Playing for keeps
The art of customer retention
New customers are critical to the success of any business. But with research showing that customer acquisition can cost companies anywhere from 5-25 times more than retaining existing customers, it undoubtedly makes good business sense to nurture their current clientele.

Customer retention can also provide companies with important insights. Understanding repurchasing behaviours, customer satisfaction and pain points can all be leveraged to evolve a business’s offering and increase customer success. Plus, existing customers are more likely to engage in word-of-mouth marketing and ultimately bring in new business.

We know that great customer service can make all the difference to enhancing the customer experience, and great customer experience often leads to brand loyalty – so getting the support experience right is imperative.

In a recent example from Chewy, a customer called to end a dog food subscription after her beloved pet died, received a refund and was sent flowers by the customer service agent who had spoken to her. The empathetic response from the call handler had such an impact on the customer that she decided to Tweet about it – a post that gained almost 750k likes on Twitter and started a conversation online that saw thousands of customers share similar experiences of outstanding customer service and positive interaction, from not only Chewy but other brands too.
But you don’t always have to say it with flowers! Equipping your customer service agents with the skills necessary to foster a relationship will turn them and your clients into brand ambassadors. 

While we believe there’s unquestionably space for tools like FAQ’s and AI in customer service, an empathetic support agent that asks the right questions and makes conversations count, goes a long way to making customers feel they are valued and their needs have been met. And if you can achieve it with a single point of contact, even better!

In fact, speaking to a human has been deemed so important by the Spanish government that they’ve recently proposed a law to ban automated-only customer services altogether. The bill also includes several other related measures, including limiting call waiting times to a maximum of 3 minutes, and requiring companies that provide basic services such as energy and water, to ensure their customer service is available 24/7/365. Businesses that don’t comply can face fines of up to around £85,000.

While we may not expect laws like these in the UK anytime soon, it does serve as a reminder that human interaction in customer service has not lost its value; and empowering your customer service teams is the best investment you could make in your brand.

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