The Critical Role of Customer Support in Customer Retention and Customer Relationships


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Competing to win customers today means not only keeping up with major brands in your industry but also staying ahead of new emerging service providers.

New customers are hard to attain, so keeping the existing ones glued to the brand is a clever business tactics. Getting and keeping customers takes attention, perseverance, and hard work.

The Critical Role of Customer Support in Customer Retention

There are many brands who do not mind a customer making one-off purchases. But this is not an ideal scenario for the long term business prospects.

It takes a lot of man hours to turn a potential contact into a present customer. But it takes little reckless acts or even ignorance for the same customer to switch to another service provider. It’s critical that customer support teams focus on doing things right.

First Contact Resolution:

It’s a proven fact that customers are becoming more demanding and anxious. Repeat calls or contacts with the customer care turn their anxiety into hatred for the brand.

The role of support staff is important in this regard. They should be geared up to meet the customer problems and provide viable solutions at the first contact itself. If the solution is out of the employee’s knowledge level then it has to be escalated to the higher authorities.

Intelligent Call Queueing:

If your customer support employees get a huge volume of calls, all calls cannot be attended at the same time. This means some customers have to wait for their turns. Playing old clichéd call hold music is not the solution to make a place in the hearts of customers.

Rather tell them about the self-service options or have a provision to call them back when the agent is free. Such features have a positive effect on the mindset of customers. They feel cared for and their time is being valued.

Good First Impression:

First impression counts its worth in gold. When a customer calls, the first conversation your brand has with him/her dictates the future relationship. If the first contact is cordial and convincing then small errors later on in the customer-brand relationship cycle would be overlooked.

Customers Feedback:

There is nothing like being perfect. There is always scope for improvements. Who better to learn your flaws from then the customers themselves? Once rapport has been built, go ahead and ask the customer for a feedback about the brand.

If the customer is critical, you should learn to take that. If there are complains about certain facets, go ahead and improve them. When a customer takes his/her time to provide a feedback, the person seldom moves away.

Special Advantages:

Make the existing customers feel special. It does not have to be big offers. Just small rebates on their purchases will make them happy. Also keep them informed about the latest offers.

They should be the first persons to hear about any development or offer launched by the company. It helps in customer satisfaction.

Customer Loyalty in the Era of Social Media

The dynamics of marketing have changed with the influx of social media. While brands with good customer support love the open sharing of feelings in this channel, the doubtful brands dread it.

Building brand advocates has never been so important. Bad experiences go viral in no time at all and they wreck the image of your brand. Good experiences voiced by the brand advocates show the strength and reliability of your brand.

Positive customer experiences posted in social media, forums or blogs will be found by other prospects.

Metrics to Measure Brand Loyalty

Many brands take a wrong approach while measuring brand loyalty. Brand loyalty cannot be measured by how often a customer buys from the brands. It should be rather measured in terms of references and repeat purchases made by a customer.

Maybe some special incentives could be given to customers referring your brand regularly. If an existing customer is dormant for a long while, you might think of a special offer to force the customer into action. If the customer does not respond even to the offer, then he/she might have shifted brands.

Customer loyalty is perhaps the most important goal of customer support teams. It helps businesses get repeat sales, reference sales and good impression in the social media channels. It is the best way to grow your business.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Alicia Gray
Alicia Gray is an BPO and outsourcing industry analyst, and writes about technology. Currently working with one of the business process outsourcing (BPO) services provider. My role has been instrumental in assisting businesses to choose the right BPO Services.


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