Friday, October 24, 2014

Customer Retention and the Contact Center Agent

By definition, customer retention is the activity an organization undertakes in order to reduce customer defections. It is a responsibility of the contact center. While the functional role of retention is housed within a specific team, everyone in customer service impacts the company’s ability to preserve customers.

Often, retention efforts occur when a customer has expressed a desire to leave the business relationship. This is often too late, and may come at a high price to your bottom line. Furthermore, once the incentives offered to keep a customer expire, they leave. I believe the process of reducing customer churn is an ongoing process starting at the beginning of the relationship. It should take place before dissatisfaction arises and continue over the customer life cycle.

In particular, front line agents should take a proactive approach. They must be empowered and encouraged to help build customer loyalty. Below are some suggestions contact centers can use:
  • Discounts
  • Free service
  • Gift cards
  • Contests
  • Thank You cards
  • Newsletters
  • Reports, whitepapers or books
  • Self help tools

These ideas allow the contact center agent to be proactive in the retention process rather than reactive. Don’t wait until a customer is frustrated! Acts of kindness have a greater impact when they are unexpected and unwarranted.

Sean is a Contact Center manager with over 13 years of experience. He has a terrific pulse on incorporating innovation into the contact center. He's implemented social, outsourcing partners, new technology, and new products, while maintaining an award-winning contact center.

His contact center is a past winner of the ICMI "Global Call Center of the Year" award for Small to Medium-Sized Centers.

Follow on Twitter @SeanBHawkins

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