A report published recently by Convince and Convert revealed some startling figures on customer service. These should make any business owner sit up and take notice:
- 42% of customers now expect a response to their electronic queries within 60 minutes.
- Customers making electronic queries expect a “real person”, not an automated response.
- 57% of customers expect the same response to electronic queries in the evening and at weekends.
- 24% of customers expect a reply to electronic queries in 30 minutes, regardless of time of day.
These statistics may deal mainly with contact made via social media, but they reflect a wider trend: more and more customers demand immediate support whenever they seek it.
But what does this mean for your business?
- If you have a global customer base, you will need to seriously consider providing extended support hours, possibly even 24/7/365.
- Automated responses are unlikely to improve customer satisfaction levels.
- Speed is of the essence when resolving issues.
All very well and good, but how is it possible to implement such a system, which is cost-effective, allows you to operate around the clock and is amenable to customers?
A Cloud-based platform allows:
- Knowledge – Staff have full visibility over the customer journey, meaning they can respond intelligently to enquiries.
- Empowerment – Staff can make decisions and take action to resolve issues promptly for customers.
- Flexibility – Anywhere, anytime CRM data access; at least you can work from a location of your choice over the weekend!
Exacting customer demands require a dedicated commitment to the customer and their needs. If the customer is not the focus of your business, it will be impossible to provide the highest levels of service they call for.
Empowering call centre operatives to make snap decisions, offer replacements or discounts to appease unhappy customers is expensive right? So it makes sense to let the troublesome clients go elsewhere next time. They are just too costly to keep on board. Except that:
- Each new customer costs between 600% and 700% more than retaining an existing one.
- Businesses which focus on raising customer retention rates by as little as 5% see corresponding rises in profits of between 5% and 95%.
If your business can boost response times and give the necessary authority to call centre operatives to resolve customer issues, the rewards are significant. In fact, they are too big to ignore.
Does your business have the culture and the software required to resolve customer issues quickly? Do you have a CRM system which allows you to retrieve pertinent customer information quickly, providing the basis for great service? No?