Customer retention is crucial to the success and survival of any call center business, or any business for that matter.
Does that surprise anybody? Surely not. Without customers, there can be no business.
While customer attrition is sometimes inevitable, every business owner worth her salt needs to adopt a proactive approach in making customers stay.
To bring home the point, here are two important factoids proving why keeping customers should become a priority in your business:
- Bain & Company study shows that increasing customer retention rates by 5 percent raises profits by 5 to 25 percent.
- Harvard Business Review reports that “acquiring a new customer is five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.”
Convinced? Here are the best ways a call center can retain customers who are on the verge of severing their business relationship with your company.
1. Process cancellations through voice channels
Before a call center can retain customers, agents need to be provided opportunities to work their magic.
One good way to do this is to direct the cancellation process through voice channels
While it may cost your company a little to encourage customers to speak with a representative when requesting a cancellation, having the opportunity to convince them to stay can significantly shore up your customer retention efforts.
2. Offer a cheaper option
Some customers choose to cancel their subscription due to money issues. In such cases, the best course of action is to offer a cheaper alternative.
Since there will always be customers, who aren’t aware that there are cheaper plans than the one they’re subscribed to, making the right offer at the point of cancellation is the logical next step.
Once a customer has decided to downgrade their subscription, kindly remind her that she can choose to upgrade anytime — preferably once her financial situation has improved.
If customers are calling in to cancel their subscription because they find the product or service wanting, reps should go the extra mile in helping them resolve their issues with the company.
In cases where they are requesting to cancel so they can switch to a competitor, make it a point to explain why your brand can offer so much more.
3. Offer inconvenienced customers gestures of goodwill
Customers can be impulsive sometimes.
When customers are having a bad day, even the smallest inconvenience where they feel that your company is to blame may cause them to make a rash decision.
Most of the time, a gesture of goodwill — a voucher or a one-off credit — can help dampen their temper, causing them to reconsider if cancelling the service isn’t such a good idea after all.
Of course, it goes without saying that whatever issue the customer may be having should be addressed as soon as possible.
4. Remind customers what they’re giving up
Your call center agents have to remind customers what they’re about to give up when they decide to stop doing business with you.
One great way to do this is to use a spiel, something that goes along the lines of, “Are you sure you want to cancel the service? If you unsubscribe, you will no longer have access to (insert your brand’s best offerings here)…”
If your company is offering loyalty incentives (and it should), the point of cancellation offers a great opportunity to remind customers about their eligibility to special offerings that may be coming their way if they choose to continue doing business with you.
5. Form teams of retention specialists
Since these specialized reps’ primary focus is to retain customers, they are more likely to become more effective in convincing them to stay.
For better results, a rigorous approach in selecting the best agents for the job has to be adopted (refined “soft skills” is an important qualification to have).
Retaining customers poses a lot of challenges for any business. After all, it’s difficult to convince people who appear to have already made up their minds.
But if you adopt the practices mentioned above with a conscious intent to keep customers happy, you are providing customers the best reason not to leave.