9 ways Contact Centres can help retain customers! (Part II)


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Guest post by Stewart White

This is the second in a three part posting that discusses ways call centres can help the business retain customers.  For more information on really listening to the customer, speaking the customer’s language and offering products/services/information that the customer wants, see the first post.

4. Servicing your customer beyond expectations

Do you currently exceed your customer’s service expectations?

Using Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) and providing good old fashioned customer service are powerful tools to help retain customers.

SLA’s can be measured against a number of key attributes in any Contact Centre, including, Speed of answer, Issue resolution times and service provision.

All of these areas are where customer’s expectations can readily be exceeded by not only the measurement of success but also the provision of best practice service.

Imagine calling a company, not having to wait in queue to be answered, being served by a CSR that engaged with you, understood your needs, provided great service, sold you products that were applicable to you, and generated solutions to problems;  and the list goes on.

Wouldn’t that be a great experience every time you transacted with an organisation!

Does this happen with every contact that’s made to your Contact Centre?

If not start putting plans and strategies in place that will ensure it does, and if you are unsure of how to do this or were to start, talk to us here at Genroe as we are 100% confident that we will be able to offer you solutions.

After all a happy customer is more likely to bring in free referral business, generate good word-of-mouth publicity and remain loyal for longer.

5. Acknowledging signs that the customer is not happy and might attrite

Customers are pretty transparent when they are talking to your CSR’s if they are not happy with your company’s services.

Usually the language and syntax they use is quite probing, questioning and abrupt.

Also, customers that have reoccurring issues or are still waiting on satisfactory resolutions are likely candidates to become non-customers.

Being able to identify and acknowledge when a customer is likely to be thinking about leaving your business is a powerful tool to be able to decrease customer attrition.

Are your CSR’s trained and supported to recognise these situations and respond accordingly?

I recently worked with a major financial institution where there was an opportunity to support their CSR’s in identifying these types of scenarios.

Our solution was to provide a suite of training tools for their CSR’s to be able to recognise the possible attrition of customers by the use of their language and syntax during their conversations as well as trigger occurrences that the customers may have been exposed to that would also prompt the loss of their business.

The training program for the CSR’s was twofold:

1)      Identify language and syntax scenarios that rang alarm bells from  possible  “leavers” and how to turn these situations around

2)      Providing workable and appropriate save solutions that could be offered to the customer to decrease occurrences of possible attrition (read on to the next point to  learn more about Save Initiatives)

The results from this program were very impressive with a reduction in customer attrition by 2.5% through the use of these tools.

6. Offering solutions to stop them leaving (Save initiatives)

Reducing customer attrition through the use of tools such as “Save initiatives” is an exciting subject that could have its own article dedicated to it.

However I will give you a quick overview of a couple of scenarios that have successfully aided businesses which I have supported.

Firstly there are two types of save initiatives: proactive and reactive.

Proactive initiatives are undertaken before a customer has left your business and are orchestrated as a reaction to subtle triggers that the customer is displaying that lead you believe he/she may be looking to move away from your business.  For example, a customer that has recently met the average lifetime value of your customer base could be considered in risk of leaving so you may wish to acknowledge that customer for their custom.

Reactive initiatives are driven as a direct result of the customer advising that they are leaving your business.  For example, it could be an offer of a discount if they retain their business with your company.

Save initiatives can be as complex or as simple as you want or need them to be, but the implementation of any save initiative within a business and particularly via its Contact Centre operations is a positive step in helping reduce customer attrition.

Best practice organisations have comprehensive Save initiatives with dedicated budgets and empower their CSR’s to be able to offer services/products/discounts as needed to retain customers.

Companies that are starting out on Save initiative  journey can start with simple things like sending a voucher to customers that are reaching the customer average live time value or have not transacted with them for an extended period of time.

7. Following up when you say you will

How often have you not been called back by a Company when they advised that they would do so?

Recently I had a very positive experience from a Company that I was thinking about parting ways with as a customer. I had called to clarify some information and asked for advice. The CSR was very helpful and offered to resolve my query once she had reviewed my customer file and would get back to me by a nominated time.  At this stage the company had no inkling of my desire not to remain loyal to them.

Ten minutes after finishing the call I received a return call from the original CSR advising that she would not be able to come back to me with an answer in the nominated time as she had to review archived files and gave me another target time that she would call me back by with a final answer.

She did so within the nominated time period and not only provided the answers and information I needed, but also offered other solutions to my problem.

I must admit that my faith in the Company was restored and I still remain a loyal customer.

Ensuring that you call customers back, and within nominated time periods will mean customers will be content with your service and will stay loyal.

Tune in next time for the last instalment in this post when we will discuss acknowledging customer milestones and putting yourself in the customer’s position.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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