In business, customer experience is a battlefield. Many companies are competing solely on their ability to find customers and keep them satisfied. If they can’t, the end up churning through current customers and burning funds finding new ones. A single bad experience is often enough to make someone leave. Research done by customer strategy firm thinkJar states that 67 percent of customers churn because of a bad experience. On the other side, if you can improve customer experience, you can improve retention rates. Enhancing retention by only 5 percent can increase profits up to a whopping 95 percent!So how do you do it? Here are five ideas.
Provide Self-Support ResourcesAccording to Gartner, by 2020, a customer will manage 85 percent of their relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human. The thing to note about this is that many people want to handle their problems. This means you can improve their experience by offering ways for them to help themselves. Here are some things to try:
- Set up a portal where clients can access account information, view support tickets, or even view educational content.
- Allow clients to view dashboards so they can see the same system info you do.
- Provide customers with easy-to-follow guides and videos that solve fundamental problems (here’s a primer).
- Provide a regular newsletter that educates customers on various IT-related concepts or news.
Create Aggressive (but Attainable) Service AgreementsYour service level agreements (SLAs) let your clients know what you handle, what you don’t, and how quickly you’ll be there when they need you. The faster you can guarantee a response, the more likely it is your clients will have a great experience. Consider offering clients more aggressive recovery objectives depending on their service tier or pricing plan. According to Kolsky, 55% of consumers will pay more for a guaranteed good experience, so don’t forget that aggressive SLAs can come at a higher price.
Improve Support Response TimesAvailability is everything when it comes to data and systems – why can’t the same be true for support staff? While your SLAs cover when you’re willing to guarantee a response, that’s not to say you can’t respond faster. Think about how you’re currently managing support tickets and try to identify ways you can improve efficiencies. Are there common problems you can help solve by educating clients? Are there processes for escalation that allow you to solve problems faster? Can you offer clients hardware that requires minimal maintenance? These are the kinds of things that remove the burden from you, keep operations smooth for clients, and keep everybody happy.
Provide Premium Services86% of customers are willing to pay for an upgraded experience. This means that not only will providing premium services make your customers happier, but many of them will also be glad to pay for them. Here are a few things to consider making available for your customers:
- Priority support options
- White-glove on-site service
- Tiered backup and disaster recovery options
- After-hours support
- Office supply delivery
Always Go the Extra MileLast but not least, like a barber who provides a neck massage or a gas station attendant who cleans your windows after filling your tank, the little things you do make a difference. Consider ways you can go the extra mile for them by calling them to chat, inviting them to regular client appreciation events, or even bringing donuts when you’re on-site. These things may seem small, but your clients will appreciate them.
Last ThoughtsYour business runs on satisfied customers, and it cost less to retain clients than it does to find new ones. Moreover, a majority of people will pay more to work with companies that provide exceptional service, and satisfied customers are more likely to share their positive experience on social media – their great experiences turn into referrals. With facts like these, it’s obvious why it’s so important to invest in new ways to give your clients a fantastic experience every time they deal with your company.
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