You don't need us to tell you how important lead response times are. (But if you need a refresher, we've covered this topic in-depth in another post.)
We've said it before and we'll say it again: your customers expect instant responses to their questions and messages. Yes, instant.
That doesn't seem fair to local businesses like yours. How can small companies with small teams deliver an Amazon-level customer experience?
It might sound impossible, but rest assured it's anything but. Local businesses have something giant brands don't — the power of knowing their customers intimately.
Before, we've made the mistake of using that old cliche of knowing customers on a first-name basis. But how hard is it to add a [FIRST NAME] tag to an email greeting? Your customers expect to be greeted by their first name in digital marketing communications. So the term "first-name basis" has lost some (and perhaps all) of its relevance.
When it comes to acquiring new customers, lead response time is one of the most important metrics to measure. And if you're not already tracking it, now's a good time to start.
Lead response time a good example of a metric that crosses departments. Whether leads come from marketing, sales, or product, responding to leads quickly and effectively is a team effort. If you don't respond to leads quickly enough, they'll find a competitor who will. This is especially important for industries like home services, where emergencies happen all the time.
Let's dive into 3 simple ways to slash your lead response time and win more customers.
Measure your lead response time
How can you improve your lead response time if you're not sure how long it takes your CSRs to respond to leads on average?
There are a few easy ways to measure lead response times. We covered a few formulas in a separate post.
The first step is to actually track your lead response time. You might want to create a spreadsheet where you log the time of the lead's first contact and the time of each CSR's first response. This makes it easier to calculate total response time and averages automatically.
Of course, with so many marketing tools and channels out there, this process can get messy quickly. Before diving in, set aside some time to build a framework for tracking lead response times across all channels, including email, phone, website, and social media.
Once you've got your framework down, start tracking individual lead response times. From there, you can calculate average response time for each CSR and then your team as a whole.
Automate what you can
Customers expect instant responses. But it doesn't make sense for small, local businesses to employ a 24/7 customer service team.
So how can you deliver?
We know there's some stigma around automated replies. They don't sound "human" or authentic. Chatbots are bad at understanding requests. The list goes on.
But automation is a secret weapon for responding to and capturing leads automatically, without you having to lift a finger.
Web chat and forms are a good example of automated, automatic lead capture. You've probably set up integrations so that each lead's information is stored in your CRM as soon as they send a message or submit a form. (And if you haven't set up those integrations, that's a good example of something you can automate to save yourself time!)
So automation isn't something to be afraid of — chances are you already use it every day. Even better, many automated marketing tools offer unlimited customization options. Armed with that intimate knowledge of your target audience, your marketing team will still craft all the email copy and message scripts. Which means your customers will receive personalized, relevant messages automatically and instantly.
From there, your CSRs can connect with them one-on-one or refer them over to the sales or customer service team. Automation backed by your team takes some of the grunt work out of responding to leads.
Review your progress regularly
What's the use in collecting all that lead response time data if you're not going to review it regularly?
Set aside some time — maybe once a week, month, or quarter — to check in with your team and see how you're doing. If you're using a spreadsheet, you can easily export your data into a visual, like a chart or graph, to see your progress at a glance.
Again, a framework is helpful for making the review process as seamless as possible. Apart from the average response times, decide what you'll review. For example, consider asking your CSRs what challenges they ran into during the review period. From there, you can brainstorm ideas and create a plan for avoiding those challenges or better addressing them in the future.
Improving your lead response times: wrapping up
With so many channels to manage, measuring your lead response times might seem like an unnecessary addition to your neverending to-do list. But subpar response times could also jeopardize your chances of turning leads into paying customers.
You don't have to do it alone. Respond to leads automatically and track your progress with ZyraTalk's growth engine. Our robust suite of tools includes hybrid web chat, automated email marketing, review management, and so much more.
The best part? We take care of everything for you. Our growth suite comes built-in with industry-specific copy tailored to your industry and informed by thousands of conversations on our platform.
Slash your lead response times when you let Zyra join your team. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation demo!