Customers can be fickle (and expensive) creatures today. They demand value, plus a concierge-style buying experience, and guess what, they hold the cards. For one thing, finding a new customer can be up to 25 times more expensive than keeping an existing one. Also, the buying decision has become a critical balancing point between consumers and business owners, especially with looming economic uncertainty. With this in mind, here are six (6) recommendations for keeping your existing clients happy.
As a service company, our clients expect 24x7x365 availability in case of emergency service needs. This doesn't mean that we have agents manning the help desk 24 hours a day. It means that we offer an emergency option after hours so that an on-call technician can be reached and dispatched as needed. This includes phone, email, text, and website options, all of which provide immediate notification to the tech.
Make sure to:
- Make your website mobile-friendly
- Keep it updated
- Provide contact information that is easy to find
- Implement self-service tools like web chat to allow customers to resolve their own inquiries
Different from availability, being accessible is all about understanding the way your customer prefers to communicate and facilitating those channels.
- Set up call routing so customers quickly get to the right person the first time
- Quickly identify your customer by using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) integrations to your communications platform such as screen pops based on the customer's caller ID
- Ask and notate your customers' communications channel preferences and offer more ways to connect like SMS, email, web chat, and voice.
Reach out. Don't be a Secret Agent
Being proactive with your customers sends a clear message that you value the relationship and care about their needs. Many businesses feel they can't be proactive because it's too time-consuming. Consider using automation to make your outreach more efficient.
- Ensure your outbound messages are clear. This will help avoid customer confusion and lessen the backlog of queued calls
- Proactively point customers toward non-verbal forms of communication, where questions can be answered without ever picking up a phone
- Create an FAQ page that outlines the most common questions and the most likely answers
- Use automation to send surveys immediately after an interaction to get customer feedback
Don't leave them Hanging
Customers hate waiting on hold. Don't you? Most businesses think the only solution to managing heavy call volume is to hire more people. In today's world, it's difficult and costly to find talent. There are better ways to handle this.
- Add other communications channels like email or SMS texts to free up your frontline customer service reps to answer calls
- Let customers opt for a callback rather than wait on hold
- Use canned messages to expedite responses to common questions or requests
- Consider using some kind of Automated Call Distribution (ACD) system that, when implemented correctly. can enhance the CX and speed up the handling of caller inquiries.
Teamwork makes the Dream Work
Your frontline users need to know who's available at any time to help them with a customer and they need a way to collaborate with them. More than half of businesses who've consolidated their applications report an improved ability to keep up with customer expectations.
- Look for a single platform that supports employee collaboration (e.g., phone, chat, file-sharing, and video conferencing) and customer communications
- Ensure employees' presence status accurately reflects whether they're busy or available
- Look for technology that allows you to bring someone into the call (e.g. manager or supervisor)
- Integrate your CRM to quickly see who's calling automatically document calls, and view recent notes about the customer
- Incorporate file sharing to streamline collaboration
Analyze your Results
You can't manage what you don't measure. Make sure you track your employees' performance to keep the pulse of your customer experience.
- Be clear on the outcomes you want and make sure you can tie trackable metrics to them
- Give employees frequent feedback on their performance to keep them engaged and improving
- Sentiment Analysis is a real thing now. Use this AI tool to focus on conversations and keywords with the biggest impact
- Record all inbound and outbound calls for quality management, compliance, training and to resolve misunderstandings
- Monitor live interactions and coach employees when needed
Now is the right time to improve your customer communications. With up to 80% of customers willing to switch brands after a bad customer service experience, you have a tremendous opportunity to be the business those customers will turn to if you establish a reputation for outstanding customer experiences. Having the right tools to manage customer interactions will be the key to your success!