While trying to choose an “R” word for this post I considered reality, responsibility, relativity, respect and several others but decided on responsive as a particularly apropos topic in that I could talk about a lot of the other “R” words using responsive as the context. See what you think.
What do your clients or customers expect in terms of responsiveness? Do they expect you to respond instantly to their every need, whim or desire? It they do you might consider them the customer from hell if they provide you with little revenue but with lots of grief. On the other hand if you are making seven figures from them you might be willing to ask how high they’d like you to jump in satisfying their requests. So I guess in this respect responsiveness is relative.
When do your clients and customers expect you to respond to them? Responsive for one can be construed as extreme tardiness for another. If your service level agreement, for example, specifies 24/7 service and they find that no one is available at 2 AM on a Sunday morning when they are getting ready for a major announcement on Monday then they will probably consider you non-responsive. If, on the other hand, you’ve trained them to expect to wait days for a return phone call then calling them back the same day might be considered wonderfully responsive. So responsiveness can indeed by relative.
Another consideration when it comes to responsiveness is how you respond. Do you use a CRM or auto respond system or do you provide a personal response to requests via website or email? Do you have a “feature rich” (i.e. overly complex) menu driven telephone system where it is virtually – or even literally – impossible to get to a human being? Or do you have a person answering the phone? It may be “cheaper” to lay off the phone answering employees and use an automated system, but that really depends on the criteria you use to define “cheaper.” The bean counters probably aren’t including churn and attrition due to severe customer dissatisfaction in the calculation but it could be having a huge impact on the company’s revenues.
What do you consider to be responsive in your business? Do your customers agree with you? Do you know if they agree with you? If not, they may be feeling that you don’t really respect their needs and you won’t really know that unless you figure out that very few of them are remaining repeat customers. And that’s way too late in the life cycle of your business to find out because by then it’s likely that you will be at the end of it way too soon!
I’d love to read your responses to this post. Please do comment below or send me a message via the website contact form. I promise you that I will respond to you – promptly, courteously and in full. Thanks for reading.