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6 Ways You Can Use Service to Increase Sales and Lower Costs in Your Contact Centre

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What if your Contact Centre and Customer Service Departments generated marketing ideas and increased sales through plain old good service, while still reducing costs? Impossible you may say, but it’s not just read on!

With the correct approach, contact centres can lower inbound customer queries while increasing customer satisfaction. They can also provide a free source of valuable product innovation ideas and maximise customer loyalty by reducing common service issues.

1) Do I Really Provide a Great Service Experience For My Customers?

Most Contact Centres and Customer Service environments actively target First Call Resolution (FCR) metrics but in doing so they sometimes miss those issues that repeat themselves time and time again. By identifying and solving those issues before they happen, you can dramatically lower contact centre costs and increase customer satisfaction.

An FMCG Company that instigated a strong reporting, resolution and business action process on their customer queries and issues found out that 70% of queries belonged to only four categories.

By identifying the categories and then working through ways to decrease the number of occurrences, they were able to reduce their total query volumes by 22%, reducing costs and increasing FCR metrics.

2) Do I Listen and Act on My Customer’s Comments and Issues?

Customers are often in the best position to identify new services that you can provide.

Many times these ideas are not acted upon but research shows companies that utilise the ideas generated by their customers are more successful and profitable than those that don’t.

One company that listened to a customer, who suggested that they increase the amount of information on their monthly invoices, saw a 15% decrease in overall queries regarding those invoices and a 20% reduction in late payments.

Another customer suggested that a company provide a “futures” offer for a particular product. They probably don’t realise that their request has become the most profitable and successful offer for that Company.

3) Do I Care Enough About My Customer’s Issues?

How many times do we hear, “well it’s just the way it is”, or “we really can’t do that”, or “it’s a systems fault” when we transact with some businesses? In your business, is there anybody who actually owns and is responsible for customer issues?

A large Financial Services company that I helped to implement an issue and query ownership project is already seeing huge benefits.

The key to the project was to firstly assign “owners” to issues and then have them be responsible for not only fixing these issues but also the root causes.

All “owners” then collectively became the proactive drivers of change to improve the customer experience, increase service provision and reduce costs.

Most importantly, the company has seen a reduction in repeat occurrences of issues, an increased commitment to a best practice service culture, and an overall 12% reduction in total queries in just the first four months.

4) Is Contacting Us As Easy As It Should Be?

Having your contact details available on business collateral, web sites, etc and being easily accessible sounds obvious but it may not be enough. Recently a specialist company with a comprehensive online purchasing system saw a 3% reduction in inbound queries when it instigated a click through “I need help ordering” button on its site.

Customers could ask for help at the time of order processing and were supported by either a telephone call or a web shadowing service to help with their questions.

5) Do I Provide Proactive Services to My Customers to Reduce Wasted Contacts?

Remember the old saying: “it’s better to under promise and over achieve than to over promise and under achieve”?

An FMCG company under promised on delivery times by advising customers that it would take 5 – 7 working days for their goods to arrive, when they knew that 98% of deliveries would happen within a 2-3 day period. This simple change generated an increase in repeat business of 62% over a 6- month period.

I also worked with the company to create a stronger relationship with their logistics department. Then when delivery periods were pushed out, they could advise the customers at time of ordering. Again, this saw a reduction in total queries received by 10%.

6) Have I Implemented Enough Self- Service Resources for My Customers to Drive Costs Down and Empower Them?

A major Insurance company, who instigated a series of click through request buttons on their web site and IVR systems for customers to request extra copies of specific documents, saw a 1.0% reduction in telephony costs.

Another company, who empowered its customers to set their own payment plans (amounts and occurrences) for purchases, saw a 22% reduction in bad debit figures.

So, the next time you have a poor experience when you call a Company, take time out to make sure that your customers are not having similar experiences.

Any questions? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below!

I've created a Business Leaders’ Practical Guide to Implementing Net Promoter.  Download it Here

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