How to retain customers by optimizing your touch points
On average, customers will tell 15 people when they’ve had a good experience with a brand. They will tell 24 people when they’ve had a bad one. In this day and age, where virtually everyone has a digital megaphone, this fact might frighten you. Heck, maybe it should.
Extreme customer centricity is one of the new challenges that marketers are facing in 2013. Customers want to be heard, and they want to be heard now. Actively taking your customers into account should be front and center for your business. Losing a client is always unfortunate, and it is important to keep in mind that it is 5 times more expensive to acquire a new customer as it is to retain an old one.
This means that investing in good customer relations is a must for the modern company. The days of spending 15 minutes on hold (while a back-catalog Britney Spears song tests your patience, and possibly your sanity) are over. Today, there are several touch points you can use to inform, help and engage your customers. Optimizing your website, help desk and social media channels will help you retain the customers you have and attract the customers you want.
Let’s take a look at the facts!
Good customer service doesn’t necessarily mean that each time something goes awry, you should compensate your customers for their trouble. 85% of consumers surveyed claims that they would have remained customers, had the business acted differently. This is an impressive number. It might be a good time for an audit of your customer service channels and processes, don’t you think?
- 38% of people like to consult a website to find information, 46% prefer talking to someone over the phone. These are significant portions of your entire audience. It almost goes without saying that you should invest enough time in both channels in order to facilitate two rather large groups of people.
- Convenience is of utmost importance. Customer service should be easy. You want to make sure that your customer assistance channels are easy to find, and that they are properly linked. When a customer takes the time to send you their contact information and their complaint, you should make the effort to input this data into a central database.
- Time is money, and customers want to be helped fast. They don’t want to spend 20 minutes on hold. In fact, a lot of them don’t want to call you at all. They want to send you an e-mail (and expect a response within a day), or a Tweet (for which they will grant you a one hour grace period), or even better, they might like to be able to have a live chat with one of your help desk representatives.
- Let customers know that you are on their side by being supportive: track their history. They will be glad to know that they are heard and understood. This tracking process is an Achilles heel for a lot of larger companies, especially since the inception of a variety of new channels. To fix this ailment, it is important to align your touchpoints. Present your customers with one consistent story and track all incoming customer data, no matter the channel of origin.
12,000 consumers in 32 countries were surveyed and their message was clear: be honest, help us quickly, know us, and most importantly: be nice to us.