Now is a great time to check in with your customers and evaulate some of your customer retention practices.
Have you lost a customer or two over the past few months? Do you check in with your customer to see how you’re doing? How often do you measure customer satisfaction? Are your customer management processes effective? These are some of the questions you should be asking if you want to retain your customers. Remember, it’s more profitable to retain an existing customer than to go out and get a new one.
One of the rules that I always like to follow is when you establish processes and rules in your company for front line people dealing with customers is ‘don’t manage by exception’. By that I mean, don’t set up processes and rules to deal with situations that happen 10-15% of the time.
Too often companies make it difficult for front line staff to deal with customers and resolve issues because they have established restrictive rules. These can take the form of senior management escalations that need to be followed before a customer issue can be resolved effectively.
Empowering front line staff to resolve customer issues effectively and efficiently the first time is a key element in maintaining customer satisfaction. A good example of this is account credits. Just because a rogue customer service agent or two have given credits in error or due to fraud shouldn’t limit the use of credits for ALL customer service agents. With proper training and education you should be able to minimize the risk of errors and provide your staff with the right tools to address customer issues effectively.
So when you set up processes to manage customer problems don’t create rules that minimize errors but rather maximize satisfaction. Build the 10-15% error rate in to your business case or program costs. The end result will be a happier and more profitable customer base.