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How CX Teams Can Meet Email Response Time Expectations Year-Round

Alice Wong
August 10, 2022
Learn what it takes for eCommerce businesses to meet customers' standards and optimize the customer support strategy to exceed expectations.

Campaign Monitor states that, according to experts, the average person sends and receives 121 business emails per day. That’s a lot of messages to juggle, and it’s no wonder that many of them go unanswered. But as any e-commerce business knows, responding promptly to emails is now a vital part of the customer experience. Customers, meanwhile, have email response time expectations.

So, how can e-commerce businesses meet the customer's standards? In this article, we'll walk through the following:

What Is the Expected Response Time to a Customer Email?

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An email response time customers would consider "fast enough" will depend on various factors. These could include the urgency of their concerns or your promised response time - which could be indicated on your support page for instance. It can also be influenced by your customers' experiences with other responses or your internal response time goals.

Here are some industry stats:

In short, a good rule of thumb is to reply to customers at least within 24 hours. If you can reply the same day as their response, even better. And if you could reply within 4 hours, that would be the crème de la crème. 

With US-Based Chatdesk CX Experts, you can reduce your response times starting at $99/month.

How to Meet Expected Email Response Times: Best Practices

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1. Set goals and keep your team on track.

Set a realistic, yet measurable, standard response time and make sure everyone on your team is aligned. Here are steps to take to get everyone on the same page:

2. Create response templates.

At minimum, you’ll need to create templates for your most common customer inquiries. Those usually include:

This will save your team members time in figuring out how to craft the message versus finding the solution. All those templates can be found here: 24 Free Customer Response Templates for CX Teams 

Download Now: Respond faster to your customers with 24 free, customizable templates.

3. Identify Bottlenecks

To be efficient with your time, it’s better to resolve issues affecting the team first versus individuals since that will have the most impact. 

Team-wide Issues

Here are a few examples to help identify what's troubling your support team:

Concerns Involving Individual Members

As for individual support team members, the biggest bottleneck is usually experience. Additional training or having an accessible knowledge base can solve this. Also have team members be able to shadow high-performing customer support agents so they can learn in real-time too.

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4. Show customer impact.

How to Measure Email Response Times

Before you can try the above tips for improving your email response times, however, you will need the ability to measure them. Typically, you have to record the time that passes between the moment a customer sends your support team an email and when a response is sent back. But with all the messages your staff will be handling, third-party tools will be required to see concrete metrics.

Here are a couple of solutions that can help:

The above tools are among Chatdesk's integrations, allowing our clients who use them to access email response time metrics which can be used for benchmarking.

Hire On-Demand CX Experts to Meet Email Response Time Expectations

We’re Chatdesk, the CX experts helping innovative companies supercharge sales through their social and support channels. Our US-based teams deliver perfectly on-brand responses that turn customer inquiries on social, email, and chat into 10% more conversions and higher customer satisfaction. 

Need some help? We’re at your service at Chatdesk.com. Schedule a free demo with us today.

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