Retaining Customers with a Business Phone Answering Service

By now, most business owners are aware of the statistic that shows the cost of gaining a new customer is ten times that of keeping a current customer. Unfortunately for many businesses, inadequate customer service is breaking the bond of that valuable relationship with the customer. While businesses today may realize that having a business answering service is the key to quickly answering every call, few are aware of how to maximize the effectiveness of their phone answering services to retain customers.

It only takes one bad interaction with a customer to lose them forever and create a backlash that can spread to social media via Facebook, Twitter, and other outlets.
Consequently, customer retention requires that businesses gain better insight into their customers in terms of need so as to provide a higher level of customer service. The integration of a highly reactive self-service website, feature-rich Web applications, and phone answering services for 24/7 coverage to ease a company’s call volume are the first steps in the right direction.

Phone answering services that feature a knowledgeable live voice that promptly answers each customer call provides a seamless extension of your business when you are out of the office. That friendly and knowledgeable live voice can dramatically reduce the chances of a missed call that sends a customer elsewhere to find that service or product offering. Addingwebsite-enabled live chat or email interaction lowers the possibility of customer loss even further by letting them choose the method of interaction.

The next step is for the businesses to gather and provide advanced customer data to their business phone answering services in order to maximize customer service through these channels.In simpler terms, this means that businesses must use their experience with each customer interaction to learn more about their needs. This information can be used to better fulfill the needs of the business’s customers in a quick, efficient, and friendly manner.

Not only can businesses obtain this information from their own records and past customer interactions, it can be coupled with the data gathered by the business phone answering service as they deal with each customer. These analytics include information gathered from agent performance such as saved call records, call wait times, query and/or product categories as well as sales efficiency.

In addition, businesses can utilize the phone answering services from their provider to maintain regular communication with their customers by phone or email. Several ways include making important customer related sales events or company information part of their phone or email interactions. This can also be part of anewsletter that the business sends out quarterly. This lets the customer know that they value the relationship and goes a long way to helping maintain it.

These avenues also allow businesses to regularly survey their customers to find ways that they can improve their services or products. By regularly polling your customers, your business can find out about any hidden issues as well as identify the specifics on the evolving needs of your customers.

Businesses can utilize rewards such as a thank you letter, small gift or discounted rates as a way to open the dialog with customers on these issues. This approach serves to identify customer needs while ensuring that the customer feels appreciated.

All of this this information from customers and business phone answering services can be combined to make individualized decisions for each customer interaction based on product, service or query triggers that indicate the highest probability of success. This allows businesses to provide more accurate as well as any relevant customer-specific information that tie to the specific products or services in question.

The business phone answering service agent can then be more effective at helping a new customer select the best product or service, and get an existing customer to purchase additional services. This goes a long way to keeping such high-value customers from buying or shopping elsewhere.

By working with their business phone answering service to mine and utilize this type of data, businesses can provide highly personalized service to the customer via phone answering services that cater to specific customer types and issues. The end result is higher customer satisfaction and retention, which directly translates to a healthier bottom line.

In today’s global economy, even small businesses are competing with other businesses from around the world. It is even more imperative to build quality relationships and customer loyalty with every interaction opportunity. By using the information that companies have as well as bolstering it with data gathered from their phone answering services, businesses can secure an advantage in terms of customer retention both today and tomorrow.