There is an old adage in the customer service industry that it costs far more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. While it’s true – it has been proven so many times – many companies still don’t seem to “get” this. They have high customer churn rates, and they shrug them off as inevitable.
This is a huge mistake. Customer churn is NOT inevitable, and there are many steps companies can take to stem customer loss, generally by putting a customer engagement strategy into place, according to a recent article by Business2Community’s Flavio Martins.
“Maintaining your customers starts with building a genuine relationship with them that goes beyond basic financial transactions,” writes Martins. “You need to show them that you truly care about their concerns regarding your product/service. You must be able to provide excellent customer service, and you can only do that by opening lines of communication between your business and your customers.”
In order to open these lines of communications, companies need to begin by listening to their customers. While it seems obvious – of course agents listen to customers when they are on the telephone with them or reading their e-mails or chats – agents are often focused on getting the task at hand done and the transaction closed. They are not generally advised to – or inclined to – listen to “big picture” issues. This is unfortunately, because it’s these wider issues that can indicate why customer churn is happening. In order to truly listen to the voice of the customer, companies must find a way to implement call recording and analytics to identify broader trends.
Most companies record a certain amount of calls, usually for agent training and evaluation. They often fail to use their call recording solutions to their fullest, however. By recording 100 percent of calls and applying a broad analytics solution to them, companies can truly “listen.” In which types of calls are customers mentioning competitors’ names? This might signal a quality issue in a certain area common to many customers. Are certain agents more prone to heated verbal exchanges than others? Perhaps it’s time for more training or better pre-employment testing. What’s the most common theme in calls concerning product returns? Common issues may be signaling quality problems with manufacturing or shipping.
By identifying even the top five most common customer complaints and taking steps to eliminate those issues, companies can boost the quality of their products and services and the quality of their customer care, leading to greatly reduced customer churn. It all starts with listening, something call recording was made to do.