Fast Response Times Are Essential! Here’s Why

Posted by David Chism | Fri, Mar 6, 2020

 Fast Response Times Are Essential! Here’s Why

How quick­ly do you answer the phone when cus­tomers call you? Do you send them through a call tree first? When you get an email for a quote, do you reply back with­in min­utes, hours, or days? What about inquiries online, such as Face­book Mes­sen­ger or Google My Busi­ness? Do you have some­one who mon­i­tors these chan­nels to answer ques­tions and book appoint­ments with light­ning speed? 

More than ever before, fast response times make ALL the dif­fer­ence, set­ting your con­tract­ing team apart from com­peti­tors. This is espe­cial­ly true as your tar­get audi­ence begins to include the younger gen­er­a­tion — one that’s quick­er to send a text or direct mes­sage than to pick up the phone.

The 2020 ver­sion of the ear­ly bird gets the worm” could be: the faster response time gets the lead and sale. 

We’re Start­ing the Era of Mes­sages Marketing

Have you noticed how many chat” options are avail­able now for cus­tomer service?

Ama­zon is one of the best, offer­ing live chat around the clock with a REAL per­son. They get” it! Apple is fol­low­ing suit as well, mak­ing it super easy to con­nect, ask a ques­tion, or get tech support. 

Lead gen­er­a­tion plat­forms like Face­book, Google, and Yelp are putting a high­er pre­mi­um on speed­i­er respons­es, post­ing a company’s aver­age response time” for all the world to see. Today’s con­sumer sees this as a mark of your over­all cus­tomer ser­vice, and you’re reward­ed for tak­ing it seriously.

Why Is This Such a Big Deal?

Here’s the key. Ready?

Con­sumers are doing their research online more than talk­ing to friends, fam­i­ly, or neigh­bors when they need work done on their homes. They will read blogs, online reviews, check out your social pro­files, watch videos, etc. Then, when they feel com­fort­able, they might pick up the phone, text, fill out a form, or chat with your company. 

This lead ger­mi­na­tion peri­od could take min­utes, days, weeks, or months before a con­sumer will be ready to get an esti­mate — it’s hard to say, and depends on their spe­cif­ic sense of urgency and sit­u­a­tion. We’ve also been hear­ing that con­sumers are not nec­es­sar­i­ly get­ting 3 – 5 bids any­more. Many of them are wait­ing to find a com­pa­ny that is respon­sive, pro­fes­sion­al, and offers peace of mind, start to finish.

So, the long game? Keep your con­tent fresh, push those reviews, and keep a con­sis­tent, vis­i­ble pres­ence online.

The short game? Respond to inquiries FAST.

Get­ting Prac­ti­cal: What Should You Do?

The first step is to take this data seri­ous­ly. It’s not a trend that’s going to fiz­zle, espe­cial­ly as the younger gen­er­a­tion grows a bit old­er and will need your ser­vices. This is a new, grow­ing mar­ket, and it’s not going anywhere. 

That’s right: you’ll be pro­vid­ing ser­vices for mil­len­ni­als soon, if not already! 

The sec­ond step? Cre­ate more ways to con­nect direct­ly with cus­tomers: live chat, email inquiries, Face­book Mes­sen­ger, direct tex­ting, and Google My Busi­ness. This is how the major­i­ty of your cus­tomers will want to con­nect — most aren’t thumb­ing through the yel­low pages and call­ing you direct­ly anymore. 

Final­ly, staff those out­lets! Real­is­ti­cal­ly, the major­i­ty of our clients can’t have a team (or even one office per­son) ded­i­cat­ed to han­dling mes­sage and text con­ver­sa­tions. We get that. But, it IS impor­tant to have a sys­tem in place for DAI­LY checks and respons­es. And, if a client fills out an email form, let them know how quick­ly you’ll respond. Set­ting those expec­ta­tions is essential. 

If you can’t han­dle it all in-house, you may want to out­source it, like a call cen­ter for text and direct mes­sage leads.

Stay Tuned for More Conversations!

This is such an impor­tant top­ic — too much for one blog. We’ll be shar­ing more con­tent soon, includ­ing a tighter focus on major oppor­tu­ni­ties like Face­book Mes­sen­ger, SMS mes­sag­ing, and more.

Have a ques­tion in the mean­time? Let us know!

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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