According to Oracle in their 2012 CX Index Report, ‘Why Customer Satisfaction is no Longer Enough,’ “70% of shoppers have stopped buying goods or services from a company after experiencing poor customer service.” All it takes is one negative customer service interaction to sway opinions and send once loyal customers running to your competitors. In order to avoid this, a consistent customer care strategy must be used across all channels including voice, live chat, e-mail, social media, and mobile. Your customer service representatives, whether in-house or outsourced through a contact center, should be trained to be the front line of your brand.
The top 5 reasons for a decrease in loyalty when dealing with customer service representatives that were listed in the Oracle survey are:
- Being transferred between agents
- No response to an e-mail
- Length of time on hold
- Being unable to reach a human agent
- Unknowledgeable agent
Simply being aware of this information is not enough, action must be taken to properly plan and equip agents with the tools and training they need to succeed. The development of loyalty in the contact center is attainable, but where do you start? Here are a few points that may be applicable to your business:
1) Data: Valuable insight into the habits and thoughts of your customers can be used to make improvements; however, the stream of Big Data, coming in through various channels in the contact center, can often seem endless. Working through this mass of information will pay off, as the quantitative and qualitative, multi-channel, data can be acquired and aggregated, to create one true view of the customer.
The primary method used to collect customer data is through surveys, often given after a customer interaction. Control/test groups are another means to gather these facts; however, a great deal can also be gained simply by observing the data coming in through your CRM system or live chat platform. The length of time spent on your site, path the customer took to reach your site, and amount or frequency of purchase can all be used to create an accurate picture of your customer.
Once you have a loyalty plan in place, data can also be used to measure Customer Retention Rates (CRR) or retention churn, NPS or Net Promoter Score, and the CES or Customer Effort Score. These numbers will help you to see your percentage of loyal customers and potential areas for improvement.
2) Segmentation: After creating a customer profile, patterns will begin to emerge and similar characteristics will align individuals together to form segmented groups. Proper group segmentation of your customers will allow you to tailor interactions to them, ensuring they remain happy and likely to not only make a repeat purchase, but also to rave about your brand to others.
During this process, it is important that your customer persona, or the way that you will interact with each segmented group, aligns with your brand's goals and overall strategy.
Priority routing, special messaging, and the creation of loyalty based, incentive programs are examples of group specific adjustments that can be used to increase customer satisfaction.
3) Gamification: A consistent customer interaction can only be achieved through proper training. Striving to attain brand alignment in the contact center with the companies you represent should be a top priority. Internal employee motivation will play a large part in whether or not your contact center values, such as being a brand ambassador, will translate over to customers. In order to motivate agents, certain gamification tactics should be utilized.
Make training a fun process to be part of and reward your agents for their success. People feed off of competition, and there is no harm in sparking a bit of that amongst your employees.
Hopefully these tips have inspired you to make loyalty and the customer experience a top priority in your business or contact center. For more information on these topics, check back on the blog for more posts in this loyalty series.