Making Sure the Customers are Happy, and Come Back Next Time they Need Help

Customers can be loyal if they want to, but it’s often the main challenge of any business to maintain churn and have a solid retention plan that works.  Customers are part of the business and we hope it stays that way.

Perhaps we can say that nurchering the customer is part of making sure the customer is happy.  I spoke with Leonard M. Linton of 1NW ContactHe said “Nurturing is everything in today’s enlightened Contact Center.  This was not the case a couple of years ago. Companies outsourced call center work to save money. They measured the call center on Average Handle Time which meant that the metric for success was keeping the call in a narrow time band. Those days are long gone and even the Contact Center management is pleased. There is a growing trend to bringing outsourced call center work back to the United States, because US based agents can nurture the caller better than a CSR with a language barrier can. It is all about rapport and having the right information in front of a well-trained CSR who really wants to go a good job!”

The number of times that I have heard from friends that they had a bad customer service experience because “Tom” wasn’t from where he said he was.   It doesn’t say that you will have a bad service, but you don’t feel like they care necessarily.  They are just doing their job.  Is this something we have missed?

I had the opportunity to speak with Kevin Flaherty of RitaniHe has some views which made me think.  “The best way to make the customer happy is to simply say what we’re going to do and simply doing what we say. While being empathetic is important and characterizes every single Ritani customer interaction, at the end of the day Ritani customer service representatives have to set expectations and deliver up to or beyond those expectations. Empathy counts for a lot but results always speak loudest with customers.

Ritani products are typically purchased for the most special occasions. Every Ritani call center partner gets that and understands a call from a customer is never a simple transactional interaction. There is always something deeper that we need to account for. That simple awareness and the questions we ask as a matter of course certainly nurture the customer along. Ritani’s conversion rate is much higher when we get a customer on the phone. That human touch makes a giant difference in our results.”

What I got from what he said was that it might just be down to empathy.  Is this the key to success and happiness?

Ed Macri, VP of Marketing at Wayfair thinks a little differently.  The customer won’t necessarily be happy just because agents show empathy.  They also need to be helped.  “It all comes down to giving customers options along with clear explanations of certain policies that are in place. For example, if a customer is not satisfied with a product they can return it, but they may have to pay return shipping. Explaining the reasoning for this policy in a polite and reasonable manner should keep the customer on your side.”

Jennifer Stagner, Customer Service Manager for tops-products.com agrees.  But added something special in the mix.  She says “Beyond making an agent’s life better, ensuring customer satisfaction comes down not just to listening, but also working proactively to prevent issues from happening or to drive successful outcomes. For example, a customer would rather you process their urgent order quickly, work with shipping to route it correctly for on-time delivery, and follow the delivery timeline to ensure success to prevent their call rather than listen politely during the call.”

All these methods come down to one thing.  You must care about the customer and not just look at your KPI’s as the only thing that matters.  Customers need to be happy too, and comes down to the agent.

 

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Stefanie Amini
is Specialist in Customer Success and chief writer and editor of I Want It Now, a blog for Customer Service Experts. Follow her @StefWalkMe