There is no shortage of news reports which claim that improvements in customer service can save companies money. How much can they save exactly? According a recent survey completed by First Direct, a retail bank in the U.K., and Aspect (News - Alert) Software, a European provider of workforce optimization software, companies as a whole can save themselves about £7.7 billion a year by stemming the loss of business due to poor customer service.
Paul Thomas, the vice president of Northern Europe at Aspect Software, said the best way for enterprises to stop losing customers is to make their lives effortless when it comes to troubleshooting problems. He says there is a pervasive attitude within business culture that it is still up to consumers to fix problems themselves. Instead of trying to make customers happy, businesses often fail to inform their customers of issues, such as a server malfunction, and then are flooded with customer complaints about the very problem that is affecting all their lives.
The “fix it themselves” portion of this scenario is that customers have to contact their businesses in the first place instead of being told about issues when they arise. Thomas comments on this issue directly:
“For all intents and purposes, a customer calling you to report a problem shouldn’t happen, but you can take away that effort and still resolve unforeseen challenges by pre-empting them,” Thomas said. “They are paying you after all – why should they put the work in?”
First Direct and Aspect Software's survey of businesses revealed that the industries affected most by customer attrition are banks, energy suppliers, and mobile network operators and that they suffer, respectively, £2.31 billion, £1.37 billion, and £456 million in lost business every year because of poor customer service.
He goes on to explain that businesses of all types have, at their fingertips, the ability to reach out to customers through voice, video, text, email, and all other manner of communications. In no small part, TMC (News - Alert) pointed out a number of benefits to just one growing part of customer service -- the benefits of using WebRTC -- which boils down to the ability to effectively use those communications modalities with ease.
Multi-channel systems are not hard to obtain. If businesses do not have them, they should, at the very least to combat the attrition that First Direct and Aspect Software make visible in their study. Rates of attrition to the tune of billions of dollars are unacceptable for any enterprise, no matter how successful or dominant in the market they are. Being proactive with customers is not a chore as much as it is a duty when it comes to making their lives happier and their business loyalty intact.
Edited by Alisen Downey