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“Hug Your Haters” Lesson 2: Be quick to respond, but obey the ‘Rule of Two’June 28th, 2016 by
As part of our “Hug Your Haters: Lessons Learned” series, today we’ll talk about how quickly customers expect you to respond. Spoiler alert: it’s not slow. This information is based on a talk by Jay Baer, noted expert in customer service who has taught prominent companies how to gain and keep customers by leveraging technology, social media, and customer service.
Miss the first installment? Read Lesson 1 here
Lesson 2: Be quick to respond, but obey the Rule of Two.
So now you’re committed to responding to every complaint you receive. Fantastic! You can probably set aside time once a month to sit down and follow up, right? Wrong!
As technology allows consumers to contact you more easily, expected response time shortens. Think about the last time you called up a company for help and got a recorded response or answering machine. How long did you wait before you searched online to see if they have online chat support or an email address to contact? And if that was absent, turning to Twitter to rant? Businesses take an average of 44 hours to reply to an email.
An offstage complainer might become an onstage complainer because of slow lag time or limited ability to reach you.
Moral of this story is, we have to be fast everywhere – on social media, email, phone calls, etc. 40% of people who complain on social media expect a reply within an hour. I personally expect a reply to an email or phone request within 24 hours.
This is obviously a challenge, but it’s a huge opportunity as well. Think about these complaint responses like one-to-one marketing opportunities, where a customer service interaction can actually turn into a chance to potentially up-sell a new product or service, or encourage a that customer to refer your business to friends.
“Be human. Be fast. Turn hate into help.”
Of course, there’s a catch: Obey the rule of “reply only twice.”
Don’t reply to a hater more than twice in a public forum. You’re either going to end up wasting time or you’ll get sucked into a vortex of hate that may make things worse. Beyond two exchanges, a complainer doesn’t want help, they just want to rant. If that happens, take it offline, do what you can to resolve the issue, and then move on.
Stay tuned for Lesson #3, coming next week!