Please raise your hand if you’ve ever lost a customer due to a lousy customer retention strategy.
When you get on the phone with your customer, you’re hit with complaints and backlash. The conversation ends with, “Please discontinue my membership, this magazine is no longer providing value to me.”
Except it might sound a lot nastier than that.
Sometimes, your employees are too busy doing other work that this isn’t top priority.
Well, there’s good news: retaining customers doesn’t have to be daunting. With the right strategy and tools at your disposal, you could easily be putting a new customer retention strategy in place by the end of the month.
It’s time to get serious about customer retention. Let’s discuss the 5 steps you can take in order to retain more customers.
5 Steps to Improve Customer Retention
1) Make sure that your audience is listening
Before you even think about developing a new customer retention strategy or improving your old one, you should be sure that you are currently engaging with your audience.
This could be on social media, through email marketing or on the phone.
Just like you would make sure you have a list of phone numbers before calling them, you want to be sure that you have an audience that is listening and engaged.
Then, you can feel free to continue reaching out to current customers. Make sure that you are talking to a relevant audience. If you don’t have the phone numbers and email addresses of current customers, this is something that you NEED to get as soon as possible.
2) Distribute content that they care about
After you’ve established that you have an audience that is listening, figure out if the content you’re using is relevant to them.
In the first step, you should’ve asked yourself, “Do I have an audience that is listening?”
Now, for this step you need to ask yourself if your audience cares.
Is the content that you are sending out creating a demand for your customers?
This way, you won’t have to figure this out with each additional piece of content that you are planning on sending out. Always make your content relevant.
3) Make it nothing short of an experience
Now that you are engaging with customers and using relevant content, you need to be sure that you are delivering an experience.
Both companies are much more than cars and amusement parks. They’re about delivering an unforgettable experience that the customer keeps coming back for.
4) ABC – Always Be Communicating
When it comes to customer retention, communication is extremely important.
If you don’t talk to your customers for years, what will they think? Either that you’re no longer in business or that you just don’t care.
Pick up the phone and call your customers. Ask them about how you can improve their experience, tell them about a new promotion or product, or develop a strategy that will keep you at the top of their mind.
Think of this step as a way to nurture your relationships with your consumers so that the next time they think about purchasing, they know who to call.
5) Deliver exceptional customer service
If you are listening to your audience, distributing content they care about, putting together an experience, and communicating with your customers then you’re almost there.
The very last step of this process is to deliver exceptional customer service. To be quite honest, without this last step, nothing else matters.
Your customers and clients are your most important asset to your company. So, put a smile on your face and treat them like it.
Now, you’re ready to improve your customer retention strategy and start nurturing those relationships with your consumers. And you know what the best part is? Next time, putting together a new customer retention strategy won’t feel quite as daunting.
Written by: Amy Schiller
Who enjoys sitting on the phone for five hours just to be disconnected before reaching a live person?
If “Top 10 Complaints of 2017” was a real thing, we know that this would be in the top 5. (Although, it does fall as number 5 on this top 10 consumer complaints list)
We personally know somebody who hasn’t had their cable service working properly for almost a month. Sitting on the phone for even an hour isn’t an option, let alone five.
1. Most people work full time and by the time they get home from work the LAST thing they want to do is sit on the phone for hours hoping to talk to a live customer service representative.
2. Spending quality time with family and friends becomes a priority over sitting on the phone waiting for someone to answer.
3. Nobody wants to sit on the phone for that long, especially if they don’t even think their problem will be resolved by the end of the phone call.
The list can go on... but, what’s the solution?
1. Sit on the phone and hope for the best
2. Cancel the service and find a new provider
Moral of the story?
Consumers want to be able to reach your company anywhere, anytime, at their convenience and FAST.
Technology, innovation and an amazing customer service team that will allow your consumers to reach you at all times.
Here are 5 ways that your consumers should be able to contact you in 2018:
This should be a given.
Sometimes customers have simple questions that can be answered via email. The issue could be anything from forgetting a username and password in order to access account information to answering frequently asked questions.
It’s a solution that can leave the tough customer service issues to frontline agents in a call center.
2. Social Media
If you’re looking to increase the speed of response to customers, this will be your holy grail. It’s a bit quicker than email which makes it even more convenient for consumers.
- Facebook makes it extremely easy for consumers to book appointments and ask questions about your company.
- Twitter is largely used for FAQ and customer service issues.
- LinkedIn and Instagram are also sites that can help with this but aren’t as customer service centric as the other two networks.
P.S. Be ready for any and all questions. People reach out to us on our Facebook page to set up introduction phone calls or just to acknowledge our witty and engaging content. Be ready to have a response to everything.
3. Phone Number
The beloved phone, a great customer service tool that will never go out of style.
No consumer is ever going to use email or social media to take care of an emergency. So, for all of those saying that the telephone is dying, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Upselling, cross-selling, customer engagement, platform support, and lead capturing are all going to work the best over the phone.
4. Live Chat
Some companies use a live chat as an extension on their website. This can be useful because it can pop up the second that someone enters your webpage. It can also sit at the bottom of your webpage as an option for consumers.
Facebook has this as an option too. It’s useful, cost-effective and improves customer satisfaction.
5. Contact form
You can never go wrong with a good contact form. This should be somewhere on your website, easily accessible and straightforward.
A name, phone number, email address, with a place to leave their message should be sufficient if you are a business-to-consumer company.
If you are working with other business, we recommend adding a place for the company name and the person’s title along with the information mentioned above.
You can offer the best cable packages in the entire world, but that won’t matter unless you integrate the highest quality customer service. Whether it’s online, customer forums, in person or on the phone, your consumers want to talk to you. Serve your customers, provide reliable and consistent service, and exceed their expectations.
You’ll never have a product or price advantage again. They can be easily duplicated, but a strong customer service culture can’t be copied.
- Jerry Fritz -
Written by: Amy Schiller
Active listening is essential for effective communication, especially when all conversations are happening over the phone. Active listening helps you understand the customers’ needs and shows that you are willing to help them sole any problems.
Always allow the person on the other end of the phone to talk without interruption so that you don’t come off as rude. Also, you should ask clarifying questions when necessary.
Before beginning the problem-solving process, summarize the main point of the conversation. This will tell the customer that you were actively listening to what they were saying. Another reason that you should summarize the main point of the conversation to the customer or client is because if you missed something, they will be able to correct you.
Train Representatives Appropriately
Customer service representatives should be rigorously trained and tested on scripts, prompts, company products and services in order to ensure that they professionally represent your company in front of clients and customers. You should want everyone involved to have the most professional experience and to better serve your customers during the process.
Most training is going to be done with the call script. Some people don’t think that a call script is necessary. It is necessary and it better be a strong one too.
Your team needs to practice your customer service process until it becomes second nature. Your scripts should be customized to engage the people on the other end of the call, with detailed answers to Frequently Asked Questions and prompts for overcoming likely objections.
Customer service representatives are the face of your company. This means that there always has to be a level of professionalism throughout the entire conversation.
It’s important to remain professional not only for the company, but for your customers too.
If there is an issue with the customer, you should put them on hold and call a manager over. Managers have a lot of experience in the field and should be able to fix almost any situation.
This means that you should have amazing managers on the floor that you trust. All employees should trust the managers. This means that people working below, above or with managers should trust them.
During the phone conversation, you should be sure to speak clearly. Use simple words and phrases. This way, the phone call will never become overly complicated.
The very last thing you want to do is confuse the person that you are on the phone with. Stay clear of jargon and complex vocabulary so that it’s easy for them to follow along with what you are saying.
Try not to use filler words like “um, yeah, like” because this can turn off the person that is on the phone. It is also very unprofessional. If these are words that you use often when speaking, practice taking a pause during those moments.
Two things that will definitely make it difficult for someone to understand you is chewing gum and eating food when you are on the phone. Nobody wants to hear chomping while having a conversation with you. It can also lead to mumbled speech.
Smile and Dial
The QCSS way! Be sure to smile when you are talking to customers and clients on the phone. Although it may be a cliché, a smile can be heard through the telephone.
On the first day of 12 days of QCSS, we talked about how necessary it is to be positive and friendly on the phone. A smile will help you exchange a positive and productive conversation, so keep on smiling!
Keep your employees smiling by offering incentives which will keep them motivated. Sometimes, it’s hard talking on the phone to customers, clients and prospects every day. This can bring employees down.
Give them a reason to stay smiling. If you are a manager, radiate a positive energy to them so that they can feed off of the attitude and deliver it on the phone.
New platforms, websites, and software are popping up on a continuous basis, and businesses are taking major advantage. With the boom of social media, there is no shortage of ways to market your business.
Today’s businesses can thrive off telemarketing leads, especially when using methods with a well-managed marketing plan.
Let’s talk about 5 reasons that you should commit to telemarketing.
Why Commit to Telemarketing?
To Give Your Brand the Voice It Deserves
How often do you hear marketing agencies talk about the importance of developing a voice for your brand?
Sometimes it can be a challenge to get your brand to have one familiar voice, especially if you have an entire marketing team working on content and promotional materials.
Telemarketing will give your business, products, and services a human voice. One of many reasons that businesses decide to begin a telemarketing campaign is because the phone can be more personable than social media platforms.
To See Immediate Results
Whether it be an inbound or an outbound campaign, telemarketing can bring quick results if you do it right.
On the phone, you know that you have the attention of your clients and customers. This means that the chances of scoring a meeting or another phone call to introduce your product or service are higher.
With a strong telemarketing campaign and a dedicated team, you can see results almost immediately depending on the purpose of the campaign. Want more leads or to set more appointments for your business? Results can be seen within weeks of launching the campaign.
To Receive More Qualified Leads
Not every single person you call during your campaign is going to love your business but that’s life and you can’t always please everyone.
This means that sometimes people are going to ask you to remove them from the call list. Having this happen can sometimes feel like a failure but in fact, it’s the opposite.
If you want qualified leads to end up in your sales pipeline then this feedback from consumers is almost necessary. This process allows you to remove unqualified leads from your marketing efforts so that you can nurture relationships with more qualified leads.
To Raise Brand Awareness
The phone calls that your telemarketing team makes and receives can help your business develop lasting impressions with customers and prospects. When done correctly, telemarketing can result in additional leads as well as increase brand loyalty and awareness.
Besides the obvious benefits like customer recognition, customer loyalty, and enhanced credibility, committing to telemarketing to improve brand awareness will land you more leads for your company in your specific target market.
What more could you possibly ask for?
To Stay Connected the Old-Fashioned Way
Older technology has remained a critical part of B2B and B2C communication. When someone has an urgent issue with a product or service, what do they do? Call the company to get everything resolved.
Why? A phone call is a quick and easy solution. As long as it doesn’t turn into the customer or client being put on hold for hours.
Having a live person making outbound calls and receiving inbound calls shows your customers and clients that they matter to you. Instead of waiting hours for a solution, they have the opportunity to call in and resolve the issue within minutes.
Don’t neglect telesales as a possible way to increase your business. It has worked for many years and continues to be an extremely successful business tool.
The Outsourcing Advantage
So, the next decision that you will have to make is whether to keep this telemarketing commitment in-house or to outsource your needs.
Outsourcing your telemarketing can be a distinct advantage for your business.
Outsourcing allows your business to:
- Focus on core business activities
- Rely on experienced telemarketing professionals to expand your customer base and sales funnel
- Free capital for research and development, advertising and other aspects of your business as needed.
- Reduce overhead expenses
- Increase sales and profits
If you are looking to see what a quality telemarketing agency can do for business lead generation, we would love to have a conversation with you.
Post written by: Amy Schiller
#AnsweringTheCall sounds easy until you’re the one being asked to do it.
Athletes around the world are being asked to answer the call every day. Of course, we’ve seen athletes show up to a press conference only because they didn’t want to be fined. We’ve also seen athletes make bad decisions that lead to jail or even death because of them. Athletes are humans but when they’re in the spotlight we tend to hold them to a different standard.
This April, QCSS decided to recognize some athletes who proved that #AnsweringTheCall is no easy task, but it is impactful. They have found a way to use the platforms they have in order to answer the call and make a difference in their communities.
Check out what #AnsweringTheCall means to QCSS and how these athletes fit perfectly into the mold.
Having the motivation to become better at what you do every single day.
Bricks and Ivy Ball raises $2.2M (Source)
This month the Chicago Cubs raised $2.2 million for their foundation at the Bricks and Ivy Ball. The money will benefit a children’s fitness program, an initiative to build and renovate baseball fields and playgrounds through the city, and the team’s scholars program.
The reason that QCSS chose the Chicago Cubs as an organization that is #AnsweringTheCall is because many players show up to the event to support the charity which shows that the team wants to see the community around them improve.
It’s great to point out that Matt Szczur’s painting of teammates Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant sold for $35,000. This is one important player trying to make a difference in the organization.
The Chicago Cubs organization showed that they have the ability to answer the call by motivating each other in order to become better at what they do every single day. Not to mention, they won a world series after 108 years by #AnsweringTheCall.
Remaining competitive in whatever you choose to do.
Three thousand female athletes from Chicago area high schools made a difference off the field by collecting and donating 7,500 books to Mahalia Jackson Elementary School. (Source)
It is easy to say that these female athletes are remaining competitive on the soccer field and off the field by collecting and donating 7,500 books.
The group of female athletes surprised the students at the elementary school on Wednesday, April 12.
Not only are these high school females #AnsweringTheCall by remaining competitive on the field but they are remaining competitive off the field too. It is pretty impressive that these girls collected 7,000 books to donate to an elementary school where most students come from low-income families.
Fighting for what you believe in.
Student-athlete talks about gender inequality and how she hopes to overcome it. (Source)
Quinn Parker, a student at Princeton University, talks about what being a female athlete at the school means to her and the obstacles she has faced because of her gender. Although Parker realizes there are obstacles, she won’t let it defeat her as she continues to overcome the challenges.
She mentions, “But I refuse to be limited in what I can do, where I can go and who I can be because of my gender.”
Parker does a great job at representing what QCSS believes it means toanswer the call. She’s standing up for something that she believes in, which is gender equality. She wants people to know that she isn’t going to let her gender hold her back from accomplishing her goals.
What’s one of the coolest parts about Parker’s story?
Track & Field is the reason for the mentality that she has today.
Setting goals and never giving up.
The first woman to officially run Boston Marathon makes a triumphant return. (Source)
Kathrine Switzer made history back in 1967 when she became the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon. Race officials tried to stop her from completing the marathon after they found out she was actually a woman and not a man.
Fifty years later, on April 17, she finished the race again.
Kathrine Switzer was #AnsweringTheCall by setting a goal and not giving up on it. She didn’t let the man stop her when she was 20-years-old and she didn’t let anyone stop her from running it again. In the beginning, she set a goal and she stuck to it without giving up. She had people telling her that it wasn’t her race and that she shouldn’t be running it. She had people trying to physically stop her but she kept on going.
It’s amazing and inspiring to see that Kathrine is still #AnsweringTheCall.
Believing in yourself.
How Skylar Diggins really sees herself on and off the court. (Source)
With the WNBA season right around the corner, one player particularly stuck out in April. Skylar Diggins, a point guard for the Dallas Wings, talks about how she never saw herself as a natural athlete but knew that she could put in the work to become as great as she is now.
Diggins talks about how she has a passion for basketball and how she never stopped putting in the work to compete, be better and challenge herself.
Skylar Diggins does an amazing job at demonstrating what #AnsweringTheCall means. She may not have considered herself an athlete, but she proved to that she could be one. She worked hard to become a professional basketball player and she hasn’t let anything stop her from pursuing her dreams.
Being a leader and believing in others.
Katie Naughton lives to inspire and makes sure that she is #AnsweringTheCall for the next generation. (Source)
In the video, Katie Naughton talks about how she is motivated to #AnswerTheCall because she knows that there are people out there that look up to her as an athlete.
Naughton was chosen by the Chicago Red Stars as a player that is #AnsweringTheCall. She shows on and off the field that she has what it takes to be a leader. She looks up to people like her mom, who pushes her to be the best that she can be. She also mentions how exciting it is that younger girls look up to her because that’s who her mom was to her, somebody to look up to.
Katie Naughton proves that she is #AnsweringTheCall by being such a great role model to other aspiring athletes. She proves that she believes in others by contributing on the field with her teammates and trusting that they are making the best decisions for the team.
After every Chicago Red Stars game, QCSS presents a player of the match. This past week, Julie Johnston Ertz was chosen as the player of the match. The Chicago Red Stars also share a video of how certain players believe they answer the call before every game. Talk about a way to empower women. Follow us on social media to get updates on players who prove #AnsweringTheCall is just another thing they do.
I encourage you to take a step back and think about the last time you answered the call. We all have social media platforms, like Katie Naughton, that allow us to be leaders and motivators. We all have the drive and ambition to try our hardest at our jobs or in school like Skylar Diggins does on the court. If you have a voice, then use it to stand up for things that you believe in like Quinn Parker.
What are you doing today in order to answer the call?