Forrester has just published a new report, “The Economic Necessity Of Customer Service”, written by one of our frequent contributors Natalie Petouhoff and some of her colleagues.
It won’t come as any surprise that the report concludes that even in a down economy, customer service is important.
In this economic climate, no one can afford to lose a customer. Rather than halting spending, smart customer service executives will use this economic downturn as an opportunity to regroup and reprioritize. What should they focus on? Top customer service recession-busting strategies that cut costs and generate more revenue include: proactive chat, agent-customer co-browsing, online customer communities, unified communications, and multichannel knowledge management.
But this report backs up this claim with research that shows that good customer service experiences boost repurchase probability and long-term loyalty. See chart below.
Consumers With Good Experiences Consider Purchasing More (Source: Forrester)
Forrester also found a correlation, although not as strong, between good customer experiences and not switching to another provider.
Granted, every business needs to run efficiently, now more than ever. But this study should give executives pause to consider what could happen if cuts in customer service staff damage the experience.
The good news is that there are practical and in many cases fairly low cost ways to leverage technology to keep customers happy while running an efficient contact center. The report recommends:
- Be proactive about chat.
- Empower sales agents with co-browse tools.
- Explore unified communication.
- Invest in online social networking communities.
- Make self-service work in all channels.
You can get more details behind each of these recommendations in a free copy of the full report at Forrester (registration required).