customer retention strategies

Customer Retention – Key Differentiators

A Note on Customer Retention

Most organizations cite the importance of Customer Retention, but few actually are able to make it happen. A key reason is that customer attrition is usually the build-up of several events that set the course. Organizations attempt to address this in a piecemeal manner without a comprehensive assessment of customer lifecycle.

Here are some factors that set some companies apart –

Root Cause Analysis – When an irate customer highlights an issue, Customer Service teams bustle about trying to soothe them and ensure things are taken care of. Very few organizations follow a systematic approach to understand the HOW/WHY of this raised issue. A leading ecommerce company identifies every such problem as an opportunity to interpret and unravel right from its root – accordingly making corrections at a fundamental level, to avoid any recurrences.

The said approach particularly relies on the 5 WHY techniques – designed to get a deep understanding of the problem statement, rightly identifying the root causes, followed by correction backed by system driven interventions. It is imperative for every employee to undergo substantial training on the 5 WHY technique before they are permitted to implement diagnostics. This showcases the efforts put in to effectively understand customer issues and strengthen Customer Experience. Robust Root Cause Analysis emerges as a strong differentiator.

Customer Surveys – Customers have a plethora of touchpoints, to interface with organizations including Assisted and Unassisted channels. Progressive organizations understand Customer Journeys well, they realize that customers can interact at different touchpoints for different reasons, and attempt to harness the wealth of information. A leading telecom operator uses Touchpoint Net Promoter Score to gauge the customer pulse and obtain real time insights for Support & Resolution. These SMS surveys fused with Sentiment Analysis have helped it understand Touchpoint NPS across Contact Center, Chat, email, Retail, Digital and make fundamental changes across processes, products, pricing, network and build a more customer centric orientation all through the organization.

Product Design – Many organizations see retention as an Operations or Customer Service issue. What they fail to realize that complexity in product design can have a massive impact on frontline and customers. Complex products pose various technology challenges in system configuration, require manual workarounds that are difficult to monitor, present billing challenges and create havoc for frontline when it comes to deciphering and interpreting the product nuances. Yet organizations persist with trying to create a complex portfolio to extend market share, without realizing the pervasive damage internally and the costs entailed. Customer Centric organizations in contrast focus sharply on the product portfolio and attempt to make meaningful trade-offs from time to time.

On-boarding – As they say, Well begun is half the job done! Intelligent organizations pay attention to a robust and thoughtful customer on-boarding including – coherent & limited communication, hassle-free set-up & usage, providing digital / self-help avenues to enable the customer to be in control and have greater visibility, sharply monitoring early-stage customer complaints & issues, and having specialist teams to support new customers during the initial stages.

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