In Top Gun, the 1986 classic, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell’s famous phrase effectively summed up the future of customer service (CS). While it wasn’t intended to evoke the relationship between business and consumer, over 30 years later, it speaks directly to the state of CS today.
Speed is arguably the most significant benchmark for every single customer service interaction today. Businesses can never be too fast to reply, react, or resolve an issue. As channel choices continue to stack up, and consumers navigate through them with swift precision, the expectation to be ‘ready and waiting’ at all times of the day is now the gold standard in customer service.
Despite this, recent reports reveal that the average time to handle a customer service request is 15 hours and 17 minutes – a far cry from first-class service expectations. But of the 12 industries that improved customer satisfaction in 2016, nine of them had something in common: They each sped up First Response Time (FRT). When issues are resolved in the initial five minutes of first contact, the average customer satisfaction score is 90 (on a 100-point scale). If resolved in six to 10 minutes, the satisfaction rating drops seven points to 83, and continues dropping steadily as additional time passes. Therefore, responding quickly will help to stave off declining satisfaction.