It’s important to regularly check (at your company or in your department) for lapsed customer service standards (best practices). This is something that, as customer experience and customer service consultant, I stress to my clients.
• How quickly are your phones answered? Three rings should be your standard. (Why? Studies done by the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company have determined that by that fourth ring customers will have grown worried that you'll never answer, or won’t really be on the ball if you do.) \
• How quickly do you answer emails? (a standard of “within 24 hours” is unacceptable in today’s world; these days, that’s like 36 years in internet time. Commit instead to answering all inquiries the same morning or the same afternoon.)
• How about webform queries that come in on your site? (You may be unpleasantly surprised if you test this one yourself; often “never” is the depressing answer to when these are ultimately replied to.)
These are just three standards related to timeliness, which is something that customers expect and demand from us today. Other standards relating to language, communication, service recovery, and more are also essential to keep a close eye on.
PS: Here’s an article with more about customer service standards: and their importance.
Author • Forbes Senior Contributor • Customer Service Consultant
President and CEO, Four Aces Inc.
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firstname.lastname@example.org • micahsolomon.com
Thank you for this! Couldn’t agree more. Well defined and well thought out standards are truly indispensable today.
Thanks, Tom! Do you have any that are particularly important in your work?
Defining and maintaining standards set are so important!
Like you said ‘a standard of “within 24 hours” is unacceptable in today’s world; these days, that’s like 36 years in internet time.’ ( agreed), also so much more crucial when dealing with messages on social media
Agreed! What standard do you aim for, Sonali?