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Nearly half of all consumers expect a customer service response within an hour

lithium impatient customersThere are companies with a team of dedicated customer service professionals whose job it is to monitor and instantly reply to all consumer queries.

Your company probably isn’t one of them. How can I make that assumption? Because I know that a large number of online companies are small businesses. Some a run by 1 person or a couple. Some are manned by an owner who also has another full-time job. These are the companies that can’t afford to lose even one customer, so attending to questions and complaints is even more important.

Trouble is, 66% of consumers in a recent Lithium survey said they expect a same-day response to their online request

  • 43% expect a response within an hour.
  • 14% expect a response in a lightning fast five minutes or less.


This is very bad for small businesses because 39% of Americans are more likely to go online and complain about a company than praise one. That’s crummy, but it’s a fact of business life.

What’s funny is, 61% of those surveyed disagreed with the idea that Americans are more likely to complain than praise. I suppose they’re right in that it’s not the majority, but it’s still a problem because younger consumers complain at a higher rate than older ones so where will that leave us in the future?

Big Love

The good news for online sellers and content producers is that 81% of American consumers research their large purchases online. That means you’ve got a chance to influence them to either buy your product or label your site as a trusted source. But don’t think this relationship is exclusive. Even if they love you, 2 out of 3 will consult at least one other source before making a decision.

9% of consumers under 34 are either very indecisive or very suspicious because they consult SIX or more sources before deciding to buy.

Now here’s a fact to throw in at your next board meeting, if they had to choose between giving up good sex or the internet, 48% of Americans said they’d give up sex.

Lithium give up internet

There’s a great joke in there somewhere, but I’ll leave it to your imagination. For now, just be glad that the internet is so indispensable and then use it to find a virtual assistant who can answer all of your customer service emails within 24 hours. You’ll make up the weekly paycheck in return sales and good word-of-mouth. I promise.