In today’s fast-paced world of social media commentary and mobile live-streams, instantaneous communication is the norm, not the exception. For your business, that means customers and fellow employees alike will expect their questions or concerns are addressed promptly.
The question is, how do you ensure consistency of response times across your entire organization? Implementing a standard response time policy is the best way to avoid any confusion and keep your customers and employees happy.
What Is a Standard Response-Time Policy?
A standard response-time policy is just what it sounds like: A formal policy regarding the appropriate response time from employees to customers, supervisors or other employees. This approach can be added to your employee handbook, or simply distributed in a memo, so all members of your organization are aware of the policy.
Why Does My Organization Need Such a Policy?
The first benefit of a standard response-time policy is that customer inquiries or complaints will receive a response within a set amount of time, every time. If you respond to certain customer’s comments on social media instantaneously, but leave others sitting for weeks, other commenters will notice. Having a policy in place means there’s no favoritism or special treatment — every customer gets a response within one full business day, for instance.
These policies also help your organization’s employees. If a standard response-time policy isn’t in place, employees might feel they need to work around the clock and be available at all times, even during non-working hours. This can quickly lead to burnout. It’s also easy for employees to start thinking of fast-responders as cozying up to supervisors, or slow-responders as lazy. Having a standardized policy in place avoids these pitfalls.
What Should My Organization’s Policy Include?
A standard response-time policy will vary based on a particular organization’s communication framework, size, customer base and other factors, but here are some general points to cover:
- How soon should employees respond to customer complaints or inquiries through email or social media — within two hours? Within a business day? Within the week?
- How soon must employees respond to supervisors or other employees in the office?
- Expectations on responding to customers, supervisors or employees during non-work hours.
- Expectations on checking in while traveling for work purposes.
For help instituting a standard response-time policy at your company, give High Profile a call at 972-991-7900 or visit us online. Our staffing service is here to help with all your organization’s needs.