Response Magazine Site Response Expo Site Direct Response Market Alliance Site Job Board

 

   Log in
  



Direct Response Marketing

Support Services: Delivering a Great Customer Experience

1 Jun, 2017 By: Craig Lennon Response

You will want to give the right order management system your Employee of the Year award.


Customers are the lifeblood of every business. But most companies spend the majority of their time, effort, and money on acquisition while leaving retention and loyalty at the bottom of their priority list. Never forget that without customers, you don’t have a business.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that incremental improvements in customer retention or quantifiable increases in lifetime value can make exponential differences to the bottom line. It does however take a real commitment and often a change in mindset to implement a solid strategy.

Today’s consumer behavior is more discriminating and potentially impactful to your brand than ever. Before deciding to buy a product or service, they are researching online, comparing prices, checking reviews, and asking others about their experiences. So don’t just sell products or services — sell experiences.

Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, once said that his business wasn’t primarily for delivering shoes or clothing, but for delivering happiness. He was right — and the numbers are in:

  • 58 percent of consumers are willing to spend more on companies that provide excellent customer service. (American Express)
  • 66 percent of customers switch companies due to poor service. (Accenture)

    82 percent of consumers have stopped doing business with a company because of bad customer service. (Zendesk)

    95 percent of customers share bad experiences with others. (Zendesk)

What is Customer Engagement?

Providing some level of customer service is certainly not new in any industry. However, the concept of engaging customers is. As defined by Wikipedia, “Customer engagement is a business communication between a consumer and a company or brand through various channels of correspondence.”

Today’s customers expect to engage and connect with the companies they do business with in any number of ways — but, most importantly, in ways that are convenient to them. Whether phone, social media, email, or chat, you must get connected and stay connected to your customers from the very beginning of your relationship.

Gone are the days of simply providing the customer with a “welcome letter.” Ask your customer how they are enjoying their purchase, ask them to share their stories about how they are using the product or service, and most importantly invite them to connect with you any time for any reason. When executed well, a strong customer engagement strategy will foster brand growth, loyalty, and sales.

Consider Outsourcing

More than ever before, customers need to know that there is a professional and committed organization behind the products or services they buy. Managing this critical piece of a business is often challenging for small- to mid-sized companies. Therefore, an outsourced solution should be considered for four critical reasons:

  • Avoid the costs of building and maintaining technology and infrastructure.
  • Gain efficiency by utilizing an existing resource that is trained and ready to go.
  • Allow for scalability to accommodate sudden or gradual growth of customer base.
  • Gain the ability to prioritize your time and energy on growing the front end of your business.

Measuring Results

It is important to accept that unlike the direct return on investment (ROI) of a media campaign, the return realized from improving your customers’ experience is not as quantifiable. There are, however, some key performance indicators (KPIs) and service-level agreements (SLAs) that should be considered and monitored.

According to data supplied by astutesolutions.com, the following response times are industry standards:

  • Phone calls: Answered within one minute
  • Social media: Responded to within one hour
  • Emails: Responded to within four hours
  • Chat: Responded to within 30 seconds

Ask yourself: are you treating your customers’ overall experience as the most important part of your business? If not, ask your customers about their journey with an email survey or an outbound calling campaign. The feedback — good or bad — may help in ways you never considered. ■


Add Comment



©2017 Questex, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. Please send any technical comments or questions to our webmaster. Contact Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Security Seals