How long should it take you to respond to a customer query?

Customer service is undoubtedly burgeoning via social media channels.

It gives me a thrill to see the great levels of online help being provided on Twitter, Facebook and in other forums by banks, airlines, telecommunication companies and more. These organisations have lauded social media as an integral part of their customer service efforts. In fact, when social media is used to address customer queries, you have the chance to help hundreds or thousands of others at once, rather than the traditional one-on-one service offered by telephone and email.

When you use social media to serve customers and interact with the general public, one very important question arises: how long should it take for you to respond?

I was interested to see Kissmetrics develop an infographic capturing research on this very topic. You can see that infographic below:

++ Click Image to Enlarge ++
Why do Companies with Great Customer Service Succeed?
Source: Why do Companies with Great Customer Service Succeed?

With any organisation, customer service response times may differ. We also see some organisations outline their approach – eg, they will tell Twitter or Facebook audiences that they only respond between 9am and 5pm Monday to Fridays.

I know I’ve occasionally been disappointed to wait for several days to get a response from some brands online in particular when they’re larger brands with a dedicated social media team. Yet can we realistically expect a quick, 24/7 service? Is it asking too much?

We all have different expectations. What are yours?

2 thoughts on “How long should it take you to respond to a customer query?

  1. I personally strive to respond to all enquiries within 24 hours or receiving them and expect the same from other businesses. Although I do respond outside of the general 9-5 work day, I would never respond at 3am during one of my bouts of insomnia as I feel that this would give a bad impression.

  2. I’ll use different methods depending on the urgency and I expect the recipient to understand the level of urgency and respond accordingly. I should add the caveat that I’ll do almost anything to avoid having to complain to a live person on a phone.

    If I’m having trouble with an IT issue and I need it to be addressed quickly, like a client’s website has gone down, I’ll email and expect an answer within the hour. If I don’t get a timely response I’ll seek out their Twittter account and try them there. If they fail often enough I’ll take my business elsewhere and whine about them on every social media outlet at my disposal.

    If it’s something which is annoying but not urgent I’ll email and expect an answer within 24 hours.

    If it’s something that I just want everyone to know how annoyed I am, I’ll rant on Twitter and post on their Facebook page and then be embarrassed when they reply.

    I always try to respond to emails within an hour or two, even if it’s just to let them know I received their query and I’m working on a more detailed answer for them.

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