Retaining Customers with Stellar Inbound Call Center Services and Practices

The call center is the front line and starting point for customers’ experiences; they can either choose to continue their journeys with your company or quit cold turkey. This essentially makes your agents the face of your company.

So how do you ensure the best quality of customer service in your inbound call center?

Foster an Atmosphere of Teamwork and Consistency

Two of the most important attributes for call center success are a sense of togetherness and consistency of services delivered. One way to help build a sense of teamwork is to keep a low call agent-to-supervisor ratio. This ratio ensures more individual attention and training for agents from supervisors, shaping an intimate work environment that is competitive yet team-oriented.

Capitalize on Employee Strengths and Training

Once you have the analytic tools to measure what agents excel in what areas, you can leverage skills-based call routing to ensure that calls are being sent to subject matter experts mostly likely to be able to resolve them. Combining the power of call metrics and cutting-edge technology solutions ultimately guarantees that the most complex calls go to your most effective agents.

Accurately Measure Agent Effectiveness

As you work to improve your call center, you need visibility into what is working well and what might need some tweaking. Backed by the right call center solutions provider, you’ll get metrics like Average Handle Time (AHT) and Calls Handled per Hour, and the all-important response rate that easily spell out how well your scripts and procedures are working. Just how important are analytics? Consider that companies that use them generate 73 percent more sales than those who do not according to IBM. Keep in mind, however, that while increasing sales is a huge business objective, companies that turn a blind eye to the power of analytics are squandering the easiest way to reach that goal.

These services and others can help improve your agent-customer relationships, boost retention and reduce its mortal enemy—customer churn. In fact, the impact of customer churn on your call center can be so devastating that research shows it can cost eight times (or more) as much to acquire a new customer compared to keeping an existing one.

The fact is that today’s consumers aren’t interested in hearing the reasons why they aren’t getting their issues resolved—they simply move on to a competitor.

Customer Retention Programs Can Save Revenue and Build Profit

Direct response marketing can be cut-throat, as many of you already know.  Each day, competitors roll out deals to try to lure your customers over to their products and services by offering free add-ons, three months free, special reduced pricing, and on and on.  Additionally, customers who pay for something every month or on a regular basis are likely to eventually have some issues with their products or services over a long enough timeframe.  So how can you keep your customers from jumping ship?

The solution is a well-thought out customer retention program that centers on finding out what the customer’s issue is, and taking immediate steps to solve it; not only to satisfy the customer’s needs right now, but also to build the foundation of a long-term relationship with your organization.  But how can you effectively build such a program?

Customer Retention Specialists Make a Difference

InfoCision has found success for its clients by identifying Communicators with the right personality, experience and aptitude, and providing specialized training to make them Certified Retention Specialists.  On a recent program utilizing these specialists for a leading direct response company, InfoCision delivered a 40 percent save rate. When the industry average save rate is 25 percent, think of the boost in revenue by saving that many more customers – both now and in terms of future sales!

Customer retention programs are the subject of a recent article by InfoCision Vice President of Business Development Yvonne Anderson, published by Electronic Retailer for its website.  Below is an excerpt.

Solve Customers’ Problems, Retain Their Business

“It takes a special personality to work with customers who have made up their minds that they don’t want a product anymore. And that person has to take the customer from dissatisfied to satisfied in a single phone call. You need people who are more than order-takers.”

“They must be good listeners, have empathy for customers, and be able to relate to what it’s like to be in a similar situation. Because their role differs from that of regular customer service representatives, they need specialized training that gives them a deeper understanding of the product or service that the customer is calling about…  Allowing retention specialists to engage in free-flowing conversations with customers instead of working from a script is key to being able to identify the root cause of the problem. Once the problem has been identified, they also need the tools to be able to proceed as they see fit to provide the customer with a personalized experience.”

To read the entire article, please follow this link.  If you have any questions or comments on the importance of retaining customers, please leave a comment below.