Customer retention in a COVID world

The COVID climate presents some critical challenges to the business-customer relationship.

Customer retention in a COVID world

The COVID climate presents some critical challenges to the business-customer relationship.

Customer retention in a COVID world

Meet the author

Hannah Tomlinson

Consultant

The COVID climate presents some critical challenges to the business-customer relationship. With resources tightened and budgets shrinking, a higher level of scrutiny is being applied when determining whether purchased services are matching expectations. The very nature of these expectations is evolving too, as customers prioritise health and safety measures and the quality of remote services. It’s never been more important to consider the unique needs of your customers and offer a service which meets those needs. You’ve done a lot of great work securing your customer base and shouldn’t let that be victim to the uncertainty of today. You now have an opportunity to provide a customer experience which cements this as a long-term relationship, offering your customers the sense of certainty and commitment from your business that they are seeking in this current environment.

To start with, it’s important to take a step back and assess whether you’re giving the right level of attention to your existing customers, compared to the effort you’re putting into chasing new opportunities. Today’s uncertainty has warped that balance, so it’s critical to revisit it. Do these feel familiar?

  • An inability to track and use feedback from customers throughout the relationship, from marketing to contract renewal
  • A culture which doesn’t appreciate the importance of end-to-end customer experience
  • Unsure how to use data and processes to support your different customer groups

Consistent experience

To be successful with customer service, organisations need to provide a consistent, end-to-end, cross-channel experience for all customers. Remote working has added a layer of complexity for businesses as teams that previously may have occupied the same floor or building are no longer able to. Communication is more difficult and can feel less natural than it was before, which puts teamwork and collaboration under strain as all of us fall victim to avoiding that which is difficult. To ensure that your business is not experiencing any negative effects from this new working environment, we must start by making sure your marketing and sales teams are communicating to your customers and each other in a consistent way, and embed processes to support this despite the challenges of new and different working environments.

Consistent service levels

Once your prospect has become a customer there shouldn’t be a drop-off in the levels of service – especially today. Far too many companies focus on renewal figures, but fail to ensure retention strategies are in place to avoid drop-off by offering excellent customer service throughout the relationship, not just when the contract is coming to an end. It’s key to understand your customers and how their needs are evolving in this new environment. Staying in touch with your customers to determine how current changes might be affecting their needs and demands can help you to gather feedback and use this to continually improve.

Consistent staff commitment

Finally, the ethos of great customer service needs to be instilled in all staff members, not just those in customer-facing roles. Employee awareness of how customer retention directly impacts their individual role as well as the overall health of the organisation ensures that they’re invested in putting the customer first. Embedding a customer-focused culture promotes understanding and rewards your people for retention and renewal rates.

Achieving excellence with help from Clarasys

To achieve great customer service you need to first understand what is happening within your organisation. Our tools and techniques help you uncover the current situation in sales scenarios from new sales, retention and renewals before helping you optimise these. A key part of the process is understanding your data and making sure it is working for you. We’ll help you define what data is most important to delivering excellent customer service and understand the amount of effort the organisation is attributing to different customer groups to ensure the service is fully optimised. With this knowledge as the foundation we then assist you in creating repeat business sales processes that are understood and engaged with throughout the organisation. We’ll prioritise delivery in bite sized chunks so you receive rapid value and also have the opportunity for your internal teams to learn how to ensure this value is continued far into the future. We’re here to help you navigate these turbulent times today and cement best practice to excel tomorrow.

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