What’s Your Response Time?

In the age of instant gratification, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re responding to potentialemarketing-automationcustomers in a timely manner. Internet users have come to expect speed—if you’re not responding quickly, they’re already moving on to the next possibility, which is usually one of your competitors.

How fast should you respond?

If you’re the type that sets aside a certain time or day to contact the accumulated leads who have filled out your online form, you’re way behind the curve. The best response windows are measured in minutes.

In fact, a study by Lead Response Management showed that the odds of contacting a lead decrease by over 10 times after the first hour, and the odds of calling to qualify a lead drop by more than 6 times. After 10 hours, the contact success falls to zero.

Even a one-hour response time may be too long. A 2008 study from InsideSales.com found that the chances of contacting a lead within 5 minutes of a web form inquiry are 100 times greater than within 30 minutes. For qualifying a lead, responding in the first 5 minutes boosts your odds 21 times over 30 minutes.

A response time of 5 minutes may sound extreme, but there are plenty of ways you can make it happen with your web forms.

Strategies for speeding response times

Would you like to grab qualified leads before they start looking for your competitors? Here are a few effective methods:

  • Hidden click-to-call. By using a click-to-call feature on your website, you can deliver an instant response time. This feature lets you turn clicks into calls by immediately connecting customers to a salesperson—when they enter a phone number, your phone and theirs will ring simultaneously.
  • Automated lead qualification calls. With this feature, you can set up a call that goes out automatically to everyone who submits a web form. This can be a preset call that verifies the lead’s phone number, asks qualifying questions using Interactive Voice Response (IVR), or plays a short informational message. You can also set up an automated call with a live sales rep.
  • Route calls wisely. While responding quickly gives you a huge advantage, it’s also important that you respond intelligently. Depending on the type of business and the products or services you offer, you can route response calls based on geography, percentages, or your sales agents’ schedules. Smart response routing ensures that the right person handles the call, and that your customers’ wait time is minimal.

Fast response times allow you to contact potential customers while their interest is piqued—at the very moment they fill out your web form to request more information. By responding quickly to online inquiries, you also illustrate your dedication to customer satisfaction.

Strive to be faster than your competitors, and catch leads while they’re hot!

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