What is “Response Time”?
How quickly you respond to a customer inquiry to an intake form or request for information is commonly referred to as “response time” and has widely been acknowledged as a key contributor to a successful online sales or professional services intake process. The best intake support and CRM systems provide response time as a key performance indicator as part of a comprehensive management report. The response time KPI helps to identify both response times on individual inbound requests as well as response time averages for individual personnel or intake teams.
Why Is Response Time Such A Critical Success Factor?
In traditional selling or networking a commonly held perception is that, “you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression”. This sentiment holds true with an online inquiries as well. Speed plays an even more important role in the digital world, because the ease of submitting forms often means that an individual can submit multiple requests before they may even receive an initial response. With this knowledge, your intake or response strategy should be designed to develop and implement a process that makes your brand stand out as a clearly better and unique place to do business. When and how well you respond to the customer’s initial request for information is always the first and most important step in a successful online intake process.
Professional Services Succeed With A Focus On Response Times
Your intake process is simply an online version of a “meet and greet”, something sales professionals and networkers have been taught for many years. In the physical world, you know instantly what a professional greeting should look and feel like. Any great management leader would shudder and cringe if one of his or her people were to greet a walk-in visitor with nothing more than a “Can I help you?” Professional sales development training frequently recommends that we want to welcome the walk-in client as we would a valued guest. In the legal world, these clients are frequently filled with apprehension and anxiety, not knowing what to expect or what outcomes they may face. It becomes significantly more important to put them at ease by introducing ourselves, exchanging names, and starting to build some rapport. Not surprisingly, we need to do exactly the same thing with the online client! While our communication methods are going to be different, our objectives are essentially still the same. Developing a rock solid intake process with a focus on response times will only benefit your business and make you stand out among the competition.