Some recent research conducted by Verint Systems in partnership with Opinium Research has revealed a rather distressing trend that suggests both customer loyalty and retention rates are declining.
This is based on a sample size of 34,000 consumers worldwide, so by no means an insignificant study.
Apparently two thirds of those surveyed are more likely to switch to the competitor that provides the best customer service or experience.
Now, this can’t be a surprise to many people. In the connected age we live in, the sheer choice of products and services that both consumers and businesses are offered within a few keystrokes can be truly overwhelming. The internet has been a game changer for how companies win new business, certainly in terms of incoming lead generation. Gone are the days where a plumber would call his business AAA Services, simply to be listed first in the Yellow Pages. These days, ZZZ would do just as well (actually, that maybe a better name for a bed manufacturer) to attract new customers as long their SEO strategy is putting them at the top of a Google search.
At the same time, the ethos of “brand new customers only” when it comes to enticing people in with an offer may well backfire if that is your primary long term business development strategy.
Yes, it is vital to have a robust pipeline of new customers buying your product or service because you want to grow your client base to increase your profit margins. But if you are then losing a load of existing customers due to poor service after you have won them, all the effort you are putting into that lead generation drive is counter-productive.
I’m sure most would agree that winning new business whilst retaining your existing customers is the holy grail for any company. Interestingly, the survey stated that customers wanted human interaction to deal with their issues quickly, with more than a third choosing the phone as their preferred means of communication with an organization above digital channels such as email, web chats, social media, etc.
As we know from the new business campaigns we run at Alchemis, a good phone conversation allows you to question, empathise, build rapport and react quickly and in the most appropriate manner in a way that just isn’t always possible using digital channels.
With a professional, easily contactable and efficient customer service team backing up your sales department, client retention and loyalty rates should always remain higher than at an organization that focusses on the initial sale and nothing else until they want more cash from you.
After all, we are still of the strong belief that not only do people buy from people, those same people want to feel valued thereafter.