If you’re to talk about the fundamental unit of any company, it would have to be the customer. The customers of any company decide its performance out there in the market. If in an annual year, a company happens to make a huge profit, then they owe that to the customer. Business owners who grasp this concept earlier on are more likely to succeed in their field than those who don’t.
As a matter of fact, when companies outsource their customer support to call centers, then this contact center becomes responsible for providing cloud contact center solutions. The agents working at the call center directly communicate with the customers on behalf of the company and take note of their grievances or issues.
Now most companies, especially the ones who are just starting out, strive to attain more and more customers. Yet, there’s one thing they seem to forget. Retaining old and existing customers could be more profitable for companies. You see, when you’re running after new customers, you’re spending millions on a hunch, or so to speak.
However, your old customers are the ones who have already placed their trust in you and have proved to be loyal. If you continue to provide exemplary services to them, they would recommend you to their peers and friends. That way, you wouldn’t have to chase after customers. It would actually be the other way round.
This is a simple concept that most business owners seem to forget. Did you know that there are several cloud calling software which have been designed specially for customer retention? It could be that you haven’t been paying too much attention to your existing customers. But really, it is never too late. There are a lot of things you could do to make your existing customers feel wanted or to make sure they don’t leave. If you feel you need to work on your customer retention strategies, then you need to take a look at some of these pointers here:
How to Retain Your Existing Customers?
1. If you’re planning to work at a cloud call center, you need to ensure that you’re a really good listener. More often than not, customer service agents seem to get distracted when the customer is speaking or even worse, they keep interacting. This creates a really unpleasant experience for your customers. If they’re calling you up, they expect you to actually listen to their problems and then after careful analysis, come up with effective solutions. This is actually one of the key traits of any agent working at a call center.
2. As agents dealing with customers everyday, you should be able to speak the language of the customer. Yes, we all know how experienced you are and that you had sufficient expertise in using call center cloud software and you have a wide knowledge base. However, that doesn’t mean your customers do, too. This is particularly important if you’re dabbling in high technical matters. If you start speaking in a technical language and try to explain to the customer where they’re going wrong, you might lose them. In that case, you’ll have to work on your communication skills.
3. While talking to your customer, you need to ensure that you provide them the information they’re looking for. If they call you up to clarify some doubts, and you focus more on the offers you’re having at present, you could end up losing your customers. As agents, you need to understand when to pitch your sales to the customer. You could talk about it after you’ve dealt with the customer’s issue, but not before that. For that, you need to really listen to what the customer wants and then try your best to give it to them.
4. Most call centers are usually satisfied with providing cloud call center solutions that merely meet the client’s expectations. But is that enough for you? You should always strive to exceed their expectations. Your customers expect you to go above and beyond the services that are your duties. They want you to go the extra mile and that is exactly what you should be aiming for in the first place. Mediocrity will not get you far; you need to give your customers a reason to stay.
5. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to providing services via call centers on cloud. If you think your customers aren’t satisfied, then you’re going to have to acknowledge it and accept the fact that your services aren’t up to the mark. Simply ignoring them or taking them for granted will not help. It would only make matters worse. You’re going to have to pinpoint the source of the problem, understand it from the depths and then take adequate measures to fix it. You need to acknowledge the fact that if your customers aren’t happy, they wouldn’t think twice before leaving.
Customer Retention Techniques
6. If you think that some of your customers are dissatisfied and are considering leaving you, then you could offer some solutions so that they don’t. There are two kinds of initiatives you could take which are basically damage control. A proactive initiative would be when you’re sensing the dissatisfaction in your customers and are taking precautionary measures. A reactive initiative would be when a customer has already arrived at the decision to leave you and you’re trying your best to stop them from doing so.
7. An integral aspect of providing call center cloud solutions is making sure you follow up when you promise to. In some cases, you would have to follow up with the customer to make sure that the solutions you provided actually worked. Not for once should the customer feel unwanted or ignored. If you’re planning on retaining customer loyalty, you should stick to your word. If you’ve promised a customer that you would be following up in a couple of days, make it a point to see through it.
8. As part of making your existing customers feel special, you should acknowledge customer milestones. It makes the customer feel wanted and special. These milestones may seem trivial, but they hold great value for your customer. It could be something like a customer who has completed two years with you. Usually, it is customary to provide them with some reward or some special offers as a token of gratitude. This is where your customer data would be coming in handy.
9. Empathy is a must if you’re planning to win over customers. You need to be able to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and actually understand what they’re going through. The customers do not want you to feel sorry for them; they want you to understand and acknowledge their problems and find effective solutions to it. Empathy is one of the most significant traits in a call center agent. As a matter of fact, agents undergo special training for this before they are allowed to deal with customers.
10. Another way to make sure you retain your existing customers is managing complaints proactively. Customer feedback would give you an insight into the bigger picture and would point out where you’re going wrong. But you should be able to manage your complaints effectively. Simply registering the complaints and the feedback won’t do. You really need to sift through these complaints and understand the point of view of your customers. Only then can you hope to make some progress. This is called proactive management of complaints and you should definitely give it a try.
Tips for Customer Retention Programs
11. There are several programs and techniques that are being implemented by various call centers in the cloud to prevent customers from leaving. The first thing you should do is to identify which program would be appropriate for you. Some call centers introduce different programs into their operations without judging its effectiveness. Thus, it is always advisable to go back to the very basics and carefully analyse every little aspect of your business before you implement these programs or drivers.
12. You need to take effective measures to improve customer loyalty. Customer loyalty mainly comes from a combination of the four things- delighting your customers, managing customer feedback efficiently, educating them and providing top quality services. Winning the loyalty of the customer would only increase your revenue and your sales and would help you out in the long run. It also ensures that your customers stay with you for longer periods of time and competitors are unable to draw them away from you.
13. Loss prevention programs are a must if you want to stop your customers from leaving. You should be able to sense their dissatisfaction and understand if they are contemplating switching over to another brand. If you think either of the two is true, then you’re going to have to adopt some loss prevention techniques. These are often called “save initiatives” which would require you to do all that it takes to actually win back your customers. Let us warn you, it isn’t going to be easy. But with sufficient effort, you might just make it.
14. There are several metrics available that can help you measure your customer retention. These metrics would accurately calculate your score as far as customer retention is concerned. If you score fairly well here, then congratulations, because your customers are more than satisfied with your services. Otherwise, you need to come up with some “save strategies” which can help you win back the displeased customers and acquire their loyalty. You should make it a point to implement these metrics, if you haven’t already.
15. Before you launch some customer retention initiative, you really need to divide your customers into two sections- the more valuable ones and the less valuable ones. You might think this is weird, because each customer is important. While that is true, desperate times do call for desperate measures. You’re going to have to identify the customers who are more valuable and would add to the revenue of your company. These are the customers you would be focusing on more than anything else.
The Case Study
We all know that customer retention is of utmost importance and that adequate steps must be taken to keep your existing customers happy. We have provided you with fifteen tips which can help you measure the customer retention of your company analyze it and even work on it. Now, we come to the case study which would tell you how to implement these customer retention programs into your cloud based call center solutions. Here is a detailed report of the customer care at Cineworld Cinema, where existing customers and new prospective customers are given equal importance.
Cineworld was founded in 1995 in the United Kingdom and has now emerged as one of the largest cinema groups in UK. As of now, Cineworld has 75 sites out of which about 71 are multiscreen. So you can imagine the sheer magnitude of services provided by the company and the need for an efficient customer care system. They have come up with a new policy which takes into account both categories of customers. It provides effective solutions which help them manage current customers, acquire new ones and also generate more revenue than ever before.
The Problem and the Solution
• With the number of customers growing each year, it was important to make sure Cineworld had a solid customer retention policy in place.
• Cineworld runs an unlimited scheme for its members. Basically it is a lot like a subscription card that allows the movie buffs in UK to watch as many films as they want in a month by signing up. In 2006, Cineworld decided to review its scheme and test its effectiveness. The whole purpose of the review was to make sure that only the latest technologies are used to increase the revenue and reduce the overall costs.
• They decided on a company that provides cloud calling solutions and carefully chalked out business models to handle all operations related to their unlimited scheme.
• There were five things that needed to be worked on, as established by the model. One, it was important to retain old customers and work on customer loyalty. Two, flexible product and customer management. Three, enabling customers to watch more movies at lesser prices, thus eliminating competition. Four, realizing that film-going is seasonal and working around it. Five, launching new and innovative products.
• The solutions that were then implemented in customer retention were customized and tailored to suit the needs of Cineworld.
• These changes were implemented into Cineworld at reasonable prices and also eradicated the need to invest large sums in the future.
• It allowed Cineworld to seamlessly manage both current and new prospective customers.
• It gave a clear insight into the minds of the customers, thus making it easier to use customer retention initiatives.
• It allowed Cineworld to focus purely on cinema without having to worry about customer loyalty, which was being taken care of.
• It also allowed the guys at Cineworld to understand the market better and launch more products.
There is no doubt about the fact that customer retention is the key to a happy and flourishing business. The case study and the tips provided above should have convinced you of the same. Now would be the time to treat customers the way they deserve to be treated. So come on already!