Author: XACT

What to look for in a customer service center

smiling female helpline operator with headsetWe all know that great customer service is incredibly important for a business to succeed. If a person receives bad service they’re not likely to buy from you again and they could give you a bad online review.

Word of mouth spreads too – whether it’s a good or a bad experience. But who do you trust to represent your business? How do you determine the right company to handle your customer service needs?

First things first, you need to make sure you choose a company that offers the services you desire. There are a variety of services that customer service centers can provide. Find out all of the solutions that are available. Do they have text/SMS, web and telephone support for example? Do they have bilingual options? Does the company grow alongside you, scaling to your needs? Are they flexible in delivering what you require? Consider what services you may want to offer your customers and then make sure the company you decide to go with can provide the solutions you need.

Beyond that, you need to make sure the company aligns well with yours. Does their company culture fit yours well? Are they professional in how they work with you? Also, consider their experience. Do they have lots of experience with customer support? Read testimonials and ask for stats regarding their calls so you can see how many they’ve taken in the past and how long people are typically kept on hold. When you have a consultation with a company, see how their phone service is.

When you choose a customer service center to partner with, you want to make sure it’s one that you can trust to deliver superior service. Because at the end of the day, the point is to keep customers happy and coming back.

Does your company have a customer retention plan?

Headhunter in search of new employees. Human Resource Management. Staff recruitment. Attracting highly qualified top managers and narrow specialists. Active search for candidates. General recruitmentCompanies spend a great deal of time and money to attract new customers but many businesses don’t invest nearly enough time in figuring out why they lose customers. In reality, the cost of losing customers is high, in ways you might not have thought about before. Consider these implications:

Added costs. There are added costs in recruiting and adding new customers to make up for the customers that have been lost.

Reputation issues. In today’s world, people have a variety of ways to share their dissatisfaction … instantly. Research shows that customers are much more likely to share bad customer service experiences far and wide than good ones. Bad reviews/public criticism can make it difficult for a company to recruit new customers and even employees.

Lost revenue. When a customer leaves, companies lose not only ongoing revenue but any amount that customer refuses to pay before they depart. That either results in a write-off or added legal/collection costs.

That’s why a customer retention plan is so important. A key part of the plan should include measurement of ongoing customer satisfaction and outreach to customers to see how the company can serve them better. Every aspect of the customer experience should be examined, including the customer service support team. Long hold times, cranky or indifferent employees and unresolved problems can create a serious retention issue for any company. In terms of dissatisfied customers, a plan should be in place to quickly remedy the situation and make every effort to retain the customer.

Lastly, gaining insights from customers who have left the company is extremely important. Asking customers who leave your company why they left is a key way to identify issues. Over time, such information can help you identify problems in your organization that can be fixed to create a better customer experience.

Improve customer service offerings with web chat and SMS

Modern workplace woman using mobile phone in office.If you’re not already offering web and chat services, you may want to consider it. Nowadays, people keep busy. They often don’t have the time to sit on the phone. They want quick, fast turnarounds.

This is especially true with the younger generations. Millennials and Gen Z tend to rely more on sending messages than making phone calls. If you want to appeal to this demographic, then you really need to adopt these types of customer service technologies.

There are two main options we recommend offering to your clients to meet this demand: Web Chat and SMS.

Web Chat

Web Chat is a chat technology that is integrated directly with our skills-based routing omnichannel environment. It directs your requests to agents efficiently and effectively. We design the look and feel of the chat interface to match the colors and tone of your site or application. Once it’s complete you can paste the widget code directly into your web code and activate it easily. If you prefer to integrate your application in a different way, you can also use our powerful API set to redirect requests to our platform just the way you want.

The nice thing about Web Chat is that it’s readily available when your customers are browsing your site. This allows them to ask questions immediately when they’re thinking of them.

SMS/Text

SMS and text is the fastest growing method of communication today. People love to text. Many opt to communicate this way instead of actually dialing a number. It’s no wonder why many prefer to reach out to customer service in the same fashion.

We can create a shortcode (6 digitals or less) or use your existing support number and enable SMS. This instantly allows your number to be both phone and SMS enabled. Offering text or call, your customer has both flexibility and choice. This allows you to appeal to a larger audience of customers.

If you’d like to learn more about these offerings or others we can provide, contact us. When it comes to customer service solutions, you can rely on XACT.

The staggering cost of poor customer service

9866988_MIf you asked your customers or clients, what would they say about your company and the level of customer service it provides? Customer service is a vital part of any business —B2C or B2B — and plays a large role in creating loyal customers. A company that provides great customer service is much more likely to have loyal customers than one that doesn’t. Bad customer experiences can be a major hindrance to any type of company, in any industry.

Consider this:

Poor customer service costs U.S. businesses more than $75 billion a year. According to NewVoiceMedia’s Serial Switchers report, U.S. consumers and businesses today will readily switch from one company to another if their needs aren’t met. In fact, 67% of respondents indicated that they have become “serial switchers,” meaning that they are more than willing to switch companies — and often do so — because of a single poor customer experience. Main reasons for switching: Not feeling appreciated, not getting answers to questions, rude/unhelpful employees and being passed around to multiple (and unhelpful) people, being presented with an inferior product or service or otherwise not having their needs met.

Once they leave, they won’t be back. All it takes is one bad experience to ruin a relationship with even the most loyal of customers or clients, and it’s not very easy to win them back. According to one study, 91% of unhappy customers will never come back to the companies they left. This is especially true in industries with many competitors.

Even if they don’t leave immediately, you’ll have to work hard to keep them over the long term. Research shows that it takes about one dozen positive experiences to make up for just one unresolved negative experience. It is possible to work things out with an unhappy customer or client, but that initial experience can never truly be erased.

Bad experiences are shared at twice the rate of positive experiences. When someone has a bad experience with a company, they often share it with other people in person, over the phone, on social media or in industry circles. Word gets around. The key is to identify — and change — anything that’s creating a negative experience for your customers.

Catering to the little guys

Yes, XACT is for the little guys, too.

We pride ourselves on our ability to prepare fully-customized contact center services and solutions for all sizes of organizations, from start-up to large-scale.