If your inbox is piling up with emails from leads and existing customers, you know how hard it can be to reply immediately to all of them.
It’s time-consuming, and it’s tricky to truly get on top of it.
Luckily, it’s a good problem to have. However, you need to solve it if you want your customer experience to be a lever for growth.
86% of buyers will pay more for a better brand experience, but only 1% of those believe that vendors meet their expectations.
Providing a fantastic customer experience is one of the most powerful ways to get more leads, build customer loyalty, and grow your brand.
Replying promptly to new emails is the best way to start.
In this article, I’m going to explain why you should care about improving your email response time, and show you proven strategies to improve your email reply time to provide an amazing customer experience.
Let’s jump right in.
There are many reasons why you should strive to reduce the time it takes to respond to emails from leads and existing customers.
In short, it’s going to help you grow your business.
Companies that reply within 5 minutes to emails are 7x as likely to qualify leads and bring them into their pipeline compared to those who respond after an hour.
If you can do that, you’ll be in an elite club. Most customers expect companies to ignore them for around a whole day before responding.
If you can respond quickly, you’ll have an instant competitive advantage.
Would you say no to having 7x more conversations with key decision-makers?
After reading that, you might be nodding your head, or sending a link to your team in Slack about the importance of responding quickly to email inquiries.
But that’s probably not going to be enough.
Habits are hard to build, and even if you and your team have a week where you’re highly focused on responding quickly to new leads, sooner or later, other tasks will get in the way and your email responsiveness will fall. I don’t blame you – it’s extremely common.
Luckily, there are ways you can guarantee that you respond to emails promptly, without feeling like each response is a big task in itself.
In the next section, I’m going to show you three proven strategies to improve your email response time.
Let’s take a look at the strategies.
If you’ve been in business for more than a few months, you’ll know your customers’ common pain points and questions.
To reduce your response time for questions like these, you need to create and store common replies.
Most popular CRMs will let you manage email response templates, so all you need to do is create them. There might be sections that need customizing for every response, but once you have a clear template of what needs to be sent, you’ll be able to send your answers to your customers’ burning questions faster than ever.
You can create templates for every sort of query, and once they’re created, they’ll live happily in your CRM and will be just a click or two away when you receive a new inquiry.
Chatbots like Intercom and Drift are a great way to improve your response time to customers.
Customer satisfaction ratings for live chat are consistently higher than with other support channels, because of the speed of them.
When a customer sends a message in a live chat system, they expect a near-instant follow up.
This can be difficult to manage – if you’re in the middle of another task, in a meeting, or grabbing a coffee, you’re not going to be able to respond instantly.
To solve this, you should think about automating things.
For example, based on the keywords that a lead or customer includes in their message, your chatbot can direct them to the help docs or page on your website.
As Peter Drucker said, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.“
If you’re serious about improving your email response time, then it’s time to start tracking your company performance and treat it like any other important metric that you regularly review.
You can use a tool like Time To Reply to measure how quickly you and your team are responding to emails from new leads and existing customers.
You’ll be able to see detailed reports of your email performance metrics and identify areas to improve.
With timetoreply, you can measure reply times across all of your company email accounts. You’ll be able to measure the response time for:
You’ll be able to set goals for your team, as well as see industry benchmarking statistics to see how you stack up against the competition.
Once you start measuring your response times, you can judge the impact of new customer service and sales initiatives with ease.
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