Customer Service Training for Better Customer Retention
Customer retention is an extremely important concept for businesses. After all, research published by the White House Office of Consumer Affairs shows that loyal customers are worth an average of ten times the value of their first purchase, and the cost of acquiring a new customer is six times more than the cost of retaining an existing one.
Although the quality of products or services will have a bearing on customer retention rates, one of the most crucial factors is customer service. With that in mind, how can you adjust your customer service training to ensure your team delivers the type of service that will actually boost customer loyalty and improve retention rates.
While it may seem like a fairly obvious point, one of the most essential aspects of delivering a satisfactory customer service experience is to have knowledgeable staff, who are able to answer questions and solve problems. Yet, many businesses fail to identify what type of knowledge their employees lack and do not seem to address this through customer service courses, which leads to customer frustration.
According to Genesys, 78 percent of customers believe competent service reps are vital for a happy customer experience. However, Harris Interactive found that customer service agents fail to adequately answer customer questions 50 percent of the time.
For this reason, your customer service training must place an emphasis on pure product (or service) knowledge. The good news is, according to Lee Resources, 70 percent of all customers will do business with you again if you resolve a complaint in their favour, so make sure your staff are equipped to do so.
Despite the fact that we often talk about ‘customers’ as a collective, it is important to remember that each and every customer is an individual, who wants to be treated as such. When a Genesys Global Survey asked customers what goes into a happy experience, 38 percent specifically mentioned personalisation.
Nevertheless, research carried out by ContactPoint found that employees ask for a customer’s name just 21 percent of the time. This is a very simple point that can easily be addressed though best practice training. Meanwhile, companies should avoid relying too heavily on automation, which can produce an impersonal customer experience.
“Treat your customers/clients like people,” Filiberto Amati, Founder of Amati & Associates, told NG Data. “Making an effort to relate to your clients/customers on a personal level is often the difference between a sustainable business and one that’s here today, gone tomorrow.”
Based on research published by RightNow, 86 percent of consumers quit doing business with a company because of a bad customer experience in 2011, compared to 59 percent who did so in 2007. This shows that customers are increasingly willing to exercise their right to look elsewhere if they are unhappy with the level of service provided.
In particular, frustration is a common problem and something that needs to be avoided for the sake of retention.
American Express report that 67 percent of customers have hung up the phone in the past year out of pure frustration at not being able to speak to a real person. For this reason, in-house customer service guidlines should emphasise the importance of a frictionless customer experience and aim to remove unnecessary communication barriers.
Customer retention depends heavily on the standard of your customer service, which is why customer service training can play such a key role in boosting retention rates. Customers know what they expect from a business and are more willing to look elsewhere than ever before, so it is imperative that you treat them well.
In particular, customers are looking for knowledgeable staff, who can tell them about products and services, or help them with problems. In addition, it is crucial to take into account that they expect to be treated like individuals and do not expect to have to wait an unreasonable amount of time to get the service they require.