An age-old marketing debate emerges in the middle of a global health crisis. Which is better for growth: customer acquisition or
customer retention? Customer acquisition is the process of gaining new customers, while customer retention is the manner of keeping the customers your business has won over through customer loyalty. The simple answer is that acquisition and retention are co-dependent on each other: both are key drivers of growth. Your business process outsourcing services need to acquire and keep customers to achieve success.
However, no business has an unlimited marketing budget. More often than not, call center outsourcing companies with limited resources have to choose between acquisition or retention. In consideration of costs, customer acquisition is more expensive, and customer retention has better return-of-investment. The risks of customer acquisition are simply greater since winning new customers requires starting from scratch, and it takes time and resources before you can convince customers to purchase your product. You should also consider your competitors who are equally struggling to win over the same group of people. A happy and loyal customer, on the other hand, becomes valuable over time, will keep buying your product, and will refer you to others through word-of-mouth.
From the Inside: Building Customer Loyalty
Michael Brandt, founding member of the European Customer Experience Organization (ECXO), there are several important factors your company must consider in building customer loyalty: first, your company leadership MUST be on board. Your executive management will be responsible for freeing up your company’s customer support resources and unblocking obstacles that will go in the way of your customer loyalty program. Your middle management will also need to learn what’s in it for them and how it benefits their operations.
Second, obtain all necessary data. You should focus on what does your company want to know about your customer. The data that you need should be able to help you figure out where and how to prioritize your improvements. What kind of survey do you need to send out to your customers? Who gets to decide who will be surveyed? How do we process the data?
Third, create a communication plan. To involve every single person in your customer service outsourcing organization, a communication plan must be formulated. We must determine what we are going to do with the information we obtained and how do we feed it back to the customers. Establishing a clear governance committee is important.
Lastly, a project charter must be crafted. Documentation is important as something measurable and something that people can relate to when all is said and done. Also, if your customer service representatives document every single transaction or if you allow your customers to store their data on an app, you will have easy access to their information with the touch of a button, perhaps eliminating the need to ask your customers the same questions.
To the Outside: Complaint handling and customer satisfaction
Now that you have created an effective customer loyalty program and your entire organization is onboard your customer retention train, it’s time to build customer loyalty from your agents to your customers. It’s a fact that good customer service encourages customers to remain loyal, so how can your agents convey the message and attract customer loyalty? Here are five sure-fire ways on how to win customer loyalty via your frontliners.
The entire customer experience process begins with comprehension and understanding. As soon as a customer calls up or comes in, your agents must understand what the customer wants. Not only that, but your representative will also need to understand not only the needs of your customer in terms of your company’s call center services but also the customer’s emotional needs as well. Is the customer livid about the services, or is there another reason why he or she is angry? It is up to your agent to find out what it is to address the concern properly.
As soon as the customer issue is determined, it’s time to dispense some empathy.
Empathy is defined as the action of understanding, being sensitive, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of another. In the context of customer service, this means trying to address their concerns with an understanding of what they are going through. Listen attentively, respond appropriately, acknowledge the issue, and apologize if necessary.
Now that the proper pleasantries have been delivered, it’s time to get to the bottom of the problem. Your agents should be able to ensure that all appropriate questions should have been asked to get every single detail to resolve the issue. What are the actions that your company can take? What are the things you can and can’t control? Ensure that all options have been explored and offered to the customer so that he or she can make an informed decision on the next steps to take.
“Going the extra mile” is a long-standing expression that means doing more for the customer than what is expected. The extra mile is your agents’ ‘wow factor’: After having satisfied the customer by resolving the issue, it’s time to dish out some much-needed delight. Offer some new service features, throw in some freebies, add a little extra here and there. Sometimes, even just the most personalized, friendliest, and unforgettable conversation can deliver the greatest customer experience.
After all, has been said and done, is that the end of the conversation between your representative and the customer? Of course not! Call them back especially if his or her previous issue warranted a follow-up. Let them know that they have not been forgotten. If you followed all five steps, not only will your customers be delighted, but they will never forget the special treatment they received from you and they will make sure that they tell other people about what you have done for them. That’s priceless customer loyalty.