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Tips for Keeping Customers Happy

Keep ‘em happy. That’s a simple yet effective customer service goal. The following article by Michael Mink of Investor’s Business Daily gives tips for keeping customers happy.

Give Cutting-Edge Customer Service Via Latest Tech

When consumers have an important service need, 70% will first call a company on the phone for help.

That’s from Mike Burkland, CEO of Five9 (NASDAQ:FIVN), which provides cloud contact center software. He adds that 85% of consumers will punish a firm if it doesn’t meet their service needs. The punishment could be pulling their business and bad word of mouth.

These tips for customer service will help keep your customers happy when they contact you:

  • Use cyberspace technology. Move your contact center to the cloud, Burkland urges. A cloud-based contact center can reduce upfront costs, shorten startup and integration timelines, and easily access new features and functions, he notes. Using the cloud lets agents anywhere ramp up and down based on seasonality, which benefits your customers in addition to freeing up IT resources to focus on more strategic activities.
  • Get top talent. Many companies find that they can recruit better agents at a lower cost when they aren’t restricted to one small geographic area, Burkland told IBD: “The flexibility provided by the cloud enables organizations to create one virtual contact center with agents spread across many sites that operate with the efficiencies and control of a single system.”
  • Provide contact options. Customer service centers should engage with consumers via multiple paths: telephone, social media, live chats, email, mobile devices. Understanding your customers by knowing their preferred channels of communication can build personalized experiences, says Paul Segre, CEO of Genesys, which provides contact center solutions. Burkland notes that in a survey commissioned by Five9 and conducted by the International Customer Management Institute, 86% of consumers say they would be more satisfied if provided service through their preferred channel. “More importantly, 47% of respondents said they’d move to a competitor who offered their preferred channel,” he said.
  • Empower. Give your customer experience staff the right business processes to fix consumer issues fast. “For example, issue credits when customer satisfaction issues or billing errors persist, or reward loyal customers at key moments of repurchase,” Segre said.
  • Motivate. Inspire employees to be the consumer’s champion. Help them understand “how customer service positively impacts the business’ bottom line and improves productivity,” Segre said.
  • Be transparent. Being open when a crisis arises can show customers that they are your business’ top priority, Segre says.
  • Show concern. Amy Cueva, the founder of MadPow, which improves how people connect with tech and companies, notes that empathy “can inspire our creativity and motivation to solutions on the customer’s behalf. Companies need to understand their customer’s psychographic makeup, emotional triggers and pain points in order to create an effective plan for fixing them. Building empathy cannot be done through reviewing data or traditional market research.”
  • Gather intelligence. “It is important to learn what motivates customers, what excites them, what frustrates them, what they expect and what their specific needs are,” Cueva said.
  • Impress. “Through research, businesses can begin to map the emotional state of customers to understand what is affecting them and how,” Cueva said. “Then businesses can design products or services that offer an improved experience where friction points are recovered from or avoided entirely, and delight is inserted at opportune moments.”

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