It’s no secret that email plays a central role in the running of most modern customer service and sales teams. Customer service teams rely on email to receive and respond to customer queries, with success dependent on quick, accurate replies and personalised care. Sales teams need high levels of email productivity to nurture and close sales leads and convert them into happy, loyal customers. It’s unfortunate then that most business email platforms such as Gmail and Outlook offer little in the way of data insights to help teams track and measure their email productivity and identify areas for improvement.
That’s where email analytics tools such as timetoreply come into play. By using a specialised email analytics tool, companies will uncover vital insights into the inner workings of their sales and customer service teams that will drive improvements across a broad range of email-related metrics. Read on to find out more about email analytics and what it will do for your sales and customer service teams.
Email analytics refers to the practice of tracking and measuring various data points and statistics associated with a team or individual’s email activity. Popular data points to track when using email analytics tools for customer service or sales teams include overall email traffic, peak traffic by time of the day and day of the week, average email reply time, and which shared or individual mailboxes receive the most incoming and outgoing email traffic. High-performance companies use this data to improve the workings of their sales teams to drive more conversions, and for their customer service teams to improve customer satisfaction and retention.
Email analytics will unlock a broad range of benefits for companies. Customer service and sales teams can leverage the insights from their email analytics tool to:
One of the most immediate benefits of using an email analytics tool is the ability to benchmark, track and measure your team’s productivity and performance. Using an email analytics tool gives companies an accurate view of a broad range of productivity-related data points. Matching these data points to internal KPIs or customer SLAs ensures every team member works toward a common set of performance-related goals that can drive constant improvements in the company’s sales or customer service capabilities. Email analytics tool offering a measure of automation also allows teams to automatically track certain key metrics and notify managers or customer service and sales teams when they are approaching the threshold of one of their KPIs. This ensures everyone stays on track to maintain the highest levels of sales and customer service.
With the ability to track and measure a broad range of email-related data points, sales teams can boost their performance and close more deals, more quickly. Slow email responses to sales queries can significantly hamper an organisation’s ability to close deals. One study in the Harvard Business Review found that the average response time to a sales lead was 42 hours, while a separate study found that nearly half of all companies never even responded to the inbound lead. Consider that nearly eight in ten sales go to the company that responds first, and it’s clear that the most successful sales teams are the ones that respond quickly and accurately to inbound leads.
Remember a few years ago when analysts predicted that customer experience (CX) will overtake price and product as the most important consideration in the buying cycle? That time has arrived. Today, companies that wish to attract and retain customers have to consistently deliver great customer experiences. And yet, one study of more than 1000 companies found that nearly two-thirds never even responded to a customer service request. Using an email analytics tool can help customer service teams respond more quickly and with greater accuracy to incoming requests. Quick, accurate email responses can make customers happier and drive higher retention levels across your customer base.
As we’ve noted above, many customer service and sales teams take a long to respond to incoming emails and often fail outright to respond to emails at all. When you leave customer or sales emails unanswered, you create the impression that customers just aren’t all that important to you. Being unresponsive on email is a surefire way of harming your relationships with customers and undermining your sales team’s efforts at converting inbound leads. Email analytics tools such as timetoreply offer sales and customer service teams the ability to set custom SLAs and receive automatic notifications when an email is left unanswered for too long. This keeps the entire team responsive and up-to-date with important emails and minimises the risk of any important emails going amiss.
Email analytics tools can reveal insights into a broad range of email metrics. But how to know which email analytics metrics are important enough to track? No matter the type of business you run, these metrics and KPIs will help you improve your sales and customer service teams’ email productivity:
Tracking the total email traffic to a specific group or individual mailbox can help reveal trends in peak traffic times and help improve capacity planning by ensuring one agent doesn’t get overwhelmed with requests. Using the data over a longer term can also reveal important trends in the times, days, and times of the month when email volumes spike, allowing managers to bolster teams and ensure the smooth delivery of service to each customer.
Tracking your average reply time is a surefire way of boosting your customer service and sales success. As we’ve noted above, companies that respond first to sales queries win eight out of ten customers. Companies should also look at tracking the overall average reply time, which refers to how quickly teams respond to every inbound email (not just the first inbound email from a customer or sales query). By benchmarking the average reply time, companies can get a clear view of potential bottlenecks that hold back their sales or customer service success.
Not all customers have the exact same expectations of how quickly emails should be answered or how quickly incoming customer service requests should be resolved. If you have a specific service level agreement in place – for example, that all emails will be responded to within eight business hours – an email analytics tool can help you keep track of those SLAs. Teams using timetoreply can also make use of the built-in automation tools to receive a notification when an email is approaching a custom SLA threshold to ensure teams stay on track.
Time to close refers to the average time it takes to mark an email thread – whether from an interested sales prospect or help-seeking customer – as closed (or completed). Teams that can consistently resolve inbound queries quickly and accurately will find it easier to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction. Another important metric to track is the number of closed emails, which relates to the number of email threads that have been marked as closed. When using timetoreply, this ability to mark emails as closed can take the place of a more complicated ticketing system without sacrificing any of the benefits of a specialised ticketing system.
This is arguably one of the most important metrics to track, especially as your business grows and the volume of emails increases. Timetoreply will track the number of emails that have not been replied to or haven’t been marked as closed. This helps you keep track of important emails and ensures no inbound sales or customer service request is left unattended.
Any industry that handles large volumes of customer service or sales emails can benefit from the potential efficiency gains offered by email analytics. But the following four industries, in particular, could see the greatest value from using email analytics:
The success of many mid-market and large insurance companies depends on their ability to offer high levels of customer service. And yet, studies have shown that only about half of life insurance customers get the help they need. Using an email analytics tool can help insurance companies improve their email response times, remove customer service bottlenecks and improve the overall levels of customer satisfaction.
No business can survive for long if they regularly miss important emails or take too long to respond to inbound queries or sales leads. For professional services companies, a lack of responsiveness to customer emails can chase away customers and lead to lower retention. With a suitable email analytics solution in place, professional services companies can use data about their teams’ email productivity to deliver a consistent customer experience while never missing an important email again.
Corporate travel companies looking to deliver a superior customer experience and maintain high levels of customer service can benefit greatly from an email analytics tool. By gaining insights into the email productivity of their customer service and sales teams, corporate travel companies can remove bottlenecks and ensure every customer receives the best possible service. Why is that important? Happy customers tend to spend more and are more likely to recommend you to their friends and colleagues.
Logistics companies have taken centre stage in the global economy in light of the growth of online shopping and the ongoing disruption to the global supply chain. In fact, investment in logistics companies doubled in 2021 alone. Logistics companies that want to raise the bar on their customer service and deliver a great customer experience use email analytics tools to improve reply times and drive productivity gains across their sales and customer service teams.
Email analytics can reveal important insights into various email-related metrics that can be applied to improve the functioning of sales and customer service teams. Companies using email analytics software unlock access to vital data-driven insights as well as powerful automation tools that can boost the productivity and performance of customer-facing teams. Timetoreply’s easy integration with all leading business email platforms and quick deployment means companies can immediately gain clarity over their teams’ performance and identify bottlenecks holding back customer service and sales success. The top-performing companies across a broad range of industries use timetoreply to uncover insights into their teams’ email productivity, set and track custom SLAs, and drive improvements across a broad range of email-related metrics.
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