Is your customer response time costing you leads?

You’ve put in valuable time and money to attract quality leads to your site. So what happens when those visitors reach you and are ready to engage? If sales-ready customers have a query, they want and expect an immediate response – and you could be wasting all that hard work if you fail to meet expectations. Here’s why a quick response time is vital if you’re serious about maximizing conversion rates…

The evidence: the slower your response, the lower the chances of conversion

A study by Oldroyd, McElheran and Elkington looking at 1.25 million sales leads in the U.S. showed that the time it takes to respond to an online lead has a massive impact on the probability of conversion. Here’s the key statistics:

  • Firms that attempted to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving a query were seven times as likely to qualify the lead as those that tried to make contact an hour later
  • The odds of contacting a lead if called within 5 minutes are 100 times higher versus 30 minutes
  • The odds of qualifying a lead if called within 5 minutes are 21 times higher versus 30 minutes

The expectations: an immediate response is now seen as part of the service

When they come to you with a query, customers have done their homework – and they don’t want to hang around. One survey suggests that consumers are typically as much as 60% into the sales process before they consider engaging with a sales rep. Another study looking at the B2B market suggests it takes as many as 10 ‘marketing touches’ from initial awareness up to reaching sales readiness.

The last thing a customer needs is to be caught up in a spiral of auto-response emails when all they want is a quick answer to a simple question. Imagine going into a store, asking the sales guy a question and being handed a leaflet. Is that the type of store where you’d do business? Customers are likely to have alternative sellers on their radar too – and here the race is most definitely on: a report from InsideSales shows that 30-50% of B2B sales go to the vendor who responds first.

Social media has also helped to define what’s normal in terms of response times. From the perspective of a buyer, posting a query via Twitter or Facebook is the easiest thing in the world – and the assumption is that it should be just as easy for you to respond. According to the Social Habit, of those respondents who have ever attempted to contact a company via social media for customer support, 42% expect a response within an hour and 32% expect a response within 30 minutes.

Speed, convenience and near-instant engagement: this is what consumers have come to expect from their online experience. Can your customer service process live up to this?

The problem: is your sales team stuck in 2005?

If your sales team still considers 24-hour turnaround as acceptable, you’re due an overhaul – and even “within the hour” is unlikely to cut it. Quite simply, if your CRM process is not up to scratch, you are likely to leak prospects. To keep up with customer expectations, you need the ability to identify and respond to leads the very instant they appear. The Oldroyd study pointed to a major reason for leads going cold: the fact that too many firms follow the practice of retrieving leads from their CRM database on a daily as opposed to a continuous basis.

The solution: an effective and reliable instant notification system

Your customers have re-defined what’s ‘normal’ in terms of response times – and Engage Master is setting the bar in terms of what you need to deal with this. You know better than anyone what constitutes a realistic prospect within your specific target market. Our solution lets you define specific criteria – and notifies you and/or your sales team the instant a visitor meeting those criteria reaches your site. With iOS and Android compatibility, you stay on top 24-7, wherever you are.

Want to find out how Engage Master can future-proof your customer response process? Contact our customer conversion experts today.

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