Here is a vital insight into why customers change companies, what they’re looking for and how to improve your client retention in 2020.
Client retention can be quite a challenging issue these days. Customers are jumping ship faster and more frequently – and it doesn’t help that the competition is just a click away.
While the challenge lies in managing wide-ranging changes in today’s market, there does seem to be a single golden thread running through them all: the client experience (CX). Research shows that brands providing a good client experience generate double the revenue of those that do not.
Predictions for 2020 forecast that businesses will really up their CX game this year. Companies will actively implement CX measurement tools and the number of CX executives hired should increase by 25% over the year. And that 25% increase takes into account all the CX executives who will get fired for not implementing effective CX strategies in 2019.
Before we get into why CX matters so much in 2020 and how it has been affecting your client retention, let’s quickly recap what CX means.
How does the GUURU platform work?
Here are the three tiers of CX according to Forrester’s CX Index.
- Product / Service effectiveness
Do your customers get what they’re looking for?
Is it effortless for customers to get and use this product/service?
- Positive emotional experiences
How does the relationship between you and your customers make them feel?
Ensuring that your customers get what they really need as effortlessly as possible can truly be a challenge. Unfortunately, many companies are not up to the challenge of the third tier, with a detrimental impact on client retention.
What tangible effects do negative emotional experiences have on client retention?
A survey by New Voice Media revealed powerful insights into customer attitudes towards bad or good customer service.
Let’s take a look.
Almost half of the respondents switched to one or more companies over the course of a year following a negative emotional experience. These experiences all related to poor customer service.
Customers felt they had been placed on hold for too long, even in the middle of calls, or they felt they’d been routed to too many different service agents.
They also jumped ship when they felt under-appreciated or when the staff was unhelpful or impolite. Customers tended to also switch to competitors when they felt they were not really able to access customer reps.
*New Voice Media UK Survey 2016 in the ‘Serial Switchers want Sentiment’ Whitepaper
Interestingly, the majority of customers surveyed responded very positively to the prospect of an improvement in customer service. Merely 17% said an improvement would not affect their damaged relationship with the company. However, most respondents said they would feel more loyal, buy more, use the company more often and even recommend the company to others. This is hugely significant.
How might a bad emotional experience affect a customer’s behaviour?
The increased focus on CX is a direct result of the recognition that loyal customers are vital to a company’s long-term growth. Investing in excellent customer service may mean the difference between customers lost and customers retained.
Although loyal customers often comprise only 2% of your total customer base, they generate a significant portion of your revenue according to research by the Boston Consulting Group.
Customers are loyal, but they’re yearning for positive emotional experiences and are willing to leave if they don’t get them.
When asked what action they would take after experiencing bad customer service, nearly every respondent had strong reactions.
Merely 15% would not take any action. The majority would leave the company, never use the company again or send a complaint by email. Many would complain on social media, leave a bad online review, tell others not to use the company and 4% would even inform the media.
Considering the intensity with which customers might either love or loathe your company, getting it right is vital.
So, where do you start?
Our CEO has a few practical tips based on the emotional experiences customers look for today.
Three practical ways to improve your client retention in 2020
1. Be visibly accessible on your customer’s online platforms
In today’s market, you must offer customer service on more than just the usual platforms (website, email and telephone). You need to meet your customers where are with visibly active support, whether that is on WhatsApp, Facebook or Instagram.
2. Make sure you can provide real-time responses 24/7
Customers today expect immediate support at any time. While offering around-the-clock support may be a challenge, it is vital to find a solution that works for your company, because your competitor is just a click away, even at 11pm on a Friday evening.
3. ALWAYS ensure a fallback to humans if necessary
As helpful as chatbots are in meeting the demand for lightning-fast customer support at any hour, not having human support available can create a negative experience for customers when they have specific questions and complex needs.
Tonio Meier, CEO & co-founder of GUURU, has 20 years of experience in the customer service industry, in which he managed large-scale multimedia contact centers and customer operations teams. Before co-founding GUURU, he also served as Chief Customer Operations at Salt and VP Customer Care at Orange. Learn more about Tonio »
In our next post, we’ll explain the inner workings of a chatbot and talk about the viable solutions for offering human support 24/7.