It’s holiday time, and we’re all feeling a little nostalgic and grateful…grateful for family, friends, and those kind folks who support our careers, contact centers and businesses.
It’s certainly busy, but we’re reflecting on our achievements and targets. We’re reviewing both our financials and ways to improve our customer relationships.
It’s no secret that customer satisfaction (CSAT) improves brand loyalty, increases referrals and increases revenue. But while we’re feeling reflective, it may be a good time to revisit the CSAT basics that set the stage for a more financially successful new year.
Following are five main ways that you can immediately create more upselling and cross-selling opportunities by increasing CSAT:
Listen – Really Listen – to Customers
Sales are inextricably linked to customer satisfaction. Some financial advisors actually use CSAT to pick stocks! If revenues are stagnating, rather than just tweaking your sales techniques, we suggest measuring and setting CSAT improvement targets and giving rewards to employees for paving the way for new sales.
Listen and act on the voice of the customer (VoC) for each product and each type of interaction. Arrange focus groups and review survey results. Pour over social media posts and online reviews. Do root-cause analysis on complaints and compliments. One broad survey for all transaction types does not go far enough.
Then, of course, listen to help customers succeed. Ask them what problems they are trying to solve and why. Take the time to exchange ideas on the best options to meet their goals.
Increase Customer Convenience
Customer satisfaction levels are linked with levels of convenience. Respect customers’ time limitations, and ratings will soar. Within the contact center, reduce wait times and the number of transfers. Ensure customers speak to the right agents, quickly. Work to improve first-call resolution. Allow customers to channel-pivot and ensure you can pick up conversations wherever they left off.
Help customers to help themselves. Improve self-service, documentation and community support options. Cultivate situations where customers can sell themselves. Present all the options objectively, weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each option in relation to the customer’s goals or the problems they’re trying to address. If this requires convincing and collaborating with other departments, become a customer advocate internally.
Acknowledge Customers’ Risks
Customers have made a commitment and investment in you, and they want you to do the same in return. They want a personalized customer experience and to be acknowledged as having taken a leap of faith to buy.
Small ways you can recognize their risks and dedication include greeting them by name, listing the products they’ve bought, referring to the currency or version they used and asking their opinions outright – all in their language, in their preferred channel, in their time zone, and in a culturally appropriate way. Let them know that you “see” them as individuals.
And, don’t forget to directly minimize the risk associated with investing more or trying out new products. Offer discounts, free returns, payment plans, free trials and samples, for example. Make it easy to make the next leap of faith.
Listen To and Empower Your Agents
An employee’s enthusiasm for your organization will be conveyed to your customers; if your agents are satisfied, your customers are more likely to be, too. It may be counterintuitive and relatively slow going, but investing in your employees will serve to grow sales. Issue and act on employee satisfaction surveys. Study the Glassdoor reviews carefully to unearth ways of improving the employee experience.
Empower your agents. Equip and encourage team leaders to support and motivate agents in personally meaningful ways. Scrap the sales scripts, give accountability, let them improvise and be creative in their offers and give them the tools and logic to solve problems. Allow them to be authentic so they can really connect with customers.
Ensure agents are offering only the upsells and cross-sells that truly make sense. Sell as a means of filling gaps and addressing concerns. Ensure your team is always adding value.
Give More to Get More
When profitability is threatened, it may be difficult to extend additional options and offers – but that’s exactly what you must do to re-engage past customers and become more appealing to new customers. For example:
- Start offering proactive customer service. Show that you care by leveraging your CRM software to send reminders and offer support or tips at just the right time. Check in with customers a day or two after their purchase to make sure the setup is going well. Help them with the problems they might not even know they have yet.
- Under-promise and over-deliver. Demonstrate enthusiasm by giving customers more than what they expected or providing selfless tips that will increase the value or longevity of their investment. Think about the long-term instead of just the average handle time.
- Find meaningful ways to reward customer loyalty. Send thank yous, bonuses, promo codes, exclusive access, birthday gifts, special event invitations, etc. to foster mutual goodwill.
- Make customers feel good about their decisions. Explain how their purchase helps the community, the environment or the company. Explain the deliberate choices your company has made to increase their appreciation of the product. Remind people that behind the product, service and contact center voice is a human who is trying to help. Put their purchase into perspective.
Successful cross-selling and upselling is about listening, increasing convenience, and making customers feel special. At VXI, we believe that it’s not so much about sly sales techniques as it is about presenting options and ideas that can help the customer succeed.
As Richard Branson says, “Great businesses are places where problems are solved and lives are improved.” Being unexpectedly timely, helpful, friendly, knowledgeable, solving for the current and future problems, and iterating and evolving as needs and preferences change (seasonal reviews and reflections are key!) are at the core of improving CSAT and revenues.