This is the last in a three-part posting that discusses ways call centres can help the business retain customers. In the first two posts, we discussed:
- Part I – Really listening to the customer, speaking the customer’s language and offering products/services/information that the customer wants
- Part II – Servicing your customer beyond expectations, acknowledging that the customer is not happy and save initiatives.
8. Acknowledging customer milestones or relevant occurrences
One of the most powerful tools for any organisation is the personalisation and acknowledgement of specific customer milestones or events that the customer has achieved.
Examples can be as basic as:-
- Mr Smith thanks for your custom over the last 2 years we really appreciate it… or
- Fay I’ve just noticed it’s your anniversary of dealing with us this month, thank you for being such a loyal customer… or
- Happy birthday Ben for Wednesday as our records show that it’s coming up….
Or as complex as:-
- Ms Dune as you have purchased over $1000 worth of goods from us in the last 2 months I would like to extend a….. or
- John I see that your last order was not dispatched on time, therefore I would like to extend a 5% discount to you on this purchase for the inconvenience caused…
Using customer data, insights, and acknowledging these to the customer gives the customer a great sense of belonging to your organisation and a strong sense that you care about their custom.
In these days of customers having many more choices of suppliers, competition increasing and price not necessarily being the only motivator, acknowledging the customers’ contribution to your organisation will keep them with you for longer periods of time.
As a side note a client was extremely excited about following these principals when we identified that it was a gap in their operations. However, they were very concerned as they didn’t have CRM systems or large data pools as an enabler to identify some of the key attributes of their customers milestones. Our advice was to start small and to immediately introduce data capture content in each call.
Their first initiative was to open the call (where applicable) by thanking their customers for their past custom (obviously they had purchased before).
Over a 12 month period of time (and with the adoption of further data fields and information being captured) the life time value of their customer rose from an average of 9 months to 15 months, and it still climbing upwards.
You can estimate the increase in customer value using a tool as simple as the return on retention estimator to understand the positive ramifications and value that this is bringing to the business!
9. Putting yourself in the customers position
One word empathy!
The Australian addition of the Oxford dictionary describes the meaning of the word empathy as “the ability to identify oneself mentally with a person or thing and so understand his/her feelings or its meaning”
Think for a moment of a time when you have called a company with an issue that was making you quite grumpy. Now how would it be if the person on the other end of the phone showed no interest in helping you with your issue or had no appreciation how the issue had affected you.
If you’re like me you wouldn’t be sticking around as a loyal customer.
In my dealings with many organisations there are often opportunities for the Contact Centre staff to be more empathetic towards the customer’s needs and in doing so reduce the likely hood of them moving away from the business.
Emotional Intelligence (EI) training is quite often forgotten as part of the overall mix of training modules, with many organisations concentrating on product, systems and other soft skills.
However empowering your people to be able to identify with a customer’s issues or concerns, and giving them the tools to be able to understand scenarios from the customers perspective is powerful stuff.
A customer that receives a genuine emphatic response from a business will have a stronger probability of staying with that business as they feel needed and respected.
By now you can probably appreciate my excitement about opportunities Contact centres can adopt to reduce customer attrition?
In saying so I hope that this article has given you a greater understanding of the initiatives that you can take to ensure that your customers remain loyal to you.
Don’t forget to include Contact Centre retention strategies in your overall business planning and in doing so make sure your strategies are relevant, measurable, and fun to be involved with.
You’ll be astounded at the results and I bet the rest of your organisation will be as well!