“Respond within 10 minutes for best results.”
That is the helpful tip found on the bottom of every email notification real estate giant Zillow sends to agents.
It is no surprise that a quick response to a prospective client, regardless of the industry, results in improved close rates and overall customer satisfaction.
The early bird gets the worm, as they say.
Here are 3 quick tips to improve your response time to prospective customers
1. Use Marketing Automation
The use of automated marketing has up-ended the sales process in recent years. Tools like Marketo, HubSpot, SalesForce, and ActOn have made it fairly easy to create workflows and triggers to separate the signal from the noise.
Sales teams can now create the illusion of speedy customer service en masse with personalized auto-responders. Imagine more than just personalizing an email with the name or company of the prospect, but information tailored to their exact request (a landing page about your partner program, or a sales fact sheet, for example). Minutes later, an email “from you” arrives in their inbox addressing their specific questions.
For certain prospects, I like to know the moment they are accessing key pages or messages. For that, I use HubSpot’s Sidekick to be notified when that prospect revisits my website or opens an email. This gives me huge insight to gauge the prospect’s interest and availability.
2. Turn on Mobile Notifications
Since we all carry our smartphones with us everywhere, it makes sense to be notified of important activities as they happen through mobile notifications.
This is a slippery slope, so be warned!
Allowing too many apps to fire real-time notifications can easily cause disruption and interruption of your productivity. I use a few key apps to maintain connectivity to new and existing clients:
- HubSpot & Sidekick
- Twitter (But only for Mentions and Direct Messages)
- Gmail for personal and select email notifications (read below)
3. Create A Scalable System
As I’ve written about before, I am a huge proponent of defined boundaries between life and work. I am aggressive about keeping a separation between family time and work time, but there is still a way to only be notified when you need to be.
During the workday, I generally only check my email 3 times: in the morning, after lunch, and 30 minutes before I leave the office. This is strategic to enforce boundaries and now allow email to sidetrack my entire day.
But what about after hours or on weekends?
Rather than having all of my email notifications appear on my phone, I use a super-top secret email address that is only used to alert me to hot incoming leads or consultation requests. By using filters, I am notified when I need to be — and I am not bothered by less important emails.
If you are using any type of automated program, where you can use rules and filters, I encourage you to create a secret email address for this exact purpose. This keeps you from being tempted to check your regular email inbox at all hours of family and personal time.
Conclusion & Next Steps
How do you make responding to prospective customers a priority? I’d love to read what you’ve found effective. Leave a comment below!