Investing in allocating new customers can be up to 25 times more expensive than retaining customers. If you’re constantly losing customers and needing to replace them, are you really getting your money’s worth from your marketing investments? Surely not!
This is a symptom of bad customer service. It very well could mean you’re ignoring your customers once they’ve bought your product or service. And you’re likely to keep losing customers if you don’t fix this horrendous money hole.
Worry not, fair marketer. We have data-driven information that could vastly improve your customer service. Here’s how to plug that hole.
1. Effective and Efficient Wins the Day
Have you ever procrastinated on calling customer service? Why? Are you afraid the caller is going to judge you? Likely not. The most common answer to this question is fear of getting put on hold.
Even if you can turn on speaker and ignore the ersatz music and obnoxious ads filling your workspace, you’re not going to be able to work deeply while on hold. You’ll constantly be withholding a modicum of mental power to stay attentive to the phone just in case the representative gets on the line.
Large companies can’t help putting people through this torture occasionally. But it’s the kind of torture that drives people away to competitors.
And it’s 50/50 whether a customer will drop you because of slow customer service. Do you really want to flip a coin on each and every customer who calls about a product? Instead, limit the call time by increasing call staff or increasing the amount of knowledge a staff owns.
Decrease Contact Points
Increasing staff knowledge allows you to decrease the number of contact points. These are the number of times a customer has to switch to a different customer service rep because of a knowledge gap.
It’s extremely frustrating to hit these gaps and get transferred to another department. It means more wasted time while you wait and listen to crummy music and pretend to work on something important while crunching on combos.
2. Automate But Not Entirely
90% of the time, a menu branch will satisfy the customer and get them to the correct information. And more than half of Millennials want an automation-first customer service experience. And I can guarantee that some in other generations feel the same.
Don’t get rid of the human-human experience entirely. You can’t anticipate every single question or problem unless you’re omniscient. And anyone who thinks they can anticipate everything a customer will ask is simply deluded.
Sometimes it’s just difficult to get a machine to understand what you want. You need a human to help you get to the question you want to ask and then answer it. Machines just aren’t good enough at that kind of fluid, association-based thinking like humans are.
Allow someone to hit zero and get a human on the line ASAP. You’ll have much happier customers.
3. People Love a Good Mystery…Sometimes
With the rise of the internet came the rise of DIY. You can learn how to repair just about anything on YouTube including grandma’s complicated self-lowering toilet seat. Customers are now conditioned to fix a load of problems on their own.
Create a web page with common product problems and their solutions. This is more extensive than an FAQ and it’s usually product or service-specific.
Why would you want to create such a thing? Because people like to feel useful. If they can get away with fixing their problems on their own, they feel like they’re the master of their own domain. Even if it’s something as small as figuring out they hadn’t plugged the stupid thing into the wall in the first place.
4. Rise of the Chatbots
Are you looking to learn more about your customers while saving money and efficiently helping them? The chatbot is your man…or machine as it is.
Chatbots might seem cold and uninviting until you start talking to one. You realize they’re not that different from your typical agent. They know all the right answers and they can direct you to the correct departments. There is a limit to what they can do and they won’t answer every single question, but they are the perfect stopgap between a human agent and nothing at all.
Chatbots don’t require a salary, they don’t need smoke breaks or lunch breaks, and they can work all day and all night. They don’t get bored or distracted and they don’t complain. And on top of all that, they gather data on whoever is talking to them.
Chatbots don’t get frustrated with customers (unless you program/teach them to do so). They will always be polite and unassuming.
They are the perfect replacement for IVR systems which frustrate the hell out of customers. Instead of jumping from menu branch to menu branch, a customer can connect directly to who they need to connect when a chatbot is in the picture.
5. Connect Via Social and Messenger
Not everyone prefers and email or a phone call. Some don’t even check their email or they check so little that emails get lost in the void of junk mail.
How then are you to connect to customers when a problem is resolved? What about repairs and service interruptions?
What’s great about the internet today? It’s an incredibly slick social device. Apps like messenger allow you to ask permission to send notifications even if you aren’t “friends” with the person on Facebook.
Research social media messaging services. Find ways to connect to your customers via social media or through other messaging platforms they might readily use. Contrary to popular belief, customers love it when you can connect with them personally on issues they’re having with your product or service.
Remember, it’s all about convenience. If they’re already using a service, they’ll want to be notified through that.