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Your Speed of Response Affects Your Bottom Line If you are struggling to gain an edge over your competitors, consider getting better at this one tactic.

By Jean Ginzburg

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Growing your business is about turning your leads into customers. With your competitors vying for the same customers, you want to make sure your leads choose you. But how do you ensure they say "yes" when they do business with you?

However, there's one tactic that will turn more leads into loyal customers.

It's simple: you must respond to them in an instant.

Respond to your leads instantly

Your customers are actively looking for your solution to their problems. You know they need it as soon as possible since they took the time to contact you about it, whether it be a call, email or web form. They don't want it tomorrow or sometime later. They want it right now.

To drive conversions, you need to get back to them as soon as you can. Shortening the time frame when following up with your prospects is critical. That's the key to a whopping conversion rate. This instant engagement when you deliver or already happen to have an answer to your prospect's needs is so powerful that Google called it micro-moments.

By Google's definition, micro-moments are "intent-rich moments when decisions are made and preferences shaped."

If you are not the first person who responds to a customer looking for your product or service, chances are the customer won't buy from you. Make sure you beat your competitors when it comes to the speed of your responses to sales queries. The person they get to talk to first will most likely be the person they buy from. Make sure you are that person.

Related: Customer Service Is Dead. It's Time to Focus on Building Real Relationships.

Outperform your competition

Other brands might offer exceptional products or services, but if they're not good at engagement or connecting with people through marketing, you have an opportunity to take advantage of that. Capitalize on their weakness, and make it your strength.

You've probably seen it in products or services you use. One brand is the talk of the town — whether deservedly or not — while other brands, who might have better products or services, hardly get any publicity. To see what the winning brand does, look at its marketing. In particular, pay attention to its response speeds.

In this age of customer service, clients expect quick answers to their questions and quick responses to their concerns. Your prompt response to a customer complaint can turn that complaint into a glowing testimonial.

Outsmart your competitors through good and personalized marketing strategies. Make the customers feel as if your product is made for just them. But don't stop there — make them feel like VIPs.

Related: 5 Trends That Will Reshape Customer Service Over the Next 5 Years

Get the best people to help you achieve your goals

To ensure your response speed stays consistent, you need the right people in the right roles.

Train those who respond to customers so they understand the importance of a fast response. These responders also need to maintain your brand's vibe when interacting with your leads or customers. Share your vision with them and coach them on ways to interact with your current and potential clients.

Ensure proper staffing so that all the queries you receive are responded to as fast as possible. Set up 24-hour customer service. For example, you might have a team in the US responding to leads during US business hours and a team in the Philippines responding to leads during the evening and night hours.

To aid your human customer service resources, employ technology. Having chatbots on your website will ensure you engage a customer in a conversation before they leave, giving a human being an opportunity to take over at an appropriate time.

Instant engagement can be the difference between your brand struggling and succeeding. If you want to stand out as a brand that goes out of its way to respond to its customers, employ speed. Study your competition to see what works, and then do it better and quicker. Ensure you have well-trained people who understand the importance of a fast response, and utilize technology to engage your leads and customers in a conversation the moment they land on your website.

Related: Customer Service Is the New Upsell

Jean Ginzburg

Technology Digital Marketer

Jean Ginzburg is the founder and CEO of Alpenglo Digital and the gifting platform, Gipht. She is a digital marketing expert helping companies scale revenue and optimize marketing processes.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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