The Importance of Rapid Lead Response

James Oldroyd is a professor of strategy at Brigham Young University. He specializes in how people share knowledge, how timing matters in the business cycle, and how entities interact in a global environment. After receiving a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, he taught for five years at SKK-GSB in Korea and three years at Ohio State University. In addition to his current role at BYU, advising the iHub initiative, and hosting his own podcast titled The Top Three Things, he recently appeared on the Digital Conversations podcast hosted by Billy Bateman. During that podcast, they discussed the importance of bot technology and how it can be improved to help businesses respond rapidly to potential clients.

Lead Response Study

When testing how long it takes before a potential lead becomes cold, Oldroyd found that responding within the first five minutes is 3,000 times better than any slower option. Early into his career, Oldroyd was contacted by Dave Elkington, the founder of insidesales.com, and asked to research the impact of response time on potential leads. The year-long study resulted in the above statistics and many other supporting figures. Rapid lead response is, without a doubt, one of the most important aspects of customer acquisition.

Impact of Bots

If rapid response is so important, how can a business ensure that they are quick to respond?  Bots allow almost immediate response to customers when they find something that might fit their needs. Even more impactful than phone and email communication, bots can give key information and prepare customers before they are transferred to individuals. They optimize and reduce the redundancy of marketing, and they promote a quality first interaction between customer and company. Bots are becoming invaluable to the business process, but they can always get better.

Unfortunately, little research has been done to show which aspects of bots have proved to be the most impactful. Several characteristics that will likely see improvement and added focus in the future are related to the overall customer experience and, more specifically, that first interaction. What the bots look like, how they grab the interest and attention of customers, and when they should initiate contact are all evolving aspects of the artificial customer servant. And perhaps one day, bots will evolve to work for the customers themselves, scouring and communicating with businesses to find the perfect product for their master.

International Focus

One added benefit of bots is that they can ease and improve some of the most challenging aspects of international business. Several chat bots now come with multilingual capabilities and can be programed to converse in dozens, if not hundreds, of different languages. Being able to interact with several cultures and countries becomes significantly easier when a bot can do most of the work. With such a growing global economy, bots may be key to success.