We all lose customers at some point it’s a fact of life – your competitor may have a better offering or your service may have let you down. Customers are savvier, they have more information at their fingertips than ever before to make more informed decisions about what they are going to spend money on and why. That’s not to say we have to stand idly by and wave them goodbye, we need to understand why this is happening and identify what changes can be made to prevent it.
Outlined below are some of the main reasons you may be losing customers and some actions you should consider taking to help reduce customer churn.
1. You don’t know why your customers are calling
It is a widely held belief that 80% of interactions from customers are typically about a small number of things. If you don’t know why people are calling your organisation then how can you start trying to resolve their issues in the most efficient and effective manner? Call recording has been a simple means for identifying caller issues for nearly 30 years now and is widely used in the contact centre and customer service industry. Over that time it has become fairly cost effective and easy to implement with some solutions even offering monthly pay-as-you go options, enabling you to trial it on a small scale before a full roll-out. If you’re not already doing it, it’s got to be worth considering – after all if you don’t know the problem, how can you fix it?
2. You struggle to get the most out of your staff
An organisation is really only as good as the people it employs and it is important to understand what makes a high achiever successful. If you can pinpoint this you can use it as a blueprint for rolling out to other staff members. Using training and coaching modules alongside evaluation technology you can score and rate how your staff perform on the phone when either selling or handling customer issues. A series of questions or areas can be identified to measure call handling capability and staff members can be measured on their performance with coaching needs identified and training scheduled to rectify areas of poor performance.
3. You are losing customers to competitors with better offerings
Picture this – you provide car insurance or mobile phone contracts and have noticed an increase in customers leaving but you don’t really know why. You have little or no visibility as to what your competitors are offering but suspect a recent marketing promotion may have gone out targeting your customers with a better offer. For those organisations that already have call recording in place, adding on a speech analytics tool will allow you to mine through all customer call recordings looking for patterns and trends based on the parameters you set. Keywords incorporating your competitor’s names and searching for phrases like ‘I’m leaving’, ‘I want to end my contract’, ‘I got a better deal’ can not only help you understand what other offers are out there, but also enable you to proactively compete against them.
4. You have built your organisation around the needs of the business and not the customer
Let’s assume you do know why customers are calling, that’s a great start but be prepared for it to shine the spotlight on what’s broken in the business and needs fixing. Again using tools like speech analytics provides you with powerful information which you can use to drive change in the business and to prioritise it. For example you may uncover that your customer login page on the website is responsible for 20% of calls coming into the business, because it is simply not intuitive enough. It was built around how the organisation viewed it could work and not from the customer perspective. Making a few simple changes based on real feedback and information into the root cause of calls can make all the difference when it comes to contract renewal times for customers or whether they decide to abandon a purchase because you have made it too difficult.
5. Your customer service capabilities are letting you down
If a big part of your operation focuses on customer service one of the biggest challenges is making sure you have enough people working at any given time and with the right skills in place to deliver the service your customers have come to expect. If you can’t do the basics it is a sure-fire way of losing them. One of the most often overlooked elements of this is going back and learning from what has gone before. What happened the last time customers rang in after a bank holiday, what was the impact on customer calls coming into the business and were you correctly geared up for it? If you use workforce management technology a lot of these ‘What if’ scenarios can be automated for you as well as ensuring your customer service operation is properly staffed to meet the required service levels.
This is just a taster of some of the proactive measures other organisations are taking to reduce customer churn, if any of these scenario’s sound familiar, perhaps it’s time to review your customer retention strategy and how it can be better optimised.