Monica Ellis of West Unified Communications discusses the value of customer loyalty and how the contact centre can help to create loyal customers.
Loyalty is a two-way street. If you want your customers to be loyal to your brand, you have to show loyalty to them. Constantly churning customers is no way to build a business with longevity. Instead, invest in the customers you already have.
We’re not saying don’t look for new customers – of course, you have to. What we are saying is don’t overlook taking excellent care of the customers, or even the prospects, you already have.
Consider this: Industry research shows that it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. Five times!
It’s much more profitable, practical, and, frankly, satisfying to spend time figuring out how to keep your current customers loyal.
One of the easiest ways to do that is to meet them where they like to do business. And while this directly impact B2C businesses with obvious implications for the retail industry, these tips resonate throughout B2B and all types of businesses.
Finding Your Customers
If your customers like to surf your site on a tablet, then make sure your site is responsive and your customer service is tailored to how a customer interacts with the device.
Most likely, a customer would want to do instant messaging or chat from the iPad and, in some cases, video conferencing. They are less likely to want to dial a contact center from the tablet.
Tailoring your approach to the ways customers prefer to interact also extends to the service and support side. Make sure your call center agents and support team are able to meet customers on the modes of communication they prefer – whether it’s a voice call, email, web chat, social etc.
All modes of communication should be streamlined and presented to your staff in a single view so customers don’t have to give basic information you already have in your system or repeat themselves over and over when they speak to different agent. A cloud contact center solution can meet these customer expectations.
Another rule of thumb: the more mobile the access point, the faster the customer expects you to respond. A customer on a tablet will expect a chat agent to be immediately available or, at the very least, automatically reply with availability windows. A customer accessing your site from a phone will likely want to speak with a contact center agent live – and with the push of a button.
It’s important that you know these details about your customers. You can easily learn all you need to know through analytics and/or surveys. The more granular you get – a certain percentage come through via an Apple iPad, for instance – the better you can program all of your customer service channels to be at the ready.
You also have to dedicate resources to customer interactions. Now, you can automate a lot of the initial activity, the attempts at First Call Resolution (FCR), but you should be staffed up to handle more resource-intensive calls or situations (think product recall or out-of-stock complaints).
Rewarding Your Customers
Once you’ve nailed the reactive side of customer service, you can focus on securing greater loyalty, which comes from the proactive measures you take.
For instance, sending out customer rewards, offering your customers the opportunity to gift a reward to their friends, and providing exclusive discounts keeps them close to your brand.
Also, you can connect your users to one another via social media so they can have discussions about your brand and products or services.
Creating a brand advocacy or ambassador program lets you inexpensively acquire more customers while strengthening your existing bond with trusted customers.
Using analytics, you can identify customers that could be – or already are – influencers for your brand and offer them incentives to amplify your message.
The more you can do to bring customers into the fold and reward them for bringing others with them, the less you’ll have to spend that five times to seek out new leads.