Digital marketing is an excellent way to grow your leads and build more interest in your brand. However, when it comes to converting leads, is your customer service team making a costly mistake? Research shows there is one thing every business could probably stand to improve upon- response time.

According to consumers, customer service agents failed to answer their questions a whopping 50% of the time. According to Harris Interactive, 75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent.

How Quickly Should You Respond?

Social Media: 60 Minutes Max

According to research, the average social media user reporting a bad experience expects a response within 60 minutes.

Email: No More than 6 Hours

41% of those surveyed expected a response within 6 hours to their email inquiry. Only 36% of retail businesses respond in that time frame according to Forrester Research, and what’s even more shocking is 14% of businesses don’t respond at all.

Other Online Leads: Within 5 Minutes

It seems incredibly daunting to make a 5 minute rule for your online leads, however, according to the Lead Management Study conducted by Dr. James Oldroyd, making contact with the lead within 5 minutes increases your chances of reaching the prospect by 100 times. 53% of consumers demand a response within one hour of reaching out to a company.

The Bottom Line

“The faster the better” is the rule when it comes to responding to online leads. With consumers having more and more ways to quickly and efficiently research and buy products, not responding fast enough can cost your business a lot of sales.

It’s also important to consider not only the consequence of losing a single sale opportunity, but according to HubSpot, 29% of study respondents said they would tell their family and friends if a brand didn’t respond to them fast enough, and 21% wouldn’t recommend the company to a friend.


In order to increase your online conversions, make sure you stress to your customer service team about following up quickly with leads. Also consider offering an online chat for instant responses to inquiries (as long as someone is able to manage the chat while it is running of course). For more information on converting online leads, contact us today!