5 signs your business is outgrowing Outlook or Gmail

Kelly  | 

Yes! Your business is finally picking up. You’re getting more orders, more customers, more emails. You’re doing your very best not to miss any opportunity out there - but you are. There always seems to be a customer whose email slipped through the cracks.

Sounds just like you? Then you might want to admit that a standard email solution no longer works for your growing business. Honestly, we think Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Outlook.com are great: they’re free, easy and familiar. But can you go on using them as a successful entrepreneur? If you’re showing any of the following 5 signs, you’re ready to move on.

Sign #1 | You’re sending several replies to a single question

A standard email inbox doesn’t allow one user to know what the other is doing. This typically results in various team members answering the same email simultaneously, each providing the customer with a slightly different answer. Or, even worse, no-one responds to an email because everyone assumes someone else is dealing with it already.

Confused customers are not happy customers. Similarly, disorganized companies generally aren’t successful in the long run. Your team should know exactly what’s going on.

Sign #2 | Your folder structure is failing fast

You thought you had it all figured out when you started hiring people. You explained the brilliant ideas behind the folder structure you meticulously devised. Everyone should drag their sent emails to this folder, and pending questions should be put in that folder right there. Easy as pie, right? Turns out assigning emails manually to specific folders is asking for trouble. Put an email in the wrong folder, and entire conversations - usually the ones you will need again - vanish. Before you know it, the overview is gone.

A poor folder structure leads to slow response times, unhappy customers and frustrated team members. You should know at a glance which customers are still waiting for an answer.

Sign #3 | You can’t sort out your priorities

Not all emails are created equal - and neither are all customers. Some questions are more urgent than others. If you have an on-going conversation with an angry customer, replying to him NOW is of the utmost importance, even with a 24-hour response policy. But if your staff answer emails chronologically, how can they detect that one customer already sent 6 emails on the same topic?

When priorities get lost, so do important relationships. Know what the status of each customer question is, so you know which question needs your immediate attention.

Sign #4 | You can’t find information when you need it

A simple inbox does not allow you to easily look through past correspondences with your customers and know the nature of your current (or potential) relationship with them. Maybe you promised a discount on the next purchase. Or perhaps this particular customer is already calling for the third time, and you must act now if you don’t want to lose him or her. If you don’t remember whether your customer has asked a question before, you can’t pretend you know who you’re talking to. It won’t be long before your customers forget all about you, too.

Customers feel they don’t matter if you keep forgetting who they are what you already talked about. You should be aware of the background and history of your customers - or else they’ll forget about you, too.

Sign #5 | You worry about growth (instead of enjoying it)

Sure, the constant stream of emails, phone calls, chat conversations and social media posts can make customer service a stressful task. But that’s not an excuse for your customers. They couldn’t care less about how many other customers are also waiting for a reply. All they want, after all, is an answer to their question. Don’t let the growth of your company diminish the quality of your customer service. If you’re constantly worrying about handling customer requests in time, it means something is wrong.

Your customers shouldn’t suffer because your business is growing. And neither should you. A successful business handles expansion gracefully.

Does all or some of this stuff sound familiar to you? That’s great news! It means you are ready for the next step in developing your business. The process of growth is a great opportunity to give your customer support a mighty boost. Outlook or Gmail just don’t cut it anymore. It’s time to move on to a designated customer care platform. Well done!

You might want to give Casengo a try. Users of this customer service application feel they were back in control almost overnight. Their customer service people now reply to their customers faster than ever. Just start a free trial!