The purpose of a business is to create a customer who creates customers. However, customer acquisition requires businesses to invest more resources than customer retentions. No business can implement a customer retention strategy successfully without focusing on the biggest reason as to why consumers switch brands and end business relationships – poor customer service.
According to CustomerThermometer.com, “47% of consumers have made the choice to switch to a different brand due to bad customer service within the last year. After a bad experience, 39% of customers will avoid a company for two years. 91% of customers who are unhappy with a brand will just leave without complaining.”
No business can prevent customers from abandoning transactions, switching brands, and ending business relationships without delivering superior customer service consistently. In the age of omnichannel customer communication, a business needs to deliver excellent service through both conventional and digital communication channels. The decision-makers also need to implement a strategy that covers various ways to deliver excellent customer service.
1. Facilitate Multi-Channel Service
The contemporary customers these days communicate with a business through multiple communication channels. Few might prefer calling a business and talking to a real human, while others opt for digital communication channels like emails, websites and social media. A business can easily boost customer experience by delivering service through multiple communication channels. Customers must be given the flexibility of accessing the services using their preferred communication channels.
2. Equip Your Customers
A business can easily boost customer service experience by allowing consumers to collect information, perform routine tasks, and resolve product/service issues. The cloud-hosted IVR solutions help businesses to enable customer self-service without increasing infrastructural cost. IVR system allows callers to accomplish a specific task in two distinct ways – using self-service options and talk to an agent/employee.
3. Increase First Contact Resolution
Each customer wants to resolve issues or accomplish tasks quickly. Hence, a business cannot improve customer loyalty without accelerating customer service delivery. Also, it needs to ensure that a customer’s needs, questions or problems are resolved on the first contact. The IVR systems help businesses to increase first contact resolution by supporting skill-based call transfers. The managers can use the feature to transfer every incoming call to the most appropriate department, agent or extension.
4. Build a User-Friendly Portal
According to a report released by Microsoft, 90% of consumers expect a business or brand to provide an online portal for self-service. Also, 79% of millenials have a more favorable view of brands that provide mobile-responsive customer service portal. Hence, a business can easily promote brand loyalty by allowing customers to access relevant information and resolve various issues on their own by accessing a customer service portal. The portal will help businesses to meet customer expectations along with boosting website traffic and reducing cost.
5. Boost Social Media Responsiveness
The aforementioned report suggests that over 50% of consumers have a favorable view of the brands or businesses that respond to questions and complaints on social media. The millenials further consider social media as an effective channel for customer service. Most businesses these days use popular social networks as customer service channels. However, the business must remember that the customers expect brands or businesses to respond within 24 hours. The new-age strategies must focus on optimizing social media response time to 24 hours.
6. Send Customer Service Notifications Proactively
Most customers these days expect businesses and brands to send customer service notifications proactively. A business can send these notifications to customers in various forms – emails, text messages and voice messages. The bulk SMS services help businesses to send customer service notifications proactively and automatically. A business can also use the right voice broadcasting solution to send these notifications in the form of personalized voice messages automatically.
7. Never Argue with Customers
A business must prepare the customer-facing employees to deal with argumentative customers efficiently. It needs to make the employees realize then arguments will impact the customer relationship and lead to revenue loss. Instead of defending or arguing, the employees must focus on meeting customer needs and resolving customer service issues. A business can even prepare employees to deal with angry, frustrated, and argumentative customers by providing relevant training.
8. Emphasize on Employee Training
No business can deliver excellent customer service without improving performance and efficiency of the agents and customer-facing employees. In addition to reskilling and upskilling the employees, a business must focus on their interaction with customers and their approach of assisting customers in the most helping way. A business also needs to organize training programs regularly to make the employees understand customer service and help them think on their feet.
9. Assess Customer Service Quality
A business must remember that customer service quality improvement is an ongoing process. It cannot deliver excellent service without measuring its quality. A business must assess the quality of the service using widely used metrics like customer satisfaction score (CSAT), customer effort score (CES), customer churn rate, first response time, first call resolution rate and average ticket handling time. These metrics will help decision makers to monitor and improve customer service quality consistently.
10. Collect and Leverage Customer Feedback
In addition to using the relevant customer service metrics, the businesses must collect and use customer feedback regularly. The sophisticated IVR solutions help businesses to collect transactional customer feedback by conducting post-call surveys. A business can organize post-call IVR surveys to collect customer feedback automatically by asking a variety of questions. However, it is also important for the business to review and analyze the customer feedback to decide how to boost customer service quality.
No business can prevent customers from switching brands and ending business relationship without delivering excellent customer service although the businesses must remember that trends in customer service and customer are dynamic. The decision makers must keep the service strategy flexible enough to meet customer expectations by adopting emerging trends and new best practices without any hassle and delay.