July 20, 2015
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been running into this a bit lately and wonder if anyone has any thoughts or ideas to share. As entrepreneurs, we know that our customers are #1 and we want to get back to each and every one of them as quickly as possible. But as small businesses, we only have so much time in and amongst everything else we’re working on. So what is an appropriate customer service response time?
I’m not just talking about phone calls or emails. What about questions posted (either privately or on your public board) via social media channels you may be on? I, personally, am finding that people seem to expect immediate responses even if they posted at 1am your time.
So how do you, as a small business owner, manage this? Have you hired folks to help with customer service? Have you hired a social media person to monitor your social media channels and respond to questions? Or are you doing it all yourself? And in each of those cases, do you put parameters on when you answer customers (i.e., only between the hours of X and Y) or do you try to respond to everyone regardless of what day it is or time it is?
Again, I say all this with the knowledge that customers are our top concern (and gratitude for those customers who take a risk on us small businesses) but by the same token, how do you manage their expectations when they’re used to getting round-the-clock service from the Big Brands?