You can’t treat every client support request with the utmost urgency, every day, all the time. Sometimes you’ll be updating the books, other times placing orders, other times trying to find new clients. In any case, you can’t always drop what you’re doing to answer a support request. You have to triage.
More importantly, you have to help clients self-triage. A good support request system will allow clients to set the priority to their request, a feature which encourages clients to moderate their sense of urgency. Combined with your stated response times, it should not take too long to align their expectations with your offerings.
Consider a sample of response times:
- Critical (20 Minutes)
- Elevated (One Hour)
- Normal (Two Hours)
- Low (End-of-Day)
Be upfront about these response times early in your business with your clients. You may be inclined to be extra attentive at first, and you can be, but it’s important to keep to your policy. Remember that your boundaries exist to carve out space for you to manage the whole of your business and not just one client and their most current need.
Remember also to include in your advertised response times how quickly you can be on-site, should the need arise.