Make New Friends and Keep The Old: A Lesson In Customer Retention

You might be familiar with the saying, “Make new friends and keep the old, one is silver the other is gold.” Well, the same is true in the customer care space.

While it’s certainly important for companies to acquire new clients, it’s just as important—if not more—to focus on retaining existing ones. After all, research suggests that it costs more to gain new customers than it does to retain existing ones, which is a subject that I lent a great deal of attention to in my recently published book.

Also, research from Econsultancy’s Cross-Channel Marketing Report revealed that 70 percent of companies say it’s cheaper to retain a customer than acquire one. Not only do existing customers costs less, but they’re also more likely to recommend your business to family and friends and spend more money with you in the future.

In fact, Bain & Company found that repeat customers spend more and generate larger transactions. Indeed, an average repeat customer spent 67 percent more in months 31-36 of his or her shopping relationship than in months zero to six.

What’s more, the study also found that on average repeat customers referred three people each to an online retailer’s site after their first purchase there. After ten purchases, that same shopper had referred seven people to the site.

As you can see, customer retention has a big impact on your contact center services ROI and you’re company’s overall bottom line. Therefore, make sure that you put a concerted effort toward keeping your existing customers happy and wanting to come back for more.

For instance, reward them for maintaining their relationship with your business by offering them a yearly discount or enrolling them in a customer loyalty program. And, always make an effort to be consistent and reliable when interacting with your most devoted customers, they deserve some special treatment!

While making a good first impression will prompt a customer to come back a second time, delivering consistently good customer care will cause them to return, and thereby foster a positive, long-lasting relationship with your brand.

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.

Why Customer Care Interactions Should Transcend The Phone Line

Your Communicators are skilled in resolving problems efficiently so that customers aren’t left on hold and that each phone call is quickly answered and ended, one after the other. That’s wonderful, but what about after the phone call is over? Will your Communicators’ degree of customer care resonate with your customers?

Every interaction with a consumer, whether it’s an hour-long call or a two-minute live chat, is a chance to build a new long-lasting relationship. Oftentimes, consumers only truly interact with a brand when they call into the contact center. Therefore, it’s extremely important that the first interaction they have with a Communicator exceeds their expectations.

Contact centers must focus on being more present and striving to create a customer care interaction that goes above and beyond the phone call to spark long-lasting relationships with loyal consumers. Below are various strategies that you can implement to ensure that your Communicators leave a positive, lasting impression on consumers:

  • Exude empathy: Typically, when a consumer calls into a contact center they’re frustrated by a specific problem and want to speak to a real person. Therefore, make sure that your Communicators can emphasize with frustrated consumers by demonstrating compassion and relating to them on a more personal level.
  • Perfect first call resolution: Don’t leave a sour taste in consumers’ mouths by not correcting the problem the first time around. You only have one chance to make a good first impression, so concentrate on perfecting first call resolution so consumers don’t need to follow up with a second call.
  •  Be available: No two consumers are alike. Some prefer automated customer care channels, while others opt for the phone. Make sure that you’re always available by implementing multiple channels for which consumers are contact you, such as social media and live chat.

Use the tips and tricks above to ensure that every customer care interaction transcends beyond the telephone and leaves a positive impact on your valued consumers.

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.

Get to Know Your Customers Better in 2015

You know your loyal customers’ names and contact information, but do you know them on a truly personal, customized level? For example, when an individual contacts your company, do you know over what channel that interaction took place? Do you know what channel your customers prefer to use when communicating with your service representatives? Do you have information handy about their buying habits, preferences and behaviors so that you can better guide them during the purchasing process and create future offers based on that information?

As the new year quickly approaches, you should be thinking of ways both big and small to bolster customer engagement within the contact center. Strengthening customer engagement should be a recurring goal within your service facility, both within and beyond your trusty customer base .This all starts with investing in the right tools and technologies. For example, the following solutions can not only increase customer engagement, but can also lift your contact center services ROI:

Multichannel marketing solutions: Do you want to make 2015 the year you start addressing customers by name in email marketing messages as opposed to “Dear valued customer?” How about increasing upselling and cross-selling in a way that speaks personally to customers as opposed to just pushing a random product? Advanced multichannel marketing solutions let you reach customers via inbound and outbound telemarketing, email marketing, social media and direct mail, enabling you to connect with customers on a more individualized level.

Demographic scripting: In 2015 you should be focusing on facilitating calls between Communicators and customers so that they are tailored to meet specific needs, wants and interests. After all, a 65 year-old man living in the Midwest will require a different message and conversation flow than a 26 year-old woman living in New York City. Call scripting is vital for establishing these individualized connections.

Data analytics and predictive modeling: The more customer data you gather and analyze, the more insight you have into how consumers are behaving. Predictive modeling takes big data to another level entirely by actually predicting future behavior based on past occurrences. Using this technology, your business can determine which customers are most likely to be interested in a specific offering.

Customer profiles: Customer profiles are created using data that has been collected about a customer over multiple interactions with your brand (e.g., purchasing a product, responding to a phone call, etc.). A customer profile is a hand-crafted asset that provides deeper insight into each and every customer as well as enables you to more specifically market to your existing customer base.

Customer loyalty is the ultimate sign of a stellar company, but you need to be showing your devoted customer base why they should remain dedicated to you. Make a concerted effort to get to know your customers better next year and you’ll find a world of opportunity waiting for you.

Click here to learn more about how InfoCision can help you better know your customers through demo scripting, customer profiles, market segmentation, business intelligence and analytics and more!

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 American Teleservices Association (ATA). 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 higher honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award