Customer engagement and retention have been a serious concern in the insurance industry. Most companies keep on searching for how to enhance customer engagement in the insurance industry and in this blog post, you can find some of the useful tactics that can help the insurance industry maintain a cordial relationship with its existing customers.
The insurance industry refers to ensuring risk management in the form of insurance contracts. The key motives of the insurance companies are to offer financial support with a certain amount to their policyholders or customers. Most of the drawbacks in the policy rules may lead to the loss of customers. Thus, the insurance company needs to know how to retain customers for a long time?
The growing advancement in the technology world has changed the mindset of customers across the industries. Now you can find that customers expect a quick response if they have any queries or complaints. It would not be wrong to anticipate a similar aspect for the prospects as well. Thus insurance companies need to have an organized system to respond to their customers to boost customer engagement and at the same time to win the prospects.
Apart from these, effective communication with customers and prospects helps to build and grow their relationship with your company.
Customers have multiple options that usually lead to a competitive scenario for you. Therefore, to stand out from your competitors, you need to include the differential factors to serve your customers and keep growing with increased retention.
What do you need to improve your customer service approach?
Assess your customer’s needs
Assessment of your customer’s needs before you try to engage them with your business products or services is the indispensable aspect. Insurance companies can meet their customer’s needs only if they analyze the problems of each customer thoroughly. Their genuine approach will help them to find the tips to enhance customer engagement along with their retention.
It is needless to explain that where people make some investments, they expect more for resolutions with no delays. Late response or incomplete information about their queries may lead to distrust for your insurance policies and other policy plans. This is why; insurance companies should be attentive in terms of managing their customer service part at all costs.
Improvement in customer onboarding
The very first interaction with customers may be effective and beneficial for your business. But what can make it true is a big concern. The most important thing is you need to create a hassle-free platform for those who want to buy insurance policies based on different plans. Your approach in that direction will help you to engage more customers for your insurance policies.
Resolving the queries of customers or visitors with complete information should be the priority task. Such an achievement can be accomplished with useful tutorials, screen tips, and from time to time informative emails to let customers gain relevant information policy plans.
Approach for personalizing interaction
This refers to understanding the actual needs of customers. You can follow such a strategy with the help of the customer’s database from where you can find their queries and complaints.
Further, you may create the scope for a personalized experience for your customers and augment their engagement with your products and services.
Customer service through Omni Channel platform
Taking care of customers’ approach across multiple channels is imperative to build trust. You can increase your customer’s engagement rate by offering them valuable information about your products on their selected channel at the right time.
Such measures are crucial for boosting the customer’s retention and also developing a relationship with visitors for more conversions.
Request for customer feedback
Feedback provided by customers as per their experience with your business can do a lot for you. Therefore, insurance companies need to work on their feedback.
However, you need to take on the customer-friendly platform to allow them easily share their feedback about their experience with your policy services. With the quick sources for connecting to the customers, you can show gratitude to them for their precious time to share the feedback through your prescribed format of feedback submission.
Some of the above-stated strategies can help you to your customers with insurance services. Customers always seek out peace and this is why they avoid taking a risk for their financial investment. Another aspect is customer retention which is possible only with customer engagement. Therefore, you need to be focused on your customer service strategy for quick response to your customer’s queries and resolutions to their complaints.
With the advent of innovative technologies, businesses have shifted to personalized customer support services to boost their productivity. Such vital changes across different industries have significantly contributed to an increase in the customer’s expectations. Therefore, businesses need to search for new ways to measure customer expectations and improve their overall experience with products and services. Generally, buyers expect more benefits like quick response and fulfillment of TAT to their request, and queries and options to share their feedback as well. However, this is the normal aspect as your customer purchases your company’s products by investing their hard-earned money.
But unavailability of a fully managed customer support setup can lead to negligence to your customer’s expectations. Therefore, what should be a strategy to make your support service more functional to boost relationships with your clients? We have shared this blog post to let you learn and implement effective techniques to meet your customer expectations with ease.
How to identify top expectations of customers?
If you want to measure customer expectations and improve their overall experiences, then you will require doing some of the assignments.The first aspect is you need to realize what your consumers wish for? How can you develop yourself to meet their demands on time? What are ways to make them feel heard and valued? These are some of the queries over which you need to work and develop understandings for quick management of your support services. The customer’s top expectations are usually:
Instant response from support executives.
Quick action for solution within a short span.
Steady updates for resolution processes for requests and issues.
Appreciations for their feedback and personalized services.
Availability of a convenient platform for easy connection to the customer support reps.
Self-service options for faster troubleshooting of problems.
What are the challenges most customers face?
The most important aspect is you need to understand your client’s values and their capitalized money to purchase your products. This is quite sure; they would never tolerate unexpected problems during the utilization of your company’s products and services. Unanticipated problems always hurt anyone and this is what happens with your consumers.
After facing problems, they approach to connect to you because they trust you genuinely. But delayed response or neglected calls give rise to the negative images of your business brands. Thus, you can opt for the working strategies that would help you to know your clients’ expectations.
Take a look at the relevant tips to meet your customer expectations
How to measure customer expectations is the most important concern of today’s businesses? Your professional gesture towards your clients will help you to improve their overall experience with your products and services. Thus, you can choose the following service-oriented techniques to keep them delighted.
The creation of a self-service platform for clients can help you outstandingly
You can create a knowledge base in the form of usual FAQs generally put by your clients. Such initiatives would not only prevent your customers from getting disappointed but also will let your support executives be free from the extra burden. Their saved time will enable them to focus on their core tasks for the betterment of your business’s revenues ultimately.
Reach out for each interaction with empathy
You need to develop cordial customs to deal with your customer’s inquiries, complaints, or requests of any kind. Customers always wish to have a platform from where they may get the assurance instantly for a solution. Thus, keeping the basic aspects into your consideration is essential to keep going with the retention of existing customers and attracting new ones.
Develop a better sense of understanding of your customer’s issues
It is crucial to understand your customer’s issues. If you initiate to resolve your customer’s issues through strategic measures, it will provide you with better insights into your customer’s concerns and will help you to create future ready-CX strategies. Since the ultimate goal is to keep your customers happy for retention and engagement with your brands. Therefore, you can improve your customer service functions by profoundly considering their usual reasons to reach out to your customer support executives.
Make sure to keep your words
Consumers usually look for their comfort and convenience. If they are visiting your business website and have decided to purchase your products, it means they have come across the mechanism that will fulfill their requirements as per their convenience deadlines. But in case your business service mechanism does not work to fulfill what they had expected, then it can frustrate them a lot. Further, they can also abandon your brands in future days. This is why; keeping a consistent track of your all-service mechanism is the most imperative aspect to keep your businesses growing.
Never hesitate in apologizing in front of your customers
Apology is the best way to leave a positive impression of your business brands. Sometimes, failure in your business service can arise because of technical glitches in your system. In that situation, the buyers may show their disappointment with your business. But you can manage such a critical situation by showing your intense regret for the inconveniences caused to them.
Delight your consumers where you get an opportunity
Delighting your consumers refers to the action you take to add some more facilities to your business services. But such a thing can be possible by tracking your customer’s expectations thoroughly. By boosting the level of your customer’s satisfaction, you can easily increase the rate of their retention.
Approach for customer’s feedbacks
Approach for your customer’s feedback, is the most authentic way to make them realize your activeness. Buyers generally seek out a platform that may ensure them complete solutions for their issues. This is why initiatives to gain their feedback are the most relevant measure to update them with accountabilities you have taken to offer the solution at a personalized level.
Having deep insights into the customer’s expectations is imperative to improve their overall brand experience. Thus, you can ask your clients to share their feedback and suggestions about improvements if needed from their end. Such initiatives will ensure faster growth of your businesses.
Customer experience is the core factor to gain a competitive advantage and create brand recognition. This is the universal truth that products and services are not enough to sustain your business in the market. You need to work to improve your customer experience as well.
In this blog, we have thoroughly discussed how you can improve customer experience and can boost your business profits.
Today fierce competition in every industry has created the requirements to stand alone for consistent growth. You can sustain yourself in the business market using the appropriate marketing tactics. Sometimes, the business could not realize their priorities and fail to meet their customer’s demands. This is why; businesses should learn how to keep their customers delighted and gain their loyalty.
The focus on improving customer experience is supposed to create opportunities to enhance the rate of customer retention, customer satisfaction and also increase the cross-selling and up-selling factors.
Expert Techniques To Improve Customer Experience
Customer experience begins with the interaction with your business. They come from different sources such as the website and referral. Therefore, you need to include the measures that may allow you to find out how to improve customer experience to achieve your business goals. You may follow these steps to boost your customer experience.
Develop Omni-Channel Platform For Improved Customer Experience
Tracking the customer’s issues and requests is the most important thing to improve their experience with your brand. They want their resolutions with no hassles and within a short span. The availability of the Omni-channel platform enables businesses to track their customer’s interactions and take action to resolve their complaints or meet their requests.
Initiate To Know Your Customer
This refers to realizing your customer behaviors and their specific demands. It is crucial to read out your customer needs and wants. Your effort will enable you to effectively interact with your customers. A better understanding of your customer behaviors will also help you to boost your customer-centricity.
Focus On Your Customer’s Feedback
Customer feedback lets you know about the quality of your products and services. Sometimes, customers suggest some quality improvement from their end. Thus, it is imperative to take a thorough look at what they suggest. This is mandatory for assessing the flaws of the business brand.
Evaluate Your Business Objectives
Another most important thing is to evaluate your business objectives. Different services and products have different audiences. This is why taking the relevant audiences into accountability is vital. It is needless to say that new customers also approach your business. But how much they are relevant to your business is a significant concern. You can approach to interact with them for the sure conversion.
Create An Affectionate Bond With Your Customers
The creation of an affectionate bond with them will strengthen your relationship with your customers efficiently. This will help you to analyze your customer’s needs effectively. On the other hand, they will also feel secure about their resolution factors. They expect an instant response for resolution when they approach you. This is why; you have to be responsive and polite with your customers to retain them for your products and services.
Why is improving the customer experience important?
CX is important for your brand. Further, you can find some of the important benefits of improving the customer experience which is as below:
Assist To Improve Customer Satisfaction
If your customers are satisfied with your services and products, then it is natural they will prefer to continue with your business for the long term. This in turn will boost your business ROI and will help you to attract new prospects for conversions.
Boost Customer Retention
This is one of the most significant factors for business growth. Retention of customers reflects the positive image of your services and products. That’s why; an effort to retain your customers can help you to get more engagement and referrals.
Reduce Customer Attrition
The poor quality of customer services is the main cause of customer attrition. You need to keep a check on your customer support functionalities to ensure an enhanced customer experience and create a positive impression of your business brand.
Superior customer experience leads to a boost in sales. Existing customers are the best source for the advertisement of your business brands. This ultimately helps you to reduce customer acquisition costs and improves the revenue of your business.
Customer experience is the real-time reflection of your business quality. Therefore, you have to be very considerate of your customer service approach to make sure every customer is satisfied with your brands. Further, you can opt to ask for the feedback of your customers to analyze the flaws of your products and services proficiently. Your approach will let you improve your business brand’s quality as per the customer demand.
Efficient customer services are keys to achieving business goals. This is the universal truth and applies to businesses across all verticals. Customers are powerful enough to build your business within a night. But what about those who come up with complaints about your business products and services? More or less, businesses have to face problems with their unhappy or angry consumers. Therefore,having information about how to manage customer complaints seamlessly is essential. Business owners need to have a well-defined system to manage their customer’s complaints effortlessly on the phone, live chat, & social media.
In this blog post, we have discussed relevant strategies that will let you know how to manage customer complaints on phone, live chat, & social media.
With the internet-driven world, you can experience dramatic changes in the business world. The online availability of businesses has led to better connectivity with their clients. The presence of social media platforms has provided added advantages.
How to manage the impacts of customer complaints seamlessly?
Customers may show their disappointments through Phone, Live Chat, & Social Media. Businesses need to take care of each word they share about your company’s flaws. Sometimes consumers aggressively post complaints on social media platforms that may lead to quick deterioration in your brand reputation. Therefore, business owners need to understand the strategy that can help them to manage their customer’s complaints seamlessly on social media platforms.
Techniques to manage the Customer Complaints
Handling customers’ complaints might be challenging as they never stop with their complaints. They want a better quality of the services and products from your business. Thus, you must know how to manage customer complaints seamlessly on different social media platforms.But if you could not match their demand you may be loaded with their frustrations. Thus, every business must understand the techniques for hassle-free management of their customer complaints.
Move forward as soon as possible to resolve issues
Most often, when your customers connect to your support service team, they expect solutions quickly. Thus, you need to train your support executives in such a way that they can be able to offer a seamless resolution to your customer’s complaints. Such an initiative will help your customers to gain a better customer experience.
Stay responsive with quick service
Your instant and seamless response is the key factor for the resolution of customers’ complaints. There should be uninterrupted coordination among your support service representatives for an effortless service flow. However, you should gladly accept the mistake in case you find the consumers in an aggressive mode.
If you agree to your business service flaws, then it will help your clients realize your positive effort for the best services. In other words, an apology is the most effective method to manage your customer’s complaints and ask them to provide you with time for your business service improvements.
Maintain an integrated channel to manage client’s interactions
You need to keep a check on interactions taking place with each customer. Thus, you must have a uniform platform that can enable you to manage complaints seamlessly on a single platform. Accumulated customer complaint data will help you to analyze the improvement in your services and product quality effectively.
You may receive clients’ complaints through different sources like live chat, phone, or social media. Thus, there are always the possibilities of missing some of the customer’s complaints. Verbal communications are considered the most efficient method to connect to the support service team. Clients also prefer the use of social media platforms to let you know about their concerns.
Do not miss responding to social media complaints
The fact is more than 75% of people use social media platforms to connect to your products and services. They find it more convenient and credible as well. Therefore, you need to coordinate with your all service representatives to deliver quick support services to make your customer service seamless.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are being used by many people. They stay and spend their time either for professional objectives or personal connections with their friends and families. Thus, they mostly highlight their complaints through social media sources and expect for response and resolution shortly.
Avoid taking much time for resolution
Customers like to find an instant resolution for their complaints. Thus, you need to be faster at offering solution service for seamless customer engagement factors and their retention. Since the experience of your existing customers creates an opportunity for prospect conversions, they are the foundation of businesses and this is why having a hassle-free platform for coordination with the support team is crucial.
Create an emotional bond
Everlasting bond with your clients can be created by connecting to them emotionally. Thus, any business must understand their customer’s pain and try their best to resolve it at the earliest. They buy your products and other services only if they trust you. But issues beyond their expectations can dishearten them and they may end using your products forever.
Keep updating your clients with your solution process
Providing your clients with regular updates about your solution process help to build trust between you and your clients. Therefore, you need to manage uninterrupted communication flow related to your resolution process with your customers. They seek out faster solution services. Hence, updates of their complaint status will help them to stay calm and stress-free.
Post resolution follow-ups
It plays an important role in making your client’s relationship stronger. Post-resolution follow-ups make them realize that you understand their pain and are available to them for their service. Your supportive gesture for your customers can help you to grow your business smoothly.
The seamless management of customers’ complaints on the phone, live chats, & social media can ensure the business’s success rapidly. Proficient initiative is necessary to maintain a good relationship with customers. Always understand your customer’s needs and respond to them immediately rather than making delays. The proper setup for your customer service can enhance customer retention along with boosting conversions.
Customers are the most vital asset of every business. A study by Helpscout suggests that 80% of companies say they deliver “superior” customer service, However, only 8% of customers agree with that assessment. Customer satisfaction act as the primary catalyst in pushing a company forward, and ensuring repeat business. However, companies cannot create their customer service strategies based on vague data or few interactions and can only trust quantitative data. Needless to say, thorough survey work and few measuring parameters have to be employed to understand the standards of customer service. These metrics will help in improving customer value while reducing the churn rate.
Customer-centric companies make it a healthy practice to determine the customer’s satisfaction levels, very frequently. Marketing teams can also improve their strategies using this particular data. Such practices keep them far from service deficits and place them ahead in the competition.
There are many worldwide methods for measuring customer satisfaction. However, only a few of them provide near to accurate data. Here’s a look at the most commonly used customer satisfaction metrics:
Customer Feedback Through Surveys
Customer Surveys are one of the most common and important methods of measuring the quality of customer service. It is better to ask your customers directly what they think of your service, rather than just self-assumptions. You may initiate different types of surveys on various channels, mostly after the service is provided. Surveys can be hosted in 4 different ways:
a) In-App Surveys:
Customers often tend to overlook such surveys unless they are caught in the action. In-app surveys are presented to the customer while they are in the process of using your service. This facilitates an immediate reaction and a potentially high response rate.
However, such surveys should not deter the customer experience when availing of the service. The survey should be short and precise and seamlessly inserted into the interface.
b) Post-Call Surveys:
The best feedback is received as soon as the service interaction gets over. CSAT surveys can be initiated immediately once the call gets over. The customer can provide feedback by just pressing a key, which is automatically rolled up to the manager in the CSAT report.
If you’re looking to ask insightful questions about the entire customer experience, then email surveys are a sure thing. You can also target segmented customers to ask in-depth questions about their situation and feedback.
While these surveys will give you the lowest response rates, still they allow customers who wish to do so to answer in greater details and provides you constructive feedback on your services. You can use this in-depth feedback to create CX strategies and increase customer satisfaction across a wider spectrum.
d) Voluntary Feedback:
Sometimes customers who had a bad experience or an extremely good experience want to let you know of the same and hence it’s also important to offer a way for customers to speak up of their own desire. However, an automated response often deters them from further engagement.
Thus, you should ensure a personalized response or arrange a phone call to understand the customer’s expectations. Furthermore, positive feedbacks can be recorded as success stories to encourage other customers and can be published as a success story on your website also.
Net Promoter Score
As per a study in 2020, 64% of customers are more likely to recommend a brand to their friends or families if it offers simpler experiences and communications. The net promoter score or the NPS method of measuring customer satisfaction revolves around this point.
NPS was introduced to fill in the gaps that CSAT couldn’t as it lacks the predictive power to gauge customer loyalty. NPS uncovers how likely your customer will recommend your product/service to their friends. The scale ranges between 1-10 where 1 denotes ‘Not at all likely’ and 10 denotes ‘Extremely likely.’ You can calculate your NPS by subtracting the percentage of detractors from that of promoters. The higher your score, the better is NPS.
NPS is ascertained upon the basis of an emotionally motivated question. Thus, the response rate is higher, and often dissatisfied customers never miss this opportunity to answer the survey. Ideally, you should use this opportunity to retain dissatisfied customers and make an impact on them with absolute customer service.
Customer Satisfaction Score:
The customer satisfaction score or the CSAT score is a universal and most common metric used to rate a customer’s recent interaction with the customer service team. The parameter ranges from 1-5, where the lowest number denotes highly unsatisfied, and the highest number signifies highly satisfied. The more respondents give a positive answer, the higher is your CSAT score.
The CSAT is the basic method of understanding the quality of your service as it does not indicate any essential factors from the interaction that took place. The method won’t cover a customer’s principal impression of your company. Similarly, its results tend to be biased, since mildly satisfied or dissatisfied customers will tend to neglect the question entirely. Though the CSAT is an inevitable metric, it is by no means a complete one.
Customer Effort Score
The customer effort score, or CES, is a customer-centric approach for understanding the quality of customer service. It asks the customer: “how hard did you have to work to get your issue with product/service fixed/query answered/service rendered?”. The measuring scale here ranges from 1 to 5, where 1 denotes fewer difficulties, and 5 denotes excessive hassle, and the lower your score, the better it is. The CES is a good indicator of increasing customers’ loyalty by saving their time and effort and shifting their efforts more towards unhappy customers. Most organizations also add a text box after the survey so that the customers can elaborate on their issue, assisting the organization to improve specifically on those fronts.
Website analytics is a data-driven metric that works without any direct involvement of the customer. It crawls your website traffic actively, reads your sales funnel, understands your customer behavior, and predicts future conversions. Such insights, if compiled and utilized smartly, can result in the creation of a successful customer service strategy that can be a crucial differentiator among your competition
Social Media Metrics
Customers can reach you from any medium and Social media is one of the most popular one nowadays. They openly flaunt their purchases on social media and even go on insulting the brands who dissatisfy them. Social media is an important channel to monitor customer happiness. Most social media platforms come with a business account facility that provides an analytics dashboard and insights. Carefully observe your audience and focus on their comments, on their recommendations. Customer support teams should gather this data and create CX strategies to improve the satisfaction/engagement levels for a better social media presence.
Customer service metrics are the food for every business. Ways for measuring customer satisfaction might vary across industries; however, the above-stated pointers are the most successful parameters that are used to guide a customer support team. You cannot improve what you don’t know or what you can’t measure. Thus, measuring customer satisfaction must be a widespread practice at businesses of all sizes, and domains
DialDesk is a company that understands the importance of this practice and pushes a synergetic support system for businesses across the world.
If you’re mapping or want to track your customer journey, there are plenty of things to be kept in mind – and plenty of pitfalls to be avoided.
While customer journey mapping may not a brand new idea, the last few years have seen a steep increase in the impact, the concept is having across the business, and critically, in the boardroom.
As is the case with many emerging disciplines, it’s easy to get carried away and run headlong into it without even fully understanding what your goals are.
Customer journey mapping needs to embrace much more than just a list of your sales and service channels. It needs to deliver a thorough understanding of what your customers are trying to achieve, and the steps they take to achieve it.
A true customer journey map provides a robust framework that encompasses the entire business, how each area impacts the customer and informs your Voice of the Customer (VOC) program to ensure you’re able to capture feedback at the right moments.
Here are some critical Do’s and Don’ts to bear in mind when it comes to mapping your customer journey.
DO have a robust plan. A journey map must produce value and drive change if it is to improve customer-centricity across the company. Are you going to use the map to boost the customer experience at specific channels? To engage employees? To refine and consolidate your brand? You will probably find that you can do more than you imagine at the start, but make sure you have measurable and achievable aims.
DON’T forget that your journey map as part of your broad customer experience program. Ensure that the feedback you gather through that program is linked to the touchpoints on your map. This enables you to spot the root cause of any issues effectively and take action quickly where you need to.
DON’T try to create your map in a vacuum. It’s important that you include people from across your company and from all levels. It’s a great rallying point for your business because you can see how different stakeholders fit within the framework and help them to understand their impact on the customer experience. For example, frontline employees have a pool of knowledge that must be included, and back-office areas like accounting or despatch will hold information about processes that directly affect the customer but are often virtually unknown outside their departments.
DO remember that your customers would see your brand as a single entity. They don’t know (or even care to know) that the website is handled by different people to the call center or the social media program. Or that some of your services are outsourced or in-house. As you build your map, think about all combinations of touchpoints that customers go through, and consider how well you can deliver your brand experience at each of them.
DON’T try to create a map based on generic customers. Create buyer personas, fictional characters who are trying to achieve something specific by interacting with your business. You may only require a handful, or you may need more, but the process of mapping the journey is much easier when you can focus on it.
DO remember that your customer journey map needs to show more than just the point of contact you’re defining. You also need to check, what customers are trying to achieve at that point, why they’re there, how they feel and what external factors might be influencing them. This will help you to build that meet customers’ needs effectively and efficiently.
DO remember that some things are beyond your control but will still impact how customers feel about you. It might not be entirely fair (roadworks outside your branch or your customer’s internet connection that makes your site slow), but the result is going to be the same. When you build your map, make a note of the things that have or can affect your key customer touch points. In some cases, you may be able to create strategies to mitigate against them.
DON’T forget to share. As well as your team of stakeholders from across the company, you need to ensure that the wider business understands what you’re doing and why. Most importantly, make it clear to your employees that they all have an impact on your customer journey. Whether directly or indirectly, they play a role in one or more of the key touchpoints, and being aware of that can be highly engaging for everyone.
DO review and renew/refresh your journey map. Once complete, you need to revisit and review the map on a regular basis. It may not need to amendment most of the time, but in some cases, a new branch, sales channel, or delivery company, for example, will have kicked in and you need to build that into your map. Otherwise, within a couple of years, you’ll have something that looks like an out-of-date atlas that doesn’t acknowledge a major road!
Customers are the bloodline of any business. Without them, there will be no reason to continue the business. Even more importantly, there will be no profits. But, when you acquire customer data regularly, it helps you understand what your customers need most and what do they expect from your product or services.
Gathering customer data is extremely challenging and a critical task too. Businesses now need to be extremely careful with how they acquire their customers’ data, how they store it, and how do they use it for creating long-term or short-term business strategies. A business needs to be transparent during every step of the process.
Let’s explore the questions a business should ask itself and its customers’ when gathering the data.
How will you acquire data?
How a business acquires the customers’ data is highly significant. Businesses are using an array of diversified sources to acquire and process their customer data. You can collect customer data by:
Directly asking the customer and creating his profile
By appending other sources of customer data
By indirectly tracking the customers
The most common place to pull data is from consumer activity on a business’s website. Location-based advertising is an interesting method, however, as it uses an internet-connected device’s IP address so that it can build a data profile. Through this data profile, a business can use hyper-relevant advertising methods.
How will you protect the data?
Another important question a business must ask itself when gathering customers’ data is: how will I protect the data?
It is imperative that every piece of customer data is encrypted and stored securely. Data theft is a real threat to every business. Should it happen to your business, it could potentially close the doors on your company. Therefore, you need to ensure every piece of sensitive data is safeguarded and encrypted.
However, it’s crucial to remember that safeguarding customer data starts in your office. Studies have suggested that employees are one of the biggest threats to data breaches. Every employee needs to be well versed in the best practices of creating a strong password and ensuring they don’t give permission to view sensitive data to anyone who shouldn’t have access.
What data do you need to make the right decisions for your business?
This question is important as it will form the basis of your data collection. From gathering names, locations, and age to more personal information such as customers’ income status and lifestyle preferences, this data will enable a business to know who they are catering to and what is their buyer’s persona. It will allow a business to know who they want to be targeting if they aren’t doing so already. Think about the following to understand what data to collect:
Name, age, and family status: Single, married, widowed, divorced, and so on
Lifestyle: Own a house, living situation, income status
Education status: High school, a university graduate, postgraduate
Occupation status: Unemployed, in work, retired
Specific occupation: marketing, retail, IT, engineering, hospitality etc.
Why do you need to gather data?
Another very important question to consider; why are you gathering this data?
Is it something that will help you create customized marketing campaigns? Will it show you which demographics respond most to your products or services? Is it for feedback on your current products and services? By answering this question, you will be able to gather the correct data.
However, this question will also help you understand what benefit customer data will bring your business.
Above all, the data should paint a clear, defined picture of your customers. This information will be invaluable for the business as a whole moving forward, from marketing to product development.
Gathering customer data is a challenge. Not only do you need to know what data to collect, and how, but you also need to protect and safeguard every piece of information. Only by doing so can you ensure customers continue to trust your business with their data.
According to research, over 70% of all customers who leave a company for its competition have no problem with the product. Their main issue is with the customer care offered. This means that customer churn can hypothetically be reduced by 70% with world-class customer care.
The trouble is, world-class customer care can come with a hefty price tag. Data from the Worldwide Industry Benchmark Report for 2015 shows that the average cost per inbound customer service call is $1.30. This is for average customer care. But the minute you want to up the ante, the costs go up exponentially.
That does not mean you give up on the quest for exceptional care for your customers. Here are a few ideas that will help reduce your customer care costs without a negative impact on quality.
Hire the right people and train them well
No matter how fancy your software, if you don’t have the right people manning your customer care lines, you’re in for big trouble. By “right”, I mean the few essential traits that your staff needs to have, including:
A helpful disposition,
Strong listening skills,
High-level cognitive skills to understand and address users’ problems
Quick decision-making capability,
Ability to pacify irate customers
Genuine personal warmth and empathy that puts the customer at ease
All these qualities make a stellar customer care representative—one that you’ll be proud to have to represent your business. Once you have good employees, invest time and resources in training them well. Teach them how to get things right in the first attempt, how to mollify heated situations, and how to work together as a team.
As you rightly guessed, such people don’t come cheap. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish by hiring the least experienced or skilled people who apply to your customer care positions. By investing in talented staff, you will improve customer satisfaction, reduce repeat calls, and increase overall revenue in the long run.
Identify your customer’s problems
Customers call up your support hotline for a myriad of reasons. It could be anything from solving product issues to maintenance requests. However, with the help of customer support software, it is possible to track the reasons why users call and identify those that top the list. Once you’ve identified the top problem areas, work out a way to fix them. Let’s say the majority of your calls are about monthly purchases. By setting up a simple section on your site that allows users to buy monthly subscriptions, you automate the payment process and eliminate the cost of taking user calls for purchases.
Proactively eliminate problems
Mike Cholak from Convergys suggests building a “Customer Experience Map.” Map out the path your customers take through your support system and identify processes or products that make for a poor user experience. Fixing these issues on priority helps improve your customer’s overall satisfaction rate with your company. It will also mean fewer repeat calls, shorter call times, and quicker problem resolution, all contributing to a lowering of customer care costs.
Set up self-service options and make them easy to spot
Customers cite calling call centers and waiting to be served as one of the most irritating things they do in a day. Avoid troubling your customers by offering them information about your product or service upfront, via detailed FAQs.
Some important things to remember about your FAQs section:
Include a search bar in your FAQ section. This makes it easier for the user to find answers for their specific problem without having to read through reams of questions and answers irrelevant to them.
Use simple, conversational language over technical jargon. The idea is to make sure the customer can understand your solution without having to call up customer care for clarifications.
It’s not enough to simply create a great FAQ section; make sure it’s prominently displayed on your website and visitors can find it.
However awesome your FAQ section maybe, some users simply can’t go without having a real person answer their questions. They can’t be bothered to “go on the internet” and dig into instructions or forum discussions. To help such customers, create a self-service option on your customer care phone lines, or provide live chat options on your site.
Consider remote work for customer care agent
The technology available today can eliminate the need for having all your customer care personnel under one roof. You can build a support team that works from home and is located anywhere in the world at a significantly lower cost than transporting people to your location, paying rent, utilities, and other assorted overhead at a permanent commercial property.
Remote workers have been known to put in longer hours, are less stressed out, and are cheaper to maintain than employees in physical offices. Microsoft’s “Work Without Walls” whitepaper tells you all the different benefits that come with remote workers such as:
Better work/life balance (60% of respondents)
Savings on gas (55%)
A quieter and less stressful environment to work
However, ensure that your customer service agents are equipped with tools and useful software that enable them to work efficiently. Zendesk Chat, for example, allows agents to chat with the customer and each other through a simple web-based dashboard.
The ability to track your agent and customer support team’s performance through analytics will also be useful in helping your teamwork better from their respective locations
Interested in LIVE Chat for your business? Email to get in touch at email@example.com
You need to keep updating your customer strategies to ensure that they are happy with your products & services. Everything from customer marketing with campaigns based on shopper feedback to improving your omnichannel strategy can help you boost customer retention and increase trust and loyalty.
Really listen to the customer:
How many times have you dealt with a Contact Centre where the customer service repetitive (CSR) has not really listened to your conversation or has interjected whilst you have been talking?
From my perspective, it happens all too often and is really an unpleasant experience.
Many Contact Centres have strong KPI targets set around average call lengths, which in turn can lead to the CSR’s rushing through calls and not taking the time out to really listen and understand the customers’ needs.
Occasions where the CSR is not really understanding the problem can be easily resolved by the proven process of the CSR repeating the caller’s concerns/issues or questions as part of the usual interaction.
This is called active listening and is the old story of getting your CSR’s to slow down, listen, repeat, confirm, and respond!
Of course, the other golden rule is to always train and encourage your CSR’s to never talk over a caller whilst they are dealing with them!
Speak the customer’s language:
As part of the gap analysis, it was discovered that the Contact Centre CSR’s were doing the customers an injustice when selling products and servicing their needs, which was driving customer attrition.
It is not recommended to bombard the customers with too much technical information, and in-house terminology. This meant the customers became confused and embarrassed during the call because they did not really understand what the CSR’s were talking about.
The golden rule in these cases is to make sure your CSR’s are talking to your customers on their own terms so that the customer becomes empowered and understands what is being talked about.
The Company acknowledged this issue and agreed to implement our suggested initiative of “talking in real terms”.
Once in place, the Company realized a direct decrease of 1.5% in customer attrition from this initiative alone, a winning formula in anyone’s books!
Servicing your customer beyond expectations:
Do you currently exceed your customer’s service expectations?
Using Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) and providing good old fashioned customer service are powerful tools to help retain customers.
SLAs can be measured against a number of key attributes in any Contact Centre, including, Speed of answer, Issue resolution times, and service provision.
All of these areas are where customer’s expectations can readily be exceeded by not only the measurement of success but also the provision of best practice service.
Imagine calling a company, not having to wait in a queue to be answered, being served by a CSR that engaged with you, understood your needs, provided great service, sold you products that were applicable to you, and generated solutions to problems; and the list goes on.
Wouldn’t that be a great experience every time you transacted with an organization like this!
After all, a happy customer is more likely to bring in free referral business, generate good word-of-mouth publicity, and remain loyal for longer.
Offering solutions to stop them from leaving:
Reducing customer attrition through the use of tools such as “Save initiatives” is an exciting subject that could have its own article dedicated to it.
However, I will give you a quick overview of a couple of scenarios that have successfully aided businesses which I have supported.
Firstly there are two types of saving initiatives: proactive and reactive.
Proactive initiatives are undertaken before a customer has left your business and is orchestrated as a reaction to subtle triggers that the customer is displaying that lead you to believe he/she may be looking to move away from your business. For example, a customer that has recently met the average lifetime value of your customer base could be considered at risk of leaving so you may wish to acknowledge that customer for their custom.
Reactive initiatives are driven as a direct result of the customer advising that they are leaving your
business. For example, it could be an offer of a discount if they retain their business with your company.
Save initiatives can be as complex or as simple as you want or need them to be, but the implementation of any save initiative within a business and particularly via its Contact Centre operations is a positive step in helping reduce customer attrition.
Best practice organizations have comprehensive Save initiatives with dedicated budgets and empower their CSR’s to be able to offer services/products/discounts as needed to retain customers.
Companies that are starting out on the Save initiative journey can start with simple things like sending a voucher to customers that are reaching the customer average live time value or have not transacted with them for an extended period of time.
If you are struggling with any aspect of customer management, our team has recently helped many businesses get their customer strategies in order.
In its simplest definition, customer experience is the sum of all the interactions that a customer has with a company over the course of the relationship and includes the customer’s feelings, emotions, and perceptions of the brand during the course of those interactions. Some people question whether product and price are part of customer experience.
Customer experience is actually the “umbrella discipline,” so to speak, while customer service falls under that umbrella. Customer service is just one of those interactions, one touchpoint in the overall customer experience; servicing customers is one action of many that comprise the customer experience.
Journey mapsare a way to walk in – and to capture – your customer’s steps and chart her course as she interacts with your organization while trying to fulfill some need or complete some task, e.g., call support, purchase a product, etc. The map (created with customers, from their viewpoint) describes what customers are doing, thinking, and feeling at each step in the journey. With the right data integrated into the map, you can identify key moments of truth, i.e., make-or-break moments or moments during which the customer decides if she will continue to do business with you or not, and ensure that those moments are executed flawlessly going forward.
Important to the journey mapping process is to have the right customers and the right stakeholders in the room to create the maps. The right customers are those for whom you’re mapping, obviously. We typically identify the personas for which we’ll map before beginning any mapping workshop; the right customers will represent those personas. The right stakeholders include individuals from the cross-functional departments that are either directly or indirectly involved in the journey that you’re mapping.
The customer service experience is one of my favorite journeys to map because it is such a rich experience; it affords such huge teaching and learning opportunity.
People contact customer service when the product isn’t working right; the documentation isn’t clear; marketing set expectations that the product didn’t deliver; sales sold the dream and not what the product actually does; the invoice is not accurate or hard to decipher; or for a variety of other reasons. Something (i.e., the experience) broke down somewhere upstream, long before the customer even thought about calling – or even wanted to call – customer service.
In other words, when messages are misleading or confusing, when the customer has a complaint about an interaction or a transaction, or when something doesn’t work the way the customer expects, the experience is broken. The resultant action: the customer calls customer service to get help or to get answers.
This call isn’t customer service’s fault. This isn’t a breakdown in service; this is a breakdown in the experience. And so, customer service takes the beating and the anguish from the customer for something that could’ve been designed better upstream. Had that proper design occurred, the number of frustrated customers calling the call center would have been drastically reduced!!