Customer Experience News & Trends

Benchmark set: Do you respond fast enough to customers?

A handful of big companies have slashed wait times and impressed customers. Are you near the benchmark they’ve set?

The top five online companies leave customers waiting less than 21 seconds to talk to an agent, according to the STELLAService study. Agents at only left customers waiting on the phone for six seconds or fewer, the study found.

For email, agents at the top five online companies respond to customers in less than two hours. At the top of the list, agents got back to customers’ email requests in 48 minutes or less.

The worst companies made customers wait as long as eight minutes to talk to an agent. For email, some customers had to wait almost three days for a response.

On average, customers are on hold for one minute and 40 seconds before talking to an agent, and they wait an average 17 hours for an email response, researchers found.

So how can you get your response times to rank with the top winners? Try:

  • Man an email account. Rotate agents so at least one person is devoted to incoming email messages during operating hours.
  • Answer personally. Likewise, set schedules and rotate assignments so a person can answer incoming calls, then direct customers to an agent who can help. Sure, customers might wait for the agent, but a live voice when they call in will keep them happy longer than an automated response and subsequent wait.

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