Lead Response Time: Why it Matters and How You Can Improve it.

Posted by - Eleanor Webb-Dickin on the 28th October 2020

We’ve looked at before how getting the first engagement can be the difference between getting a lead and not getting the lead in the article ‘Why is Live Chat Popular Among Customers and Business Owners?‘. This is why in this article we wanted to look specifically at how your businesses lead response time can increase the amount of new business you do and how you can do it and how tools such as managed live chat can help.

Maybe you’ve been considering how you can improve your lead response time and haven’t found the actionable information you needed. We’re going to breakdown what a lead is by giving you an overview of the term and then looking at ways your business can improve its lead response time.

You can expect to get an understanding of why your businesses lead response time needs to be considered, the lead response time your business can aim towards, and how outsourcing this role can increase your lead response time while giving you more time to get more sales.

If by the end of this article you’re interested to see how Cymphony can get your business more leads through its premium outsourced communication services, you can contact an experienced member of the team to get a bespoke solution specifically for your business challenges.

What is a Lead?

We’re going to start by looking at exactly what we mean by ‘lead’, before discussing why the time it takes you to respond to them, also known as your lead response time, is so important.

As a business you are likely reliant on your revenue and where that comes from your customers. Just as it’s important to maintain strong relationships with your existing customers, it is also important to gain new customers so that your business can grow.

This is where leads come in. A lead is an opportunity to create a new customer.

For example, this could be somebody who notices one of your adverts and gets in touch to find out more. This creates an opportunity for you to persuade them to use your service. 

Here’s a simple equation to illustrate the point: More leads mean more customers, more customers mean more revenue and more revenue means more business growth.

There are many different kinds of leads and lots of ways in which you can create them, for example, by networking, advertising or cold calling. If you’re lucky they can also happen out of the blue, for example, if someone hears about your business through word of mouth and gets in touch.

However, as well as taking the time to create them, it is also extremely important to make the most of them once you have them. This is where lead response time comes in.

In this article, we’ve done the hard work for you and figured out the best way to make the most of your leads.

Your number one priority should always be minimising your lead response time (the time it takes you to respond to your leads) which is why we’ve detailed the below points for you to give you some starting ideas.

Infographic showing how leads produce customers

Why is Lead Response Time So Important?

Lead response time is the amount of time it takes your company to respond to an incoming lead, whether that’s via your live chat service, your telephone lines, or your email service. This is often referred to as ‘speed to lead’.

According to inside sales.com, up to 50% of sales go to the vendor who responds first. That’s a significant statistic and shows exactly why a fast response time is such an important priority for your customer service department.

How many times have you given up on a call you’ve been making because you’ve had to wait too long? How many times have you forgotten about an inquiry you’ve made via email because nobody got back to you? Putting yourself in the shoes of your customers is crucial to becoming a good business person.

A speedy response time is absolutely key to ensuring the success of your business. It allows you to look after existing customers, lock down potential new customers, and enhance the reputation of your company.

What is the Minimum Lead Response Time You should be Aiming for?

You should always aim to respond to your leads as quickly as possible, but there is evidence to support the concept of a maximum time allowance. 

A Harvard Business Review study concluded that you should aim to respond to leads within five minutes as it greatly increases your chances of converting them into new customers.

You might be slightly horrified by that statistic; wondering how on earth you would be able to achieve such a quick turnaround with your current staff numbers. However, there is a solution!

How Can You Improve Your Lead Response Time?

The growth of your business is no longer dependent on the number of employees you have. This is a relief for any business person to hear, as it’s well known that staffing is one of the biggest outgoings for any company.

Now, you can outsource your customer service easily and effectively to a company like Cymphony, who offers call handling, live chat, and virtual personal assistant services.

By outsourcing you can cut your costs in time and expenditure. If you want to get a deeper understanding of how outsourcing can help your business, you can check out the article ‘Everything You Need to Know about the Benefits of Outsourcing for Your Business‘ where we give you a breakdown of what you can expect your business to be able to achieve.

Lead response time is crucial

How Can Outsourcing Your Customer Service Help You to Improve Your Lead Response Time?

Outsourcing your Customer Service to a third party company has a number of benefits. We’ve broken a few of these down below. When looking at these bullet points, you might want to think about how you can implement these ideas into your business or picture your business already using it and the type of results it can drive for you.

  • Ensures that calls, live chat requests, and emails received by your business are dealt with immediately
  • Allows you to make the most of every potential lead thanks to the skills of trained professionals and the minimised response time
  • Relief from the stresses of having an overwhelming number of incoming queries and limited staff numbers
  • Yourself and your staff will have far more time to focus on other aspects of your business; nurturing it to grow to its full potential 
  • You will have more time to focus on maintaining great relationships with your existing customers

How Does Outsourcing Work?

Many people worry that outsourcing an aspect of their business to a third party company will result in a disconnect and the weakening of their business. However, as long as you choose the right company to outsource to, they will ensure a flawless integration.

Those who will be handling the enquiries made to your business will undergo training to ensure that they are knowledgable about how your business operates and the services that it offers. It will be impossible to tell them apart from the staff who have years of experience working for you.

The company you outsource to should also look after the technical side of things, leaving only simple tasks for you to complete. For example, if you contact Cymphony they could give an example of the easy-to-understand instructions they provide for their live chat clients. 

How Do Lead Responses Contribute to the Overall Success of Your Customer Service?

It is widely known that customer service is key to the success of any business. Your customer service department is the face of your company; bridging the gap between you and your customers, therefore, it is extremely important that it is functioning to the best of its abilities.

In fact, customer service is so important that 77% of customers would recommend a brand to a friend after having a single positive experience according to HubSpot.

So, if just one well-handled call could result in an organic lead, imagine the impact that outsourcing your calls, live chat, and email to a team of trained professionals could have on your business growth!

Minimising response time not only benefits potential new customers, but also helps you to maintain existing customer relationships.

Existing customers will also use your email, live chat and telephone services, and their experience of these will build on the foundations laid by your products.

You can enhance their faith in the company and increase the chances of them recommending you to others.

Fast response times lead to happy customers

Could Your Business Respond to Leads Faster?

Perhaps this article has opened your eyes to the importance of minimising the time it takes for enquires to be answered by your customer service team.

Not only does it contribute to the overall effectiveness of your customer service, which helps you to maintain existing customer relationships, but it also helps you to make the most of potential new leads. This, in turn, helps you to grow your business.

Maybe you think you could be doing a little better on this front, and you’re not alone as SuperOffice found that 90% of companies don’t respond to their enquires in under five minutes and 58% don’t respond at all!

Have no fear as, fortunately, outsourcing is an easy fix for this common problem. You can expect to start seeing results quickly, which will far outweigh the investment, and you’ll feel the relief of being able to focus on your favourite aspects of your business.

If you’re now thinking whether or not your business can benefit from using an outsourced communication service that Cymphony provides, please contact an experienced and regularly trained member of the team today. Your business will be looked at with a tailored approach to see how Cymphony’s services can help you reach your business goals.