Have you ever tried to cancel your Pay TV subscription over the phone? As a customer, you’ve decided that you no longer want the service for whatever reason, and you just want to terminate the service quickly. You call customer service, select the “cancel service” option when prompted, and your call is answered by an agent who is receptive and empathises with you. They’re great listeners, receptive to your reasons for cancelling the service, and then they address each reason with a counter-argument that somehow makes your decision to cancel, seem less significant than it did earlier on and that you could have been missing out – so you end up keeping the service. How did that happen?
Far from being a random conversation, this example highlights what can happen when a great sales process comes into play. The call was converted from a potential loss to a win, and the customer also walks away satisfied.
One of the top goals of most business is to increase customer retention because existing customers are more profitable. The cost of customer acquisition can be 10 times more than the cost of retaining existing customers. “Improving customer retention” is also one of the top 3 reasons given by businesses who are investing in contact centre solutions and inside sales teams, accounting for 42% of all responses in a recent survey. If we examine the “mechanics” of this call, we can see that the call was routed via an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, to a team that is skilled in customer retention. An IVR is an automated function that interacts with callers, gathers information and routes calls. In this instance, a Skills-Based IVR System, as found in contact centre solutions like contactSPACE, correctly matched and routed the cancellation request with an agent that is skilled in customer retention.
In what seemed like a natural conversation with the agent, was in fact, a cleverly guided conversation (rather than just scripted). The contactSPACE CallGuide™ software provides objection handling functionality so that the agent is able to rebut the customer's reason for cancellation. For example, if your customer says they can’t afford to pay the bill, the system displays to the agent a number of available options, from payment plans to discounts and other inducements, designed to alleviate the customer of their immediate problem, and to retain them as a customer. As the call progresses, the agent can follow a proven process using contactSPACE CallGuides®, an intelligent and proprietary scripting function that enables all agents to engage with confidence, using proven responses that yield the desired outcomes.
Aside from aligning the caller’s needs with the agent’s skills, being able to provide good service helps with customer retention. Being efficient with customer interactions improves customer handling time; reduces repetition; reduces call queues; reduces caller frustration; improves personalisation, resulting in better outcomes. Contact centre solutions are often integrated with CRMs, which allows agents to have easy access to a customer’s history during the call, allowing them to quickly review and update the customer record without ever leaving the contact centre environment.
So the next time you’re on the phone with your service provider, take a moment to consider the technology behind the scenes and imagine how that technology can help your organisation with it's customer retention strategy.
You may also be interested in learning about Customer Service Recovery and how contact centre solutions are leading the way in this area.