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Flip the Funnel: How to Use Existing Customers to Gain New Ones by Joseph Jaffe

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WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO RESPOND?

Real-time response implies reacting in the now. Still, it can be a little uncomfortable when this time is measured in seconds versus minutes. Why not take a deep breath and who knows? Perhaps someone from the community—maybe even one of your customers (see: crowdsourcing customer service)—will step in for you on your behalf. That’s always going to take first prize. For everyone else, you’re on the clock. Your problem isn’t associated with eavesdropping à la Big Brother, but rather being associated with pure and simple neglect.
If you’d like to read an article I penned for one of the industry trades on the idea of waiting for the community to respond (and rescue your honor), please visit www.flipthefunnelnow.com and click on “enhanced content”
One way to avoid being sucked into the black hole of indifference or ignorance is to integrate both maximum and minimum acceptable response times associated with dealing with real-time conversation. Stop-gap or interim acknowledgments with personalized messages to the effect of “I’m looking into getting this addressed for you as soon as possible”—and, if need be, periodic updates to reflect progress or updates—are quite effective at staying on customers’ radar screens and reminding them that they are priorities.
Find out what works for both you AND your customers, and then execute against it.
One of the most important reasons why proactive listening and response strategies are so important is so ...

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