Your customers may email your business for a variety of reasons: a question about your products or services, praise for your business, or even a complaint or problem they have experienced with your business. Regardless of why a customer sends your business an email, they expect a response, and they expect it fast (especially if it is a complaint).
As we have progressed into the digital age, consumer expectations of your business have changed dramatically. Customers are always connected with your company through the internet and digital connections. Even when your business is closed for the day, your website and social media channels are always open. Customers are able to interact with your business 24/7, so expectations for response times to a complaint or inquiry have become shorter and shorter.
How fast should your business reply to emails? The simple answer is this: as quickly as possible. You should craft a thoughtful response that addresses their reason for emailing as fast as you can. If a customer’s email requires time to research or look further into the issue, your business should at least acknowledge the email and let them know that they can expect a detailed response in X amount of time, and then deliver on that timeframe. Don’t promise a response in a few hours if it will take a full day to gather the research.
The longer answer to this is that, at worst, your business should reply to customer emails within 24 hours of the customer sending the email (within your posted business hours, at least). Your goal should be to respond as fast as you can, but within 24 hours is acceptable for most situations. Whether your business is large or small, make sure that there is someone in place to reliably check emails and respond. Further, if you have a contact form set up on your website, make sure that it is set up properly and the form responses are being received by your business. You don’t want to lose customers because the form on your website broke and you never saw those responses.
Customer expectations of businesses have changed with our progression deeper into the digital age, and it is up to you and your business to stay ahead and on top of expectations. With smart solutions for reputation management and email marketing, contact Smarter Searches to help you develop and implement a plan to stay on top of customer expectations for your online presence.