True story - 15 years ago I was choosing between 1 of the 2 national mobile providers in Canada. Now I don’t recall when the issue exactly started, but it did -- the dreaded billing discrepancies call. My wife was kind enough to take care of this and she contacted the provider and explained that we have a set rate per month and shouldn't be billed for extras. The call, though a bit frustrating, was straightforward and it went as expected - apology, won't happen again, and away we go. The next billing cycle comes around and sure enough, same scenario. After 4 months of this happening we finally said that’s it, we are wasting my wife’s valuable time on reviewing and auditing mobile phone bills every month and it’s simply not worth it.
We are switching! The grass is always greener on the other side. Right? We make “The Call”…….. We're breaking up!
My Wife – "after formalities we are calling to advise we are cancelling our service.”
Representative – “I’m sorry to hear that. Can I help in any way?”
My Wife – “It’s a long story and I would rather not waste more time on it.”
Representative - “I am sure we can help. Just let me know what the issue is.” (This is the WTH-eck moment, as in how do you not know what has been happening.)
My Wife - “I’m sorry but we have tried, it’s just not going to work for us.”
Representative – “I am sorry to hear that.” More formalities, end call.
Fast forward one week and we receive a retention call offering an amazing rate for one year if we agree to it and away we go again. New plan, new month, and….. same billing issue…ugghh. This time it’s going to be for real… break up call #2. (I’ll save you the drama from call #2).
Now granted this was 15 years ago and as the saying goes, we have come a long way baby, right? We hope.
In today’s ultra-competitive market, not investing in your employee’s relationships with your customers guarantees one result, you will eventually lose that customer. It doesn’t really matter the industry you’re in, be it an online clothing company, mobile phone providers or a local restaurant. The only way you are immune to this is if you have a monopoly on your market. Customer loyalty in today’s market place is not only extremely competitive, but resides on a paper thin plate; the ease of switching to another product has never been easier. That easy signup program you launched is just as easy as your competitors.
Let’s look at some customer churn stats (CX stats that should stick out in your mind).
- Forrester Research, Inc. found that 69% of people surveyed said that they choose to shop more frequently at retailers with consistent customer service.
- Forrester also found that the most important thing a company can do to provide a quality customer service experience (according to 66% of people asked) is to value customer time.
- PWC found that 32% of the people they asked said that, after just one bad experience, consumers would stop doing business with a brand or company they’d previously loved.
So what impact do your front line employees have on your business, let’s take a look at some more sticky stats
- "The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%"– Marketing Metrics.
- "A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10%" – Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmet Murphy & Mark Murphy.
So how do you maintain customers?
Invest in your employee's relationship with them.
To deliver outstanding service that is memorable here are the 3 things your employees need:
#1 Insight – customer insight is becoming available more than ever before with “Big Data”, really any customer data helps but big data is the hot buzz word that is getting everyone thinking about, “data”. The challenge has always been and still is for many organizations is how do you collect that data, what relevant information can you gather and then the biggest challenge how to use or translate that data for your end users to utilize.
Insight is knowing your customer. For contact centers, that's:
- Customer hasn't logged into their account for a long period
- Mentioned a competitor name on the last call
- Gave negative feedback on the last call
- In my case above, called in for the last 3 months with a billing issue.
#2 Ability – Do your employees have the ability to react to customer demands? Do your systems help them ACT in real time;
- Proactively contact a customer with a personalized offer.
- Guide an agent through the interaction.
- Tailor an offer based on real-time insights.
#3 Intention – Are your employees motivated to provide memorable service consistently? Can you;
- Identify retention best practices.
- Extend across the organization with targeted coaching.
- Apply gamification to focus employees on CSAT and KPI’s.
How do you take your organization to the next level?
With tools that give you insight to truly “know” your customer, allow your employees the ability to ACT in real time and the Intention to provide memorable service. Engage your employees with workforce optimization solutions such as:
- Workforce staffing & scheduling
- Analytics-driven QA and coaching
- Performance Alignment with corporate objectives
- Gamification and collaboration
- Incentives by business goal
What if good WFO software isn't enough?
The ability to do all the right things in today’s hyper-speed market place truly requires all the right tools, but implemented in the right way. At Group Elite we help companies just like you monitor, measure and maximize that investment. Visit out Quick Wins page and see how as a Verint Partner we've helped companies just like you.
Story ending note – It has been 15 years and I have never gone back to that provider, great deals or not. In fact I frequently refer to that story when people bring up mobile providers subconsciously to a degree. Total estimated loss to the provider - $10,000 + marketing that did not win me back.