Providing your customers with excellent levels of customer service is critical to the success of your business.
A 6 month study published by Sidona Group showed that, 24% of UK customers have stopped doing business with a company due to bad customer service experiences. Here are the reason listed for changing provider:
- 23% Unfair fees or charges
- 22% Poor product or service quality
- 19% Rude or disinterested employees
- 12% Couldn’t get hold of anyone to deal with my problem
- 7% Discounts for new customers but not for existing customers
- 7% Other
- 4% Inadequate return or refund policy
- 5% Out of territory call centres
- 1% Inadequate environmental policy
Poor customer service is reported to cost UK business £15.3 billion in lost revenue <source Cincom>. Between telephone calls that reach the wrong department or never make it to your customer service team (you have probably experienced this yourself!), there is huge potential to improve your customers experience and your bottom line.
Faster, better responses
Improving your customer service experience starts with making sure that customers calling into your business (inbound) reach the correct departments faster. Inbound telephone call control features from Lister Communications can direct calls to different teams or departments using criteria such as:
- Geographic origin of the call
- Phone number the customer is calling from
- Phone number the customer dials
- Time of day or day of the week the call is received
39% of UK consumers said it is critical for companies to provide more intelligent self-service so they are not trapped in unproductive automated systems. <source Cincom>
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft
Deliver a consistent experience
Delivering the same, good customer service experience everytime one of your customers calls goes a long way toward keeping your customers happy. Even during very busy periods your call handling process should always aim to get your customer to the right department as quickly as possible. Call routing features available from Lister can really help you to achieve this. Consider implementing:
- IVRs (Auto Attendant) to help callers identify the reason for their call and route them to the most appropriate department
- Call queuing to allow customers to hold until an agent is available
- Call diversions to re-route calls if a team is unavailable, or an office location is closed in an emergency
- Call distribution to balance calls between multiple teams or office locations during busy periods
- On hold music. If you must put on one of your customers on hold, give them something listen to rather than silence.
- Recorded messages to help direct callers to alternative sources of information that might help, like your website, to answer frequently asked questions and free up lines
The majority of customers care very little about the reasons that led to a bad experience. Simple but effective call management solutions are an easy way to help avoid these situations.
Listen, learn, adapt
Trying to understand why your customer is unhappy is the only way to help prevent future bad experiences.
Make sure that you capture the causes of your customer complaints, then try to find a way that your inbound call handling processes could help prevent the same experiences in the future.
73% of consumers in the UK have ended a business relationship due to poor customer service. <source Cincom>
Beyond simply listening to new customer complaints, it is also a good idea to look at your historic call stats to try and understand the reasons for any call abandonment rates. A call management system can be used to gain valuable insight into customer call behaviour allowing to make improvements.
50% of new callers don’t ring back if they don’t get an answer when they call (Satmetrix)
Local, human services
Try to make use of local phone numbers for your service areas, even if you don’t have an office there. Customers will feel like they are calling a local provider and can feel more comfortable doing business with you.
- Use area-based routing to make sure that calls are received by the correct teams
- Use a caller identification system so your staff know which line customers are calling in on and how they should answer the phone
A key part of any successful business is understanding customers. A call management system will help you to gain valuable insight into your customers behaviour. Allowing you to make improvements to the experience they receive when they contact you, leading to greater efficiency, improved customer loyalty and ultimately a better bottom line for you.
Speak to Lister about the solutions available to help ensure you are able to manage multiple numbers and call flows effectively call 0800 652 4133 or click here.