This One Simple Tip Helps Keep Customers Coming Back For More

 

Customer retention is cited as a major pain point for many businesses. Nonetheless, it’s an important aspect to running a successful business and gaining optimal contact center services ROI. After all, numerous studies have shown that it’s more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to maintain an existing one. In addition, repeat customers often spend more over their lifetime.

In fact, the average repeat customer spent 67 percent more in months 31-36 of his or her shopping relationship than in months zero to-six, according to research from Bain and Co. What’s more, repeat customers spent 23 percent more in months 31-36 than in months zero-to-six.

If you’re struggling to improve your customer retention levels, there’s no need to fret because there’s one simple tip that you can implement to keep customers coming back for more. And that simple tip is to ensure that your Communicators end every conversation having gained a new friend.

That is, Communicators ought to perceive their customers as friends, in order to exude more empathy, authenticity and lightheartedness over the phone. In doing so, customers may soften their outlook toward customer care representatives and thereby enjoy a more personalized, friendlier experience.

So what are some things Communicators can do to make their interactions with customers friendlier? Below are some easy tips and tricks:

  • Make it personal: Customers don’t want to be treated like just another consumer; rather, they want a unique and personalized experience. Leverage the data you have about your customers to make every interaction more personal.
  • Listen intently: Part of being a good friend is really listening; the same goes with providing good customer care. Be sure that your Communicators are intently listening to customers’ questions.

While it’s true that Communicators must go through extensive training and continue to receive professional development throughout their careers, treating customers as they would a dear friend can help them improve their interactions with customers right away.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.

 

Three Primary Characteristics of Successful Customer Care Leaders

There is no denying that as a customer care leader you have a lot on your plate. At any given time, you could be juggling dozens of tasks. Not only are you responsible for mentoring and managing employees, but you’re also tasked with implementing effective strategies—all of which is extremely difficult, but not impossible.

Every successful customer care leader has a set of specific characteristics that make them, well, successful. Identifying those characteristics, however, can be difficult at times. Recently, Customer Think released an ebook, titled “10 Big Ideas For Customer-Centric Success,” in which the company revealed the three primary characteristics of success customer care leaders.

The main characteristics mentioned within the eBook are listening, empowering, and delighting. But how can one person possibly listen, empower, and delight both customer care employees and customers all at once? Again, it might be difficult, but it’s not impossible.

Fostering a positive internal culture, trusting your employees, and providing comprehensive training to employees are all ways customer care leaders can ensure they are doing the most for their employees and customers. After all, what happens internally will undoubtedly be reflected externally. For example, if your agents are unhappy with how they are being treated they will more than likely take it out in one way or another on customers, undermining your company’s quality of customer care.

Being positive, engaging, and listening to the needs of your employees and customers will help you develop a more well-rounded customer care strategy that engenders loyalty inside and outside of your company. If you’re looking to improve your leadership skills, try to embody the characteristics mentioned above. You’ll notice that when you master one, the others will come more naturally.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.

Maybe they’re born with it…Maybe It’s Excellent Professional Development

No two Communicators are the same. Some Communicators were simply born with social intuitiveness and an aptitude for customer care, while others need a bit more TLC to reveal their inner greatness. Don’t give up on a Communicator just because he or she has had a few hiccups along the way. After all, you want to make sure you give all of your employees a fair shot success. That being said, you must provide continuous professional development to ensure that all Communicators within your organization are achieving performance standards. Below are just a few of the qualities and skills you want to instill in your Communicators:

  • Positivity: It’s often difficult to stay positive with a challenging customer on the other end of the line.  Coaching your Communicators to use positive communication techniques will help them take control of a negative conversation and achieve timely resolution for the customer.
  • Attentiveness: To provide great service, Communicators must have the ability to really listen. Listening doesn’t just mean paying attention to what the individual is saying, but it also means reading in between the lines. For example, when a consumer says that he or she is having trouble finding a particular feature within your businesses product, what he or she is really saying is “please improve your user interface.”
  • Product knowledge: One of the most important skills Communicators need to have is product knowledge.  After all, how can Communicators help customers resolve their problems if they don’t know the product like the back of their hand?

By providing dedicated training for Communicators, you’ll be able to coach and develop skills in individual employees, which ultimately helps the entire team achieve its potential.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.

How to Prevent Your Communicators From Choking Under Pressure

When there is a lot at stake, many professionals, including athletes, singers, and politicians, may face the fear of choking under pressure. Whether it’s your Olympic career, your record deal or your candidacy on the line, it becomes difficult to perform at your highest potential when the stress is insurmountable.

In the same vein, Communicators in the contact center space regularly face this challenge, as they are continuously put in high stress situations. After all, often times consumers dial into your customer care hotline because they are experiencing an issue with a product or service and need quick answers to their questions. And because each customer care interaction is unique due to the caller’s dilemma, personality and urgency, Communicators must be prepared to respond in a calm, professional manner despite the current circumstances.

What’s more, when a Communicator is already feeling the pressure rising during a particularly difficult situation, holding his or her focus can become even more challenging when outside distractions are added to the mix. For instance, many contact centers employ advanced software that helps Communicators understand information about their caller’s transactional history, personal information and demographics. However, handling a complicated phone call and absorbing the information that’s being constantly updated on the computer screen can result in an overwhelming moment.

Contact center supervisors must ensure they are doing all that they can train their employees on how to deal with stressful situations on-the-fly. After all, the interaction is happening in real-time so the ability to think on your feet is paramount to a Communicators success.

Here are a few tips to help Communicators develop quicker reflexes and stronger in-the-moment problem solving skills:

  • Role play: Pair experienced Communicators or supervisors with colleagues who are struggling and conduct mock customer care interactions. Practice dealing with unusual situations, unpleasant callers as well as handling multiple tasks at once with the goal of remaining calm and present.
  • Provide stress management: Coach your Communicators how to manage anxiety when they are overwhelmed. Oftentimes, the best remedies for stress come from outside improvements—like attitude or health and wellness. Additionally, provide continuous support and guidance on how keep calm during an overwhelming situation. For instance, listen intently rather than speak over the customer in a frantic attempt to handle the problem.

When you can help your Communicators improve their quality of customer best practices, they can gain the confidence they need to deliver superior results, even in the most trying situations.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.