Ninety-two percent of customers say they would stop buying from a company after three or fewer negative experiences, according to Gladly’s 2018 report. While this trend isn’t new, developing a service strategy that focuses on creating a positive customer experience should be a priority for every business that wants success. According to a 2014 Harvard Business Review study, companies that deliver an excellent customer experience out-performed those with a poor experience in growth, revenue, profits and customer retention.
Higher customer retention is a stronger focus for businesses since existing customers cost less to retain and typically spend more. And a 2 percent increase in retention is the same as decreasing expenses by 10 percent.
Customer service teams are the face of your business, working with customers directly on a daily basis. Improving customer retention starts with your customer service team.
Take a look at these six ways that strong customer service helps you keep customers.
1. Builds Trust
Thirty-five percent of customers choose to shop with brands they trust, making it a valuable attribute to learn and create. To create a sense of trust, customer service reps should always:
+ Deliver what they promise
+ Communicate openly, so customers feel as if they aren’t forgotten about
+ Believe in the company they represent
+ Be knowledgable in products and services offered
2. Customers feel appreciated
Too many businesses fail their customers by focusing only on their bottom line. Customer appreciation goes a long way in showing customers they matter. Customer service reps can express appreciation by:
+ Thanking customers for their business
+ Asking if they can do anything additional before ending a conversation
+ Making follow-up calls after a customer call just to check in
3. Improves your business reputation
When customers have a negative experience, they are likely to share it with friends, family, social media and through reviews. Since online reviews show up in search engine results, negative online remarks can quickly escalate, damaging your reputation.
Customers are also more likely to refer friends and colleagues to your business when they have a positive experience. To help create a positive customer experience, train representatives on active listening skills, products and services and how to remain calm during stressful situations.
4. Strong relationships are established
Building strong customer relationships is another powerful way to increase retention. Customers are less likely to leave or have a reason to leave when they are happy with their service. Representatives create strong relationships when:
+ They take the time to get to know customers and remember key details on future calls
+ Use first names throughout a conversation with customers
+ Follow-up after a service call to make sure the customer is satisfied with the outcome
5. Build a strong team
Twenty-seven percent of new customer service agents don’t remain in the customer service field, which is often recognized as the highest employee turnover industry. A few of the causing factors include lack of recognition, now growth opportunity and working environment. To maintain quality customer service representatives, businesses should invest in education, training and employee recognition.
6. Improves solution times
As a result, the customer service team will be more knowledgeable and better equipped to successfully help customers. Many businesses see an increase in first call resolutions rates which improve customer satisfaction and retention.
During a time when customer expectations are soaring, and competition is fierce, it is crucial for companies to deliver great customer service.