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Response time could be the difference!

January 29, 2013

In today’s society it seems as though everyone wants everything yesterday.  The use of smart phones that have access to email and texting lend a hand in that immediacy that everyone comes to expect.  Statistics show that a person will read and respond to their email in about 90 minutes, however they will read and respond to a text in about 90 seconds.

There are so many different types of personalities when it comes to getting info that we need.

  • Some people are content to find an email address and shoot off an email and wait for the person on the other end to respond.   Others feel that it is easier to handle a difficult situation via email and they are content to also do the same.
  • Other people will not want to wait, they will get a phone number and call, they wont leave a voice mail and will get frustrated to get your menu driven answering system.   They will not leave a message but call you another 5 times (not realizing that you have caller ID) until they get you on the phone to do business with.
  • Some people will call one phone, leave a voice mail, hang up and then call your cell phone and leave another voice mail – never imagining that you may just be away from both!
  • Some will opt out of your voice mail system to speak to a live operator only to be put back in voice mail where you came from, but thinking you wanted to talk to a live person so you pushed O for the operator.
  • Finally you have those people that will leave a message in the morning, and then follow up with a call in the afternoon because you haven’t called them back.
  • Need I even mention the person that dials all of the missed calls on their cell phone back even though the person did not leave a message, only to say to that missed caller – I saw that you called, what did you want?
  • What ever happened to the person that just left one message on one phone and then waited patiently for you to call them back within 24 hours?  Is that really that bad?  No, but we all want immediate, so people get impatient anymore waiting for the person that they called to respond.

What is the underlying theme here?   It is impatience and the fact that we all want everything now and don’t want to wait for it.   I am sure to some extent as you read through the list above, you may have thought to yourself – hmm,  that is something I would do.  How can we combat this need for people to get everything instantly?

Well, I can tell you that in sales, sometimes it is the person that gets back to that customer the quickest that will get the sale.  Learning to put your calls in a priority mode will help you take care of those ones that can lead to increased sales.  I know that most of the times, I could tell by the message that the caller left if it was something that I had to drop everything to take care of or if it could wait until I got back into the office before I called them back.  So distinguishing the difference in calls will help you not lose sales.  Can you even remember back 5 years ago when everyone didn’t have cell phones – wow, we must have too much time on our hands then!

I think that it is very helpful if you set some parameters in your voice mail that outlines what your time service will be so that people have some idea of service expectation.   That goes for you as an individual or a small business.

The moral of the story is that sometimes you just have to step back and wait your turn and then again, sometimes you have to jump through those hoops if you want to make the sale.  That is up for you to decide!

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