Designing a Customer Retention Strategy for the Call Center
2 weeks ago by

“Should I stay or Should I go?” It is as if that is what your customers are actually saying when they mention the phrase “cancellation of service”. It is a dreaded combination of words that are bound to set all customer service professionals on alert. Here is where a company’s customer retention strategy comes into play.

It is an established fact that getting new customers is up to five times more costly than holding on to existing customers and clientele. This statistic indicates just how important it is to give preference to an existing customer. The customer service department, especially in companies with call centers, shoulders considerable responsibility in retaining customers. While the industry norm is measuring the customer churn rate or the rate at which customers leave a product or service, customer service experts recommend tracking the customer retention rate. This percentage provides an approximate of the health of a business. Customer retention strategies, including customer service training sessions, are the result of businesses prioritizing their current customers.

Here are some customer retention strategies that bring results in the call center:

Making a Customer Call-In

When a customer wants to sign-up for a service or buy a product, it is in the best interest of the business to streamline the task. Similarly, when a customer wants to opt-out from a service or return a product, the entire process should also be as smooth as possible. The catch is building in a customer retention opportunity within the cancellation process. The customer service representative should strive to resolve the cancellation trigger and hold on to the existing customer.

Even if this approach initially ends up costing more than a simple opt-out web form, it’s crucial to remember that getting brand-new customers is an even costlier endeavor.

Giving Your CSRs the Right Customer Service Training

Break it down any way you like, but there is a strong link between quality customer service and regular customer service training in the call center. Loyal customers are partially the result of favorable interactions with courteous and well-informed customer service representatives (CSRs). Passionate employees who take the time to deliver personalized support also strengthen the brand’s overall customer experience.

As a call center supervisor, it falls upon you to prop the CSRs up for success. One way to do that is by providing them with fun and engaging training activities. Remove the stale ‘classroom’ concept completely from the training manual. Seek out inventive ways to communicate customer service best practices to the team members.  Gradually, CSRs in your team will transform into engaged brand advocates that connect with the company’s values and goals. With an eye on the desired outcome, CSRs are then empowered to deliver a higher rate of customer satisfaction

Getting Actionable Feedback

In case the customer is adamant about a cancellation, the next step involves a follow-up call from an in-house retention specialist. They will check-in with the customer and investigate ways to resolve the customer’s pain points. A retention specialist should have the ability to customize their offerings according to the type of customer. Their primary purpose is to bring the customer back on-board as an active subscriber. A vital aspect of gaining customer feedback during a follow-up call is the opportunity to better understand the customer’s needs.

Does the Problem Lie With Your CSRs?

According to a recent study by Harris Interactive on call centers, customer service agents are unable to answer customer queries up to 50% of the time. A call center with a vigilant supervisory team can usually avoid such a dismal performance. Two ways to ensure that your CSRs are delivering exemplary customer service: regularly carried out performance evaluations and diligent monitoring by the Quality Assurance department. In addition to in-house refresher courses, you can commission customized customer service trainings to further inspire and motivate the hardworking agents.

Customer service experts are fond of saying that a customer can ‘hear a smile’ through the phone line. That’s why they repeatedly recommend smiling while greeting a customer in the call center. Customer retention strategy, in its current form, demands the maximum that a call center agent has to offer: a positive attitude, professional acumen, critical thinking skills and most importantly, patience. In a supervisory role, you are in the position to strengthen the skills of your CSRs by investing in relevant training programs.


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