellow coworker based on the company average. This can make internal email interactions more meaningful, thus improving productivity for the company as a whole.

Email Response Time Best Practice (2022 Updated)

Regardless of what industry you are in, there is always room for improvement when it comes to email response time. Reading this, you are in the right place to discover the most effective tactics for improving response times to customers, prospects and also within your own organisation.

Customer Service Software Implementation

If your company still manages hundreds (or even thousands) of customer service emails with a shared access mailbox, investing in and implementing customer service software is the simplest approach to optimize your customer service procedures.

Customer service software records every communication or interaction you’ve had with a customer during your business’s engagement with them. This means you can go back in time and figure out what their difficulties are, as well as the specifics of the things they’re interested in, and utilize that information to be more helpful in your response.

Furthermore, if you use the correct tools for the job, you’ll be far faster than if you tried to piece together all of this data from a shared inbox or another low-tech method.

timetoreply integrates with multiple CRM (customer relationship management) software including, Hubspot, Active Campaign, Constant Contact and Salesforce. Our integrations allow you to sync your contacts, push response time statistics back into the software and even have tasks created within your chosen platform when alerts are generated from timetoreply.

Take Advantage of Automated Email Replies

Sometimes all a customer wants to know is that their email was received and that assistance is on its way. Negative emotion emerges only when their issues, difficulties, or complaints are disregarded, and it has the ability to harm your long-term connection with the consumer.

Using email autoresponders is a wonderful technique to get around this. Autoresponders are employed by less than 10% of businesses, yet this basic technology may be used to inform customers that you have received their email and what to expect next. The ‘what to expect next’ is critical.

You can also take this opportunity to share and reaffirm your ‘email values’ such as:

  • Message/Value
  • Details
  • Thanking them for their message
  • Letting your customers know that you are taking their communication very seriously and giving it the attention that it deserves
  • Operating hours
  • By stating this, they understand that if they email late at night or on a weekend, it may take several hours (or even days) for their email to be read.
  • Managing expectations
  • Keeping your consumers informed about when they might expect a response goes a long way toward regulating their expectations. By preventing frequent follow-up inquiries, including a time frame relieves the pressure on your customer care personnel.

Links to FAQs and instruction manuals

Your clients will not always locate documentation such as FAQs or manuals on your website, no matter how simple you think it is to use. They may only provide a mild nudge in the right direction, and by using self-service.
This is a quick stop-gap measure that you can put in place before you compose a comprehensive response.

Utilize Real-Time Email Alerts

It is always the intention to respond to each and every customer service email, but occasionally one or two slip through the cracks. The example we’ve used throughout this article is when you are waiting for some information before you can react comprehensively, and the third party takes longer than you initially anticipated. In a case like this, it is easy to move on to another task and forget about the customer’s email. This does not take away from the fact that whatever the cause, your customer’s need to be attended to in a timely manner.

Set up time-based email notifications to minimize emails being lost in the system or response times taking far longer than they should. This can be done manually through timetoreply and can be integrated with a whole host of CRM software. Simply determine how fast you want to respond to your customers and set up an alert to go off before the deadline.

Make Use of Templates and Shortcuts

When you’ve been in business for a while, you become familiar with the types of queries that your customers frequently ask. Make sure your website and help documents reflect these types of queries using this information. It can also be used to properly prepare your customer care representatives.

Instead of forcing your team to come up with unique responses to the same queries over and over again , you can provide them with customer service email templates to make their job easier. It will not only help your team respond faster, but it will also help your team maintain consistency in their communication.

This means that every customer will receive the identical answer to their inquiry, with little or no variation, so reinforcing the brand and keeping all of your customers satisfied.

Of course, a template will not be able to manage every customer service request and this practice should be used with moderation.

Establish an Email Response Time Policy

If you’re in charge of a team, set a realistic internal and external email response time policy with clear expectations so that everyone is on the same page. Your employees will be able to execute as expected if you provide clear targets.

Signing up for timetoreply should be your first step if you’re ready to start measuring and tracking your average email response time (and the average response times of your staff).

Without a solid platform to assist you to measure your average response time, it’s nearly impossible to do so reliably, and we provide everything you need to get the job done. Use it to determine a beginning point for you and your team, and then track your progress as you make progress.

Key Takeaways – Email Response Time

Based on market research and customer expectation, it’s safe to say that businesses are losing out on huge amounts of revenue. It’s important in business not to leave anything on the table and by something as simple as implementing email response times, beating the average is easy.

Responding to emails (customer and prospect) quickly should be more than a company goal, it should be standard practice.. This is achievable by implementing customer relationship management software and integrating it with email response time management software, taking advantage of automated email replies, utilizing real-time alerts, making use of templates and shortcuts, and lastly but most importantly establishing an email response time policy.

timetoreply connects to your teams’ mailboxes (or the entire domain) to measure email response times and provide real-time reporting and actionable insights. Gain the clarity you need to make the best decisions for your customer-facing and sales teams.

Retail

This industry is massive, worth 5.6 trillion dollars in the United States alone. If any industry has mastered responding to leads and customers quickly, it must be this one, right? Unfortunately not. Our research found that the average email response time for retail businesses is a massive 17 hours.

There are of course some outliers here (as with every industry). Behemoths like Disney’s retail department, Abercrombie and Office Depot have all managed to get their averages down below 2 hours. Which according to the aforementioned Google research is likely to keep shoppers happy.

It also shows why they’re on the top of their game. Imagine contacting two retail businesses; one responds in under 2 hours, the other a whole 15 hours after that – it’s not even a competition as to where you’ll end up spending your money.

Why Does Email Response Time Matter For Business?

As we have alluded throughout this article, time is a powerful consideration when it comes to customer service interaction quality. An answer to a question will be more appreciated and valued if it arrives within a short time but frustrating if it arrives 72 hours later.

Customer satisfaction research consistently shows a link between faster response times and higher levels of customer satisfaction. According to Forrester Research, 77% of customers believe that the most essential thing a firm can do to deliver outstanding online customer care is to value their time.

As with most things in life, expectation dictates experience. If you can exceed your customers’ expectations by getting back to them quickly, it reflects positively on your customer service and on your company as a whole. Email response time matters because it is an element that is easily measurable, with a direct and immediate impact on your customer’s experience.

What about using email to communicate internally? How fast should employees respond to emails from each other? A study by Jeff Toister shows that 41.3% of respondents expect a response in one hour or less.

However, there is a big caveat to this data; expecting individual coworkers to respond within an hour is inherently unreasonable and unproductive. This is based on the principle that constantly checking your inbox is distracting and responding for the sake of responding creates mediocre responses that generate more emails. Additionally, meetings and calls can last longer than an hour. Expecting employees to check email during meetings is unreasonable.

Email response time management can be used to streamline communication internally. This can be done by ensuring a minimum number of hours should pass before a coworker responds to a request from a fellow coworker based on the company average. This can make internal email interactions more meaningful, thus improving productivity for the company as a whole.

Email Response Time Best Practice (2022 Updated)

Regardless of what industry you are in, there is always room for improvement when it comes to email response time. Reading this, you are in the right place to discover the most effective tactics for improving response times to customers, prospects and also within your own organisation.

Customer Service Software Implementation

If your company still manages hundreds (or even thousands) of customer service emails with a shared access mailbox, investing in and implementing customer service software is the simplest approach to optimize your customer service procedures.

Customer service software records every communication or interaction you’ve had with a customer during your business’s engagement with them. This means you can go back in time and figure out what their difficulties are, as well as the specifics of the things they’re interested in, and utilize that information to be more helpful in your response.

Furthermore, if you use the correct tools for the job, you’ll be far faster than if you tried to piece together all of this data from a shared inbox or another low-tech method.

timetoreply integrates with multiple CRM (customer relationship management) software including, Hubspot, Active Campaign, Constant Contact and Salesforce. Our integrations allow you to sync your contacts, push response time statistics back into the software and even have tasks created within your chosen platform when alerts are generated from timetoreply.

Take Advantage of Automated Email Replies

Sometimes all a customer wants to know is that their email was received and that assistance is on its way. Negative emotion emerges only when their issues, difficulties, or complaints are disregarded, and it has the ability to harm your long-term connection with the consumer.

Using email autoresponders is a wonderful technique to get around this. Autoresponders are employed by less than 10% of businesses, yet this basic technology may be used to inform customers that you have received their email and what to expect next. The ‘what to expect next’ is critical.

You can also take this opportunity to share and reaffirm your ‘email values’ such as:

  • Message/Value
  • Details
  • Thanking them for their message
  • Letting your customers know that you are taking their communication very seriously and giving it the attention that it deserves
  • Operating hours
  • By stating this, they understand that if they email late at night or on a weekend, it may take several hours (or even days) for their email to be read.
  • Managing expectations
  • Keeping your consumers informed about when they might expect a response goes a long way toward regulating their expectations. By preventing frequent follow-up inquiries, including a time frame relieves the pressure on your customer care personnel.

Links to FAQs and instruction manuals

Your clients will not always locate documentation such as FAQs or manuals on your website, no matter how simple you think it is to use. They may only provide a mild nudge in the right direction, and by using self-service.
This is a quick stop-gap measure that you can put in place before you compose a comprehensive response.

Utilize Real-Time Email Alerts

It is always the intention to respond to each and every customer service email, but occasionally one or two slip through the cracks. The example we’ve used throughout this article is when you are waiting for some information before you can react comprehensively, and the third party takes longer than you initially anticipated. In a case like this, it is easy to move on to another task and forget about the customer’s email. This does not take away from the fact that whatever the cause, your customer’s need to be attended to in a timely manner.

Set up time-based email notifications to minimize emails being lost in the system or response times taking far longer than they should. This can be done manually through timetoreply and can be integrated with a whole host of CRM software. Simply determine how fast you want to respond to your customers and set up an alert to go off before the deadline.

Make Use of Templates and Shortcuts

When you’ve been in business for a while, you become familiar with the types of queries that your customers frequently ask. Make sure your website and help documents reflect these types of queries using this information. It can also be used to properly prepare your customer care representatives.

Instead of forcing your team to come up with unique responses to the same queries over and over again , you can provide them with customer service email templates to make their job easier. It will not only help your team respond faster, but it will also help your team maintain consistency in their communication.

This means that every customer will receive the identical answer to their inquiry, with little or no variation, so reinforcing the brand and keeping all of your customers satisfied.

Of course, a template will not be able to manage every customer service request and this practice should be used with moderation.

Establish an Email Response Time Policy

If you’re in charge of a team, set a realistic internal and external email response time policy with clear expectations so that everyone is on the same page. Your employees will be able to execute as expected if you provide clear targets.

Signing up for timetoreply should be your first step if you’re ready to start measuring and tracking your average email response time (and the average response times of your staff).

Without a solid platform to assist you to measure your average response time, it’s nearly impossible to do so reliably, and we provide everything you need to get the job done. Use it to determine a beginning point for you and your team, and then track your progress as you make progress.

Key Takeaways – Email Response Time

Based on market research and customer expectation, it’s safe to say that businesses are losing out on huge amounts of revenue. It’s important in business not to leave anything on the table and by something as simple as implementing email response times, beating the average is easy.

Responding to emails (customer and prospect) quickly should be more than a company goal, it should be standard practice.. This is achievable by implementing customer relationship management software and integrating it with email response time management software, taking advantage of automated email replies, utilizing real-time alerts, making use of templates and shortcuts, and lastly but most importantly establishing an email response time policy.

timetoreply connects to your teams’ mailboxes (or the entire domain) to measure email response times and provide real-time reporting and actionable insights. Gain the clarity you need to make the best decisions for your customer-facing and sales teams.

Why Does Email Response Time Matter For Business?

As we have alluded throughout this article, time is a powerful consideration when it comes to customer service interaction quality. An answer to a question will be more appreciated and valued if it arrives within a short time but frustrating if it arrives 72 hours later.

Customer satisfaction research consistently shows a link between faster response times and higher levels of customer satisfaction. According to Forrester Research, 77% of customers believe that the most essential thing a firm can do to deliver outstanding online customer care is to value their time.

As with most things in life, expectation dictates experience. If you can exceed your customers’ expectations by getting back to them quickly, it reflects positively on your customer service and on your company as a whole. Email response time matters because it is an element that is easily measurable, with a direct and immediate impact on your customer’s experience.

What about using email to communicate internally? How fast should employees respond to emails from each other? A study by Jeff Toister shows that 41.3% of respondents expect a response in one hour or less.

However, there is a big caveat to this data; expecting individual coworkers to respond within an hour is inherently unreasonable and unproductive. This is based on the principle that constantly checking your inbox is distracting and responding for the sake of responding creates mediocre responses that generate more emails. Additionally, meetings and calls can last longer than an hour. Expecting employees to check email during meetings is unreasonable.

Email response time management can be used to streamline communication internally. This can be done by ensuring a minimum number of hours should pass before a coworker responds to a request from a fellow coworker based on the company average. This can make internal email interactions more meaningful, thus improving productivity for the company as a whole.

Email Response Time Best Practice (2022 Updated)

Regardless of what industry you are in, there is always room for improvement when it comes to email response time. Reading this, you are in the right place to discover the most effective tactics for improving response times to customers, prospects and also within your own organisation.

Customer Service Software Implementation

If your company still manages hundreds (or even thousands) of customer service emails with a shared access mailbox, investing in and implementing customer service software is the simplest approach to optimize your customer service procedures.

Customer service software records every communication or interaction you’ve had with a customer during your business’s engagement with them. This means you can go back in time and figure out what their difficulties are, as well as the specifics of the things they’re interested in, and utilize that information to be more helpful in your response.

Furthermore, if you use the correct tools for the job, you’ll be far faster than if you tried to piece together all of this data from a shared inbox or another low-tech method.

timetoreply integrates with multiple CRM (customer relationship management) software including, Hubspot, Active Campaign, Constant Contact and Salesforce. Our integrations allow you to sync your contacts, push response time statistics back into the software and even have tasks created within your chosen platform when alerts are generated from timetoreply.

Take Advantage of Automated Email Replies

Sometimes all a customer wants to know is that their email was received and that assistance is on its way. Negative emotion emerges only when their issues, difficulties, or complaints are disregarded, and it has the ability to harm your long-term connection with the consumer.

Using email autoresponders is a wonderful technique to get around this. Autoresponders are employed by less than 10% of businesses, yet this basic technology may be used to inform customers that you have received their email and what to expect next. The ‘what to expect next’ is critical.

You can also take this opportunity to share and reaffirm your ‘email values’ such as:

  • Message/Value
  • Details
  • Thanking them for their message
  • Letting your customers know that you are taking their communication very seriously and giving it the attention that it deserves
  • Operating hours
  • By stating this, they understand that if they email late at night or on a weekend, it may take several hours (or even days) for their email to be read.
  • Managing expectations
  • Keeping your consumers informed about when they might expect a response goes a long way toward regulating their expectations. By preventing frequent follow-up inquiries, including a time frame relieves the pressure on your customer care personnel.

Links to FAQs and instruction manuals

Your clients will not always locate documentation such as FAQs or manuals on your website, no matter how simple you think it is to use. They may only provide a mild nudge in the right direction, and by using self-service.
This is a quick stop-gap measure that you can put in place before you compose a comprehensive response.

Utilize Real-Time Email Alerts

It is always the intention to respond to each and every customer service email, but occasionally one or two slip through the cracks. The example we’ve used throughout this article is when you are waiting for some information before you can react comprehensively, and the third party takes longer than you initially anticipated. In a case like this, it is easy to move on to another task and forget about the customer’s email. This does not take away from the fact that whatever the cause, your customer’s need to be attended to in a timely manner.

Set up time-based email notifications to minimize emails being lost in the system or response times taking far longer than they should. This can be done manually through timetoreply and can be integrated with a whole host of CRM software. Simply determine how fast you want to respond to your customers and set up an alert to go off before the deadline.

Make Use of Templates and Shortcuts

When you’ve been in business for a while, you become familiar with the types of queries that your customers frequently ask. Make sure your website and help documents reflect these types of queries using this information. It can also be used to properly prepare your customer care representatives.

Instead of forcing your team to come up with unique responses to the same queries over and over again , you can provide them with customer service email templates to make their job easier. It will not only help your team respond faster, but it will also help your team maintain consistency in their communication.

This means that every customer will receive the identical answer to their inquiry, with little or no variation, so reinforcing the brand and keeping all of your customers satisfied.

Of course, a template will not be able to manage every customer service request and this practice should be used with moderation.

Establish an Email Response Time Policy

If you’re in charge of a team, set a realistic internal and external email response time policy with clear expectations so that everyone is on the same page. Your employees will be able to execute as expected if you provide clear targets.

Signing up for timetoreply should be your first step if you’re ready to start measuring and tracking your average email response time (and the average response times of your staff).

Without a solid platform to assist you to measure your average response time, it’s nearly impossible to do so reliably, and we provide everything you need to get the job done. Use it to determine a beginning point for you and your team, and then track your progress as you make progress.

Key Takeaways – Email Response Time

Based on market research and customer expectation, it’s safe to say that businesses are losing out on huge amounts of revenue. It’s important in business not to leave anything on the table and by something as simple as implementing email response times, beating the average is easy.

Responding to emails (customer and prospect) quickly should be more than a company goal, it should be standard practice.. This is achievable by implementing customer relationship management software and integrating it with email response time management software, taking advantage of automated email replies, utilizing real-time alerts, making use of templates and shortcuts, and lastly but most importantly establishing an email response time policy.

timetoreply connects to your teams’ mailboxes (or the entire domain) to measure email response times and provide real-time reporting and actionable insights. Gain the clarity you need to make the best decisions for your customer-facing and sales teams.

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Follow these five steps and you'll get visibility into your teams' email performance, understand your current response times and email volumes, be able to set KPIs, identify areas for improvement, set alerts to ensure nothing slips through the cracks and more!

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Download the free Response Time Policy template and start putting a framework in place to improve your response time to customers.

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Shared mailboxes can be a nightmare. But follow these five ways to make managing collaborative email easier and more transparent and you can make sure that your shared inbox is transformed into a tool for your team's best work. 

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