3 ways to invest in your employee’s relationship’s with your customers

True story – 15 years ago I was using really at the time what was 1 of 2 national mobile providers that we had to pick from for our mobile plan. Now I don’t recall when the issue exactly started but it did….. “The dreaded billing discrepancies.” My wife was so kind as to take this on, contacting the provider and explaining that we are on a set rate per month so why are we being billed for these extra’s. The call though a bit frustrating to have to help them understand their contract and their billing went as you would expect, an apology for the error happening and they will correct it, and away we go. Next billing cycle comes in and sure enough more over billing pick up the phone and go through the same scenario. After about 4 months of this happening we finally said that’s it, we are wasting more of our (my wife’s) valuable time on reviewing and auditing mobile phone bills every month and it’s simply not worth it, we are switching. The grass is always greener on the other side right!

We make “The Call”…….. We’re breaking up!

Us (my wife) – after formalities “we are calling to advise we are cancelling our service”
Representative – “I’m sorry to hear that can I help in any way”
Us (my wife) – “It’s a long story and I would rather not waste more time on it”
Representative – “I am sure we can help, just let me know what the issue is” ….. (This is the WTH-eck moment, as in how do you not know what has been happening)
Us (my wife)– “I’m sorry but we have tried, it’s just not going to work for us”
Representative – “I am sorry to hear that” More formalities, end call.

Fast forward 1 week, we receive a retention call, they offer an amazing rate for one year we agree to it and away we go again. New plan, new month, and….. same billing issue…uggg. This time it’s going to be for real… break up call #2. (I’ll save you the dramatics’ of call #2).
Now granted this was 15 years ago and as the saying goes, we have come a long way baby, right? we hope.

In today’s ultra-competitive market place not investing in your employee’s relationships with your customers guarantees one result, you will eventually lose that customer. It doesn’t really matter the industry you’re in, be it an online clothing company, mobile phone providers or a local restaurant. The only way you are immune to this is if you have a monopoly on your market. Customer loyalty in today’s market place is not only extremely competitive but resides on a paper thin plate; the ease of switching to another product has never been easier. That easy sign up program you launched, well your competitor if not already will be doing it as well.

Let’s look at some Sticky Stats (CX stats that should stick out in your mind).

“Price is not the main reason for customer churn; it is actually due to the overall poor quality of customer service” – Accenture global customer satisfaction report 2008.

“A customer is 4 times more likely to defect to a competitor if the problem is service-related than price- or product-related” – Bain & Company.

So what impact do your front line employees have on your business, let’s take a look at some more sticky stats

“The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%”– Marketing Metrics.

“A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10%” – Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmet Murphy & Mark Murphy.

One of the most relevant stats that stand out for me is this next one.

“96% of unhappy customers don’t complain, however 91% of those will simply leave and never come back” – 1Financial Training services.

Source – Colin Shaw CEO Beyond Philosophy. Article- 15 Statistics That Should Change The Business World – But Haven’t

So how do you maintain customers? ….Invest in your employee’s relationship with them.

To deliver outstanding service that is memorable here are the 3 things your employees need;

Insight – customer insight is becoming available more than ever before with “Big Data”, really any customer data helps but big data is the hot buzz word that is getting everyone thinking about, “data”. The challenge has always been and still is for many organizations is how do you collect that data, what relevant information can you gather and then the biggest challenge how to use or translate that data for your end users to utilize. Insight is – Knowing your customer – in today’s environment especially contact centers this can be information such as,

– Customer hasn’t logged into their account for a long period
– Mentioned a competitor name on the last call
– Gave negative feedback on the last call
– In my case above, called in for the last 3 months with a billing issue.

Ability – Do your employees have the ability to react to customer demands? Do your systems help them ACT in real time;

– Proactively contact a customer with a personalized offer.
– Guide an agent through the interaction.
– Tailor an offer based on real-time insights.

Intention – Are your employees motivated to provide memorable service consistently? Can you;

– Identify retention best practices.
– Extend across the organization with targeted coaching.
– Apply gamification to focus employees on CSAT and KPI’s.

How do you take your organization to the next level?

With tools that give you insight to truly “know” your customer, allow your employees the ability to ACT in real time and the Intention to provide memorable service.
NICE’s Customer Engagement Solutions pull this capability together;

Know your customer using cross channel analytics solutions;

– Interaction and transaction capture
– Cross channel analytics
– Customer journey visualization and mapping
– Predictive Analytics

ACT in real time

– Guidance and automation of agent desktops
– Speech Analytics
– Compliance adherence
– Fraud prevention

Engage Employees with workforce optimization solutions.

– Workforce staffing & scheduling
– Analytics-driven QA and coaching
– Performance Alignment with corporate objectives
– Gamification and collaboration
– Incentives by business goal

The ability to do all the right things in today’s hyper-speed market place truly requires all the right tools. I encourage you to visit our site www.groupelite.com and contact one of experts to show you some truly amazing technology tools available to help connect your customers and employees.
If you are still pulling disparate systems together and linking multiple DB’s together with homebrew products to try and get a 360 degree view on your business you should take the time to check this out.

Story ending note – It has been 15 years and I have never gone back to that provider, great deals or not. In fact I frequently refer to that story when people bring up mobile providers sub consciously to a degree. Total estimated loss to the provider – $10,000 + marketing that did not win me back.

Remember our Sticky Stats
“Price is not the main reason for customer churn; it is actually due to the overall poor quality of customer service” – Accenture global customer satisfaction report 2008.

Jody Powers
Sr. Contact Center Consultant