If you ask business leaders what will drive revenue, most of them will tell you about their new client acquisition initiatives. But what about your existing customers? We know that attracting a new customer costs five times as much as keeping an existing one. So your business cannot afford to neglect the buyers who helped you get to where you are today.
Few organizations have a robust strategy in place to keep their existing customer base returning for purchases or to renew their service contracts. Ensuring that your clients continue using your products and services gives your business a continuous revenue stream and the solid foundation that it needs to grow successfully. Quality customer service tools can go a long way in keeping them happy.
According to a study by New Voice Media, poor customer service is costing businesses more than $75 billion a year, and is compelling 67% of customers to switch to other brands. Clients satisfied with their service tend to be more loyal, willing to spend more money and ready to recommend your company to others. But unhappy ones are significantly more likely to write online reviews and air their grievances in public and on social media, impacting the overall market and customer perception of your business. Why risk it? There are so many customer service tools that can help you deliver personalized interactions, faster response times and more efficient issue resolutions for your clients.
Whether you are a one-person-shop, have a handful of account managers or manage a large-scale call center, there are tools that you can use to improve your customer’s experience and, as a result, your bottom line. Below are 4 actionable ways you can improve your client retention with user-friendly customer service tools.
There’s nothing worse for a concerned client than running into a busy signal or being put on hold for hours in the middle of an emergency. Contemporary customer service tools can keep your team connected at all times and help you staff efficiently, so that each client call is answered in a timely manner.
With today’s tools, there’s no reason your customers should be left hanging when they need you most. The leading VoIP providers include desktop and mobile applications in their offering. Applications connected to your company phone system enable your team to make calls from anywhere and any device. When your phone system becomes unavailable due to a power outage or inclement weather at your office, your team can simply continue from home or their mobile device. In addition, with the advanced disaster recovery and business continuity functionalities included in some VoIP services, your office phone system and customer service operations can be back up and running minutes after power has been restored.
Ensuring that you have enough hands on deck during peak calling times is critically important in keeping your clients happy. Real-time and historic reporting available with many VoIP call center solutions can give you the data you need to schedule your team efficiently or determine if you need additional help. How many calls you receive in an hour, how long callers are waiting on hold, and how many callers abandon their calls after long wait times can give you significant insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your operations.
In this day and age, your clients have learned to expect customized service. Having to repeat the same information over and over again as they are passed from one rep to another is no longer acceptable procedure and can severely impact their customer satisfaction. The more your team knows about your clients before they even pick up the phone, the better their interactions will be. Providing personal service makes your clients feel appreciated and cared for. That, in turn, makes them much more likely to stay and recommend you to their peers.
Most businesses use CRMs (Customer Relationship Management tools) to keep a detailed database of all their clients, as well as their history with the brand. But that information is often difficult to access when a customer calls in with an issue. Integrating your CRM with your phone system can place all that important client data and personal notes at your team’s fingertips. When you integrate your systems, each call triggers a user-friendly window to pop up with a client’s history, allowing your team to access and save new updates. With all this information at their disposal, your team will never have to ask the client to repeat the same information twice.
Minimize customer frustration with being passed around to different departments by using customer service tools, such as your VoIP phone’s Assisted Transferring feature. This enables your customer service staff to explain the client’s unique situation when transferring their call to another department or a rep more qualified to help. A little heads-up allows your staff to avoid repeating questions and better prepares them to take difficult calls.
The key to great customer service is getting the client the answers they need or putting them in touch with the appropriate person in the least amount of time possible.
One of the best way of doing this is by creating an automated greeting that allows the caller to select a department related to their inquiry. This interactive voice recording can be as detailed as you want it to be, with multiple menu options, and routes calls automatically to an appropriate team member. With skills-based routing, you can automatically direct clients based on the topic of their call, the language they speak, or the products or services they have purchased. Implementing these customer service tools enables you to ensure that your clients are happy with the outcome after they hang up the phone. Also, this process generates data on call volume and recurring customer issues that can help you staff efficiently and identify training and growth opportunities for your agents.
There are also team collaboration tools that can enable your staff to easily reach out to colleagues who have special knowledge or can better help with a customer’s inquiry. VoIP features such as Internal Chat and Drag-and-Drop Conferencing can quickly and easily bring additional team members into an ongoing conversation, giving your team the resources they need for effective issue resolution.
Creating personal connections and providing courteous service is the best way to ensure that you have happy clients. There are several customer service tools available with VoIP call center solutions that can help you empower your reps to meet and exceed your customers’ expectations.
Training is one of your best customer service tools to ensure that each interaction positively reflects your brand. Not only can coaching improve your staff’s technical skills and knowledge, but also teaches them how to get in tune with your buyers, as well as handle difficult conversations in a pleasant manner. Tools such as Call Recording and Live Listen give your team both positive and negative examples of customer service calls and help them improve their skills. Whisper Coaching allows you to guide your team through conversations without the client hearing. The experience will have an invaluable impact on their skills and confidence. And with the Barge functionality, you can even jump in when needed.
Giving your team the tools they need to service clients effectively also impacts their ability to connect with your customers on a more personal level. 75% of employees admit to feeling unhappy when wrestling with inadequate or ineffective technology, and unhappy reps are worse at providing quality service, as well as more likely to be rude or impatient with clients. Taking care of your team with user-friendly software, CRM integration and easy, effective team collaboration tools create a more pleasant work environment, and makes them better equipped to take care of your clients.
The standards of customer service have dramatically changed, and along with them, your ability to retain your clients has become significantly more difficult. Your buyers have come to expect the kind of competent issue resolution and personalized care that would have been impossible just a decade ago. But cloud-based service providers have developed the customer service tools you need to meet your clients’ expectations, keep up with your competition and build a thriving business.
With a VoIP-integrated CRM, advanced call routing and a wide range of call center training features, your reps will be empowered to support your customers effectively and create the kinds of personal connections that keep them coming back for more.