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5 tips for improving customer service and driving retention

5 tips for improving customer service and driving retention

This article was written by Myra Golden, the founder of Myra Golden Seminars, LLC.

Increasing customer retention has always been a cornerstone of sustainable business growth. During economic uncertainty, retention becomes even more crucial as businesses grapple with changing consumer behavior, increased competition, and unpredictable market conditions.

Therefore, it is no surprise that 38% of customer experience (CX) professionals say the state of the economy is a top challenge, according to the SurveyMonkey State of CX report. As CX professionals navigate this uncertainty, it is more important than ever to identify business areas that have the biggest impact on loyalty and retention—like customer support and service.

Customer service and support are crucial in shaping buyer’s brand perceptions and preferences. In fact, 90% of consumers say customer service and support are important for the brands they like, demonstrating the critical role that effective customer service plays in nurturing positive customer relationships.

Retaining loyal customers is more profitable than acquiring new ones. A seamless customer service experience not only resolves immediate issues but also leaves a lasting impression on customers. When customers feel genuinely valued and supported, they are more inclined to become repeat buyers and enthusiastic brand advocates.

Keep reading for tips to improve customer service and secure loyal customers.

Understanding customer behavior is crucial for companies looking to engage, retain, and expand their customer base. By understanding buyers' needs, businesses can earn and maintain customer satisfaction throughout the customer lifecycle.

However, only 42% of CX professionals say their company seeks feedback following customer support or service interactions. Collecting customer feedback is essential as it unveils how well your support team addresses customer needs. It's equally important to gather input from diverse channels—and where your customers prefer.

Most consumers (80%) expect a response to customer service requests within one business day. In an age where customers have many options at their fingertips, businesses that respond quickly to customer inquiries are more likely to retain and attract new customers.

Customer response time can help you determine the effectiveness of customer service. When customer care teams answer inquiries quickly, it reflects positively on the business's commitment to customer satisfaction.

Moreover, responding to customers promptly and efficiently strengthens customer loyalty and further boosts a business's reputation. Positive experiences lead to positive reviews, which, in turn, helps in building a robust customer base.

Employee training can significantly boost customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and retention—essential for a business's long-term success. 

Customers interacting with a well-trained team are more likely to feel valued, understood, and satisfied with the overall experience, leaving a lasting impression on customers at every touchpoint.

Practical training enables customer service representatives to handle issues promptly, reducing the need for follow-up calls. This leads to efficient customer service and a more positive customer experience.

Collecting customer feedback can improve customer support's effectiveness, leading to smoother communication. However, gathering feedback is just the first step.

Leveraging customer feedback can improve customer service, boost product quality, and build solid relationships. Insights from customers enable companies to create more targeted, personalized, and effective service strategies. Acting on customer service feedback demonstrates to customers that their opinions matter, which fosters positive brand associations. 

Lastly, shaping a company's strategies and practices to better align with customer expectations provides a guiding resource for growth—resulting in greater customer loyalty and retention. 

A multichannel support approach allows customers to contact your business from various channels based on their preferences or needs, with the assurance of receiving the same level of service. Offering various support options, including phone, chat, email, and social media, allows customers to choose the best way to get help. 

Multichannel support is scalable, allowing businesses to adjust their support operations as customer demands change. Companies can handle customer concerns more efficiently and effectively by routing support inquiries through various channels. 

Exceptional customer service requires continuous improvement and a customer-centric mindset throughout an organization. Businesses should consider adopting ongoing training and development and listen to customer feedback to identify areas for growth and improvement.

By utilizing the strategies and best practices outlined above, businesses can build a strong customer service experience that supports better customer retention, paving the way for long-term stability in an ever-shifting business market. 

Learn how to deliver exceptional customer service that drives retention and business growth. Grab our Ultimate guide to customer service for actionable insights on improving your customer service strategy.  

The top three priorities for Customer Service teams to thrive in this new era of customer experience.