In Customer Care, You Must Pave Your Own Way

No two marketing strategies will share the same results when implemented in different industries. Therefore, when it comes to customer care organizations can’t simply follow the pack by adopting software and strategies used by other companies. Rather, they must investigate what’s working within their specific industry.

For instance, a report from VentureBeat revealed that when an insurance company, Allianz, used a mobile app to streamline customer care interactions, it boosted its customer engagement on mobile by 60 percent. This is because a mobile app made sense for that particular industry.

So what are some strategies that work to improve customer care interactions for different industries? Let’s explore…

  • Retail: Click-to-call is a great customer care strategy for the retail industry because it allows consumers to request to talk immediately with a Communicator. Buyers no longer have to wait on hold or stumble through the menu options to reach the right department to get an answer to a simple question.
  • Technology: A multi-channel customer care strategy works well within in technology sector. Not only does this strategy—which might include channels such as live chat, mobile, live agent support etc.—provides customers with numerous options for communication, but it provides customer care around the clock. This is especially beneficial because the technology sector rarely sleeps.
  • Healthcare: Phone-based customer service is beneficial to the healthcare industry because patients often have complex questions that can’t be answered through certain communication channels, such as live chat and social media.  With phone-based customer service, patients talk to a live, trained Communicator who can help provide them with the answers they need.

Find the customer care strategy that works best for your industry, whether it’s click-to-call, multi-channel, or phone support. More importantly, whatever strategy you choose make sure that you’re providing the best support for your customers.

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.

The Truth about Donor Retention in Nonprofit Fundraising

Successful nonprofit fundraising requires a strong marketing strategy and the use of intuitive technology that gleans actionable insights about prospective and existing donors. After all, retaining donors is much like retaining consumers in that organizations must understand their audiences’ demographics and interests so that they can personalize and target their messages for better engagement.

But implementing a sound fundraising strategy isn’t so easy. In fact, many nonprofits struggle to craft a truly effective campaign strategy that increases donor retention rates year-over-year. Indeed, the “2014 Fundraising Effectiveness Project Survey Report” revealed that the average donor attrition rate is 57 percent. What’s more, the donor retention rate decreased by 7 percent from 2006 to 2014.

As such, nonprofits ought to cast an eye towards the integrated marketing solutions afforded by today’s contact centers to increase donor retention. For instance, its takes an excellent communicator to aptly convey the value of your nonprofit to potential donors, so organizations would be wise to enlist the help of trained professionals who can state your case in the most impactful light.

Additionally, contact centers have access to a myriad of sophisticated technology that can help nonprofits narrow down their audience for each campaign. For instance, if your donor attrition rate has substantially risen it might be due to an over generalized marketing message. Contact centers, however, can grant you access to data analytics that will help you realize patterns amongst your donor-base. Once these patterns—similar demographic backgrounds, past contributions, personal interests and charity affiliations—are established you can then segment your audience into groups based on similarities. In doing so, you can personalize your messages, whether they are over the phone or through an email marketing message, to match your donors pertinent concerns and improve the likelihood of gaining their contribution.

Retaining loyal donors is essential to nonprofit fundraising success. Thankfully, contact centers can provide the marketing guidance and support that is needed to cultivate long-lasting donor relationships.

Seeking additional fundraising advice? Read more here.

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.

Five Tools to Help You Provide a Stellar Customer Experience

We’ve evolved the term “customer service” into the more apt phrase “customer care” as it encapsulates the delivery, process and results that contact center leaders strive to produce for their consumers. As such, contact center employees are now expected to do more than solve problems, but provide a customer experience as well.

Providing an all-encompassing customer experience means that contact center leaders must extend their services beyond the customer care hotline and into digital and mobile realms as well. After all, providing an appropriate combination of mobile support, live chat, self-service, social media support and omnichannel support will ensure that you’ve established touch points in every area that is now available to your consumers.

In fact, a recent report from online CRM comparison business Software Advice substantiates the need for contact centers to employ the aforementioned list of must-have customer care tools. Indeed, the report claims that these are providing a well-rounded customer experience.

Let’s dig deeper into the advantages afforded by each tool:

1. Mobile support: Make sure your website is optimized for mobile so that your consumers can reach you when they are on-the-go. What’s more, today’s consumers are attached at the hip to their mobile devices even when they are in the comfort of their own homes so providing a method of contact that is convenient and preferable to your consumers is of the utmost importance.

2. Live chat: Sometimes, an issue just isn’t pressing enough to call a hotline. In these instances a consumer can simply visit your web site and initiate a live chat with an online Communicator for a quick fix. Furthermore, live chat enables Communicators to make the first move in contacting an employee as they can just as easily initiate the live chat session when they are alerted a new visitor has entered the web site.

3. Self-service: Consumers tend to conduct their own research on the Internet before reaching out for secondary assistance. As such, be sure to include the appropriate collateral on your web site such as FAQ’s so that your consumers can answer simple questions on their own time. They’ll greatly appreciate this convenience as 65 percent of consumers enjoy the freedom of finding answers through an online search, according to the report.

4. Social media support: Social media affords a casual and quick method of communication between brands and consumers. It’s also highly visible so when your brand provides excellent customer care by way of a social media platform, your greater audience will likely take notice.

5. Omnichannel: If your brand stretches across nearly all demographics then an omnichannel approach to support is the right decision for you. This means you would employee all of the aforementioned tools to create an integrated marketing solution to providing high quality customer care. If you are a small local business that caters to an older crowd this support system might not be for you as you wouldn’t want to waste any of your resources.

It’s important to strike the right balance in support systems to enhance your flagship telephony support system. Just remember to choose your solutions wisely and only employ the tools that make sense for your company size and demographics.

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.

Merging Marketing and Customer Care Goals for Social Media Success

Social media platforms, when they were in their nascent stages, were primarily used for connecting with friends and family in the digital realm. They served as places to communicate and keep abreast of updates and developments in your peers’ lives on a daily basis.

Due to the frequency with which people began to use social media, it soon became a hub for brands to connect and engage with their consumers as well. Nowadays, social media is an essential marketing tool that helps brands stay top of mind to consumers.

Furthermore, the ubiquity of social media usage and its power to engage consumers has created a new way for companies to provide customer care support as well. For instance, a consumer might describe his or her question over a tweet and that company’s customer care representatives could respond to the tweet with a solution.

As such, marketing executives and customer care leaders are joining forces under the social media umbrella to provide customers with a robust brand experience and around-the-clock support. What’s more, doing so over social media means that your audiences’ eyes can always remain on your interactions with other customers. In other words, merging marketing and customer care initiatives to create a social media strategy means that brands can simultaneously stimulate brand awareness and build a positive reputation known for providing superior customer care support.

And while integrated marketing solutions are becoming a cornerstone for the future of customer care, it’s important that contact center leaders don’t forget what makes for a truly personal and memorable connection between brand and consumer: human interaction.

So when you are building out your new integrated customer care strategy, don’t let digital channels overtake your bread-and-butter service offering of phone-based support. When communicating over digital channels always encourage your customers to connect with a live Communicator who is on the line and ready to flesh out the question or concern in real-life rather than through text.

Go ahead and get social (we are at InfoCision, connect with us!) but don’t stray too far away from the practices you know to be the most impactful.

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.