Improve your Customer Satisfaction & Improve Customer Retention
Many small businesses believe they are too small to invest in a Contact Center solution because they only have a few people dedicated to customer support. Sounds familiar? You own or run the business and likely have a manager who handles customer support calls. They rely on service tickets to manage customer calls and requests. But do you really have a handle on customer satisfaction?
Even small businesses need exceptional customer satisfaction ratings to retain and keep customers sticky. Knowing how to better handle objections, route calls, keep a pulse on most frequently asked questions and how to handle the customer who proclaims their frustration on social media requires more than a ticketing tool. In fact, a recent Mitel survey of more than 1,200 consumers revealed that 49% of customers who had a poor customer experience told their family and friends, and 21% wrote a negative review online. Every business, regardless of size, understands that a poor customer experience not only hurts the relationship with the unhappy customer but potentially damages relationships into the future.
The bottom line is that no business, regardless of size, can survive on poor customer reviews and satisfaction. In this blog, we outline the most important reasons why even small businesses need the best possible customer experience to grow and maintain business. A call center solution may be your first step to make that happen.
8 REASONS WHY SMALL BUSINESSES NEED CALL CENTER SOLUTION
We’re putting it out there for you to evaluate whether a contact center solution would help improve your customers’ satisfaction:
1. Bad Experiences = Break in Service
Consumers are fed up with poor customer service and, as a result, business livelihoods are at stake. Don’t believe us? A recent customer poll revealed that: 48% callers who experienced a bad customer service call stopped doing business.
If you pause on this statistic for a moment, nearly half of your current clientele, whose business you worked so hard to earn, could leave due to a bad service experience. No one likes a bad experience and we all know it when we experience it.
According to William Holmes, Contact Center Expert at Packet Fusion, “a bad customer experience is often the result of a minor event.” He goes on to suggest that it is often the result of one of 3 scenarios:
- Customer service representatives who do not understand the customer request and ends the call too early.
- Customer service representatives who are unable to route the call to someone who can help.
- Customer service representatives who simply fail to get back to the caller in a timely manner, leaving a poor lasting impression.
Minor events like these are easy to conquer with the right tools in place. A contact center dashboard enables you to monitor the performance of email, chat, social media and calls. Simplifying and monitoring how your employees respond to internal and external communication can improve your company’s productivity and add to the bottom line. Bottom line, contact center software is a small investment that can make a big impact.
2. Long Hold Times Hurt the Bottom Line
Today’s customers want answers and they want them in a quick and timely manner. Long hold times are one of the top five pain points as noted in the Mitel survey. More than half of those surveyed say will hang up after waiting on hold beyond 6-15 minutes.
While lowering hold times can increase customer satisfaction, hold times in any quantity diminish the bottom line. According to ClickSoftware, customer service wait-times account for $130 billion in annual expenses for U.S. Businesses. Maybe that number is too high to mean anything to you, consider this: What is the bottom line value for your organization to keep and profit from a single customer the next year? It’s got to be worth more than the cost to lose them.
3. Robotic-like Interactions with Agents are a Real Turn-Off
Oh, how we love the familiar voice of a robot giving us 9 options for reaching customer service. In the age of increased artificial intelligence, more companies (both large and small) are turning to automated customer service agents to greet and route calls.
Don’t have automated agents? Sometimes services representatives present a long script before allowing the customer to utter their first word. 99% of customers, according to the survey, say when agents sound scripted, they find it difficult to relate and build trust, let alone be willing to provide personal and private details that are often collected for security purposes during these types of calls.
Training customer service representatives (CSRs) to improve their interactions starts with basic monitoring. Ensure your representatives’ ability to answer a request is not a turn-off.
4. Angry Consumers Go Viral
No matter how good your representatives are trained to handle objection or angry responses, every business encounters angry customers. The question is not if; but when? How you handle complaints and angry customers is up to you. Today, the risk of an unhappy customer airing their complaint online or in social conversations is very high. A call center solution can help measure rings to pick-up, call handling to resolution, and/or asking your customers to provide input and satisfaction. Consider avoiding customer online complaints as “priceless” to your business.
5. Text Messaging Will Become an Expected Means of Connecting with Consumers
[PIC 250×250] The bottom line is that nobody likes to wait on hold, especially the millennial who prefers text to a live conversation. Email, chat, text/SMS, and social media have revolutionized the way all businesses communicate. To remain competitive and continuously improve customer service, businesses need to offer customers multiple channels of customer service interaction. The value of an Omnichannel contact center solution holds two immediate benefits:
- It can increase your client’s perception of your willingness to help them solve their problems quickly.
- It can make even the smallest of organizations appear bigger than what they are, thus increasing the implied value of your organization in the mind of the customer.
6. We Still Like to Hear Your Voice
In spite of all the technology on the market, the customers still prefer to hear a human voice when seeking assistance. Even in today’s technology-oriented world, 41% of respondents selected a phone call as their top choice for asking questions or seeking advice.
The challenge with getting someone on the line is just that–getting someone on the line. Hold times and an agent’s ability to communicate will often be the determining factor of the customer’s confidence in your organization. You need to understand their needs and solve their problems. And be available.
7. You May Need More of You
Even with highly trained representatives, your customer service desk can experience long wait times and abandoned calls for one simple reason—there aren’t enough agents to meet the demands of customers. Whether you decrease wait times or provide callbacks to customers, even small businesses can leverage the power of a modern contact center solution to provide a flexible workforce model (elastic workforce) that allows you to access remote workers into your team for increased support, study predictable times that require increased demand, cost-effective ways to improve metrics and support for new, but temporary business initiatives.
8. Without Data You Will Never Know (Why They Left)
Hands down the biggest cost to your bottom line is that you may never know that the customer has decided to leave or why that customer left.
Contact Centers help reduce the likelihood that a customer will walk by giving you the metrics that tell a story. Important numbers such as wait times, call abandonment, first call resolution, and other KPIs hold the key to understanding the customer’s experience journey. Clear customer experience indicators can be pinpointed in any of the following:
- Your individual representative performance
- Group performance
- Number of transfers
- Classification of wrap up times
- Frequency of holds
- Time interval of call abandonment
- Average call duration
When does a Contact Center Solution Make Sense for a Small Business?
Short answer: all the time. An any-size organization that provides direct customer service will find immediate value when implementing a contact center solution. Improving key performance indicators is easier when you put the right tools in the hands of supervisors and managers. Making the right strategic technology decision is central to assessing your teams KPIs as well as the overall health of your customer service delivery. Whether you want to improve call routing or increase your company’s channels of communication, Packet Fusion can help you not only select the best technology solution but more importantly set up/implement and interpret the data to improve your customer satisfaction.
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Remember: in today’s world, a contact center is defined less by the physical space it occupies and more by the customer experience it delivers.