Are you meeting your customers’ expectations with how quickly your business responds to your online enquiries?

My View Research White Paper

Online enquiries are an everyday part of running a business with an online presence and are a critical part of customer engagement. As part of a recent research study we undertook, we looked at two different areas. The first involved sending 300 website enquiries to two different industries to measure the speed, method, and quality of the response. The second involved interviewing our panel of researchers to find out the speed and method of how they would like their website enquiries to be handled.

How many businesses actually responded to our web enquiries?

In total, we sent 150 website enquiries to property developers and 150 to car dealerships. Out of the 300 sent, only 193 actually responded, that’s just under two thirds. It was found 36% of customers didn’t receive any response at all. These 107 customers could be viewed as lost sales.

The graphs shows the breakdown in results for each industry.



How quickly were the web enquiries responded to?

The findings clearly show the automotive industry has a higher response rate than property developers, but how do they compare when looking at the speed of responding to our web enquiries?

What this shows is not only does the automotive industry respond to more of their web enquiries, but they also have a quicker response time of an average of four hours.

Average Response times

Here’s what our panel of researchers told us when asked how they would like their website enquiries to be handled.

We interviewed 147 researchers from our panel and asked them how they would typically approach contacting a customer for the first time, how quickly they would expect their website enquiries to be responded to and if they did make an enquiry online, how would they like the business to respond back.

When making a new enquiry into a business, what would your preferred method be when contacting that business for the first time?

As you can see from the graph, the majority of the 147 researchers interviewed would make a first-time enquiry either via an online enquiry form or via email. This is followed by a telephone call into the business with only four percent saying they would visit the business if they had a premises or office.

If you sent your enquiry via an online enquiry form or an email as your first point of contact, how soon would you expect to get a response from the business?

The majority of researchers would be happy with receiving a response to their email or web enquiry within 24 hours, closely followed by two hours. With the automotive and property industries achieving a response rate of four and five hours respectively, they are currently exceeding their customers expectations. That’s if the customer receives a response at all.

If you sent your enquiry via an online enquiry form as your first point of contact, would you prefer the business to call you or email you back?

Many businesses believe that their first response back to a customer should be via phone, regardless of how they submitted their enquiry. Typically, customers like to be handled in the same way that their enquiry was sent. So, for example, if a customer makes a call into your business, the research shows the best contact method back is to call them, and if they enquire online or via email, email them back, unless your online enquiry form has the option to select which contact method they would like.

How can I measure how online enquiries into my business are being handled?

The most factual method of measuring how your online enquiries are being handled is to carry out mystery shopping. Instructing an agency to carry out a series of online enquiry mystery shops into your business will identify if your first-time enquiries are being responded to, how quickly they are and what method is being used. The mystery shops can also identify the accuracy and quality of the information that is being provided with the response.


How does online mystery shopping work?

All online mystery shopping assignments will include a detailed report analysis per location, as well as screen captures of all communication sent and received. Each report will be available to review within two to three business days of the mystery shop taking place. Having a regular online mystery shopping programme in place will allow you to measure how many enquiries are being responded to as well as measuring the speed, quality and accuracy of each response. You can also identify if the responses are creating a call to action or just simply providing the information requested.

This research study was carried out by My View Research, a full service market research agency specialising in customer, employee, brand, and market research.

With over 20 years’ experience in the market research industry, we have successfully learnt that everything attributed to a business plays a role in a customer’s experience, and we have adhered this to each of our business strategies. We pride ourselves on offering insight and expertise to some of the biggest brands in the world, providing research and analysis across a range of industry sectors.

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