Do customers actually expect an immediate response?

How dare they? By what right should any customer demand immediate service? The nerve!

Alas, customer “rights” have nothing to do with it. Like it or not, businesses are on the hook to provide viable responses to customer queries within five minutes of them reaching out. If you can’t meet or beat that, you’ve got a problem on your hands.

Even having “loyal” repeat customers won’t save you. 53-63% of consumers say they’ll cut ties with any business if they can’t get through or experience long holds or slow responses. Apparently, brand loyalty has its limits! So forget about what the customer should or shouldn’t expect. Focus on what they DO expect—because your business’ reputation and survival depend on it!

Most business models rely on the principle of supply and demand. In markets where supply exceeds demand, customers find themselves with extra options for who to do business with. And don’t assume that businesses offering the “best” product or service always win.

Whoever gives customers the best and fastest service will likely gain a competitive edge—one which on a long enough timeline, could drive everyone else out of business. So what can you do? As the law of the jungle dictates, your business must do “whatever is necessary to survive or succeed.” With that in mind, let’s run through three rules to follow that’ll boost your response times and help you thrive

Never leave customers hanging after hours.

What happens when you close up shop for the day? Everyone goes home, you lock the doors…and your business’s calls and messages go unanswered until the next day, don’t they?

What if it’s a Friday? Please tell us you’re not making customers wait all weekend for a reply!

“Well, we have a website,” you say. But does it have an online chat feature, monitored 24/7 by a knowledgeable service representative? If not, then with no one answering calls or chats, your customers don’t have the means to get answers when your business isn’t open. You’re effectively leaving them hanging.

That’s a frustrating position for many customers…and it adds up to missed opportunities for your business because many people won’t wait. They’ll look elsewhere until they find a business that responds immediately.

Which brings us to our next point…

Invest in after-hours virtual customer service.

These days, you don’t need a full-time employee monitoring your phones or website’s chat feature day and night, because you can outsource those functions. In fact, we created Ruby to take care of that for you!

At Ruby, we offer flexible, affordable virtual receptionist services, empowering your business to provide stellar customer service experiences day or night, 365 days a year.

Do you really need full-time coverage? Yes! From 2020 to 2021, research shows that after-hours calls to businesses skyrocketed nearly 19%. Can you afford to miss out on nearly one-fifth of your potential business due to lack of coverage? With Ruby, you won’t have to!

With us on your team, you’ll never miss a single customer. Our highly-trained crew responds instantly to all incoming calls or chats, offering friendly service, answering questions, scheduling appointments, and even helping to capture and qualify leads, if requested.

Investing in our customizable, scalable packages is vastly more affordable than having full-time employees working night and weekend shifts. That’s why over 14,000 small businesses entrust us to represent them online and over the phone. In fact, many of our clients take advantage of our services even during their normal business hours, thus freeing them up to focus on their core tasks.

Reduce hold and wait times.

Reducing your hold or wait times can mean the difference between a positive or negative customer engagement. Further, it ensures zero customers are lost due to impatience. By using Ruby during your normal business hours, all of your incoming calls and chats will be responded to immediately.

How is that possible? Easy! At Ruby, we have hundreds of trained professionals ready to respond at all times!

No matter which Ruby team member picks up or replies to chats, they have instant access to your business’s information. Using our proprietary system—in combination with the details you provide—our virtual receptionists and live chat agents can engage your customers the same way as someone working at your office.

From answering frequently asked questions to taking messages, screening calls, scheduling appointments, giving directions, or relaying local weather conditions, Ruby does it all!

Have more burning customer service questions?

If you found the above actionable tips helpful, download our free eBook, X-pectation files: The truth about small business customers, to discover more!

Inside, we explore the hottest topics in customer service today, such as:

Is the phone call dead?

Is customer service letting people down?

Can one bad experience make you lose a customer forever?

Is customer service technology replacing humans?

…and much more!

Customer expectations are higher than ever…and Ruby’s here to help your business respond accordingly.

We make it easy for your callers and website visitors to get the level of service they demand, 24/7, 365 days a year. Reach out today to learn how to put Ruby’s teams and technology to work for you!