What is customer service anyway?
With the UK reporting economic ‘growth’ for the first time since the recession, the economy is still 3% smaller than it was before it. In times like these, consumers are less loyal than ever before because their lack of pocket money requires them to be opportunistic.
Time to drive price down?
The demise of the loyal customer has led all too many businesses into thinking that only low prices will provide a sustainable business model. On the contrary; customers report that good customer service and loyalty mechanisms such as rewards programs are more important than ever in times like these.
According to LoyaltyLeaders.org:
Good customer service (34%) was the single aspect most likely to encourage people to spend more, followed by personalized rewards they felt were relevant to them (30%)
And before you think that’s only for those who are down and out:
Seventy percent of persons from higher-income households ($125,000 +) are more loyal to companies that offer rewards programs. (Maritz)
So price is not king. And yet, good customer service is not disassociated from price. Now, instead of a bank teller knowing my dog’s name or my butcher giving me an extra steak because he knows it’s my birthday, I want digital and automated channels to replace that personalization and ease. I want them to make it easy to save money, easy to see what book I should buy next and easy to access information that will keep me in good financial stead.
Make it easy = good customer service
This is why the Customer Effort Score (CES) has largely replaced other tools like the Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a way of assessing customer loyalty. In pedestrian terms, asking your customer how hard it was to do business (CES) vs. asking how likely they are to recommend your company (NPS) has proven to be more effective in preventing attrition.
3 Ways to make it easy with email…
- Ease of Transaction: Push your communications. For example – push customers’ eBills and eStatements to their inboxes. This way, they don’t have to fetch them and remember more usernames and passwords. Make it easy and offer one click payment from within a secure eBill.
- Ease of Engagement: Don’t ask customers to stuff their wallets with yet another loyalty card or voucher. Push perks within an email and use barcodes and QR codes to allow use from their Smartphones. And use your data to send highly targeted offers as well.
- Ease of Information: Using portals is a ‘Customer Effort Score’ no-no. Time and again customers report that passwords require too much effort. Push eStatements, eBills, ePolicies, Terms and Conditions, notifications… any and all high security documents can be attached directly to an email and set with a default password to open. These documents can be highly interactive and double as an engagement tool – allowing customers to update details, set payment reminders or even top up their phone credits!
If you are easy to do business with, your customers may not be loyal, but they will come back for more.
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