How come companies are happy to spend considerable cash investing in their technology or operations but often skimp on the final and most important link between the organisation and the customer? Well, here’s the thing: customer service is as much about finance as, well, finance!
Depending on your business, the cost of chasing new clients is at least five times more expensive than keeping your current customers.
Here are 3 Ways to turn Customer Service into a Profit Generator:
Clarify your key objectives around customer service. You can build a customer service strategy to help you improve customer advocacy, i.e. your customers’ likelihood to recommend you to others. You can also develop customer service strategies that are linked to selling, upselling and cross-selling as well as the real profit mill: customer retention. Every one of these benefits can be tracked.
Outstanding customer service is built on outstanding experiences. You cannot beat that in to your staff! Treat your staff as you would like them to treat your customers. And unleash the power of your people by getting them to help you develop your customer service strategy. See how the Fitzwilliam Hotel used the power of its team to create a continuous improvement programme in the Dublin 5 Star hotel.
So now you’ve got your strategy and you’ve got your people on board, it’s time to analyse each of your customer touch points, not just your ‘customer service’ team but rather every single person from your organisation and every system that the customer is interacting with to see where you can deliver high impact improvements. Set up a training programme that is based on real life situations. Make it interesting by getting your team to call competitors to see how well they handle calls. Or put them in challenging situations to help them feel confident that they are able to deal with difficult situations. But most of all, make it fun. People don’t learn when they’re bored or highly stressed.
So how are you doing? Great companies create raving fans and high customer retention rates. You can use all sorts of simple techniques to make sure your meeting and exceeding your customers’ needs. The key point is customer retention strategies provide a huge return on investment. At Sodexo Ireland, a focused strategy helped the company to blow its retention figures out of the water with scores of over 95%. See our blog on the customer retention strategy followed by the company over more than seven years.
Cariona Neary helps SMEs become more successful at attracting and retaining profitable customers, leading to a direct and measurable improvement in your company’s profitability and customer loyalty ratings. Her company, Neary Marketing and Communications is a Dublin-based consultancy and training organisation, specialising in marketing, sales and customer service strategies.