Intensive customer retention tactics are one clear difference between successful companies and those that are falling behind in the hard economy, according to a study by consulting and research firm, Best Practices, LLC.
According to the research report, Achieving World-Class Customer Service, as today's technology-aware consumers demand higher levels of service than in previous years, many companies are retaining customers and increasing sales by delivering superior or exceptional customer service.
Retention and loyalty
The report reveals that customer service tactics that impact customer retention subsequently drive bottom line profits. For example, one particular financial institution measures both customer usage of, and satisfaction with, its services. Insights from these measurements have led to 98% retention of the institution's most profitable customers.
Likewise, the report cites the case of a service industry company which trains employees to examine customer behaviour, and then to record that information in computerised customer profiles. The employees can then use that information to tailor services to match customer preferences, consequently driving loyalty.
The practices and managerial insights included in the report have been drawn from interviews with customer service executives, and research from more than 90 companies across a range of industry sectors. The report also contains ideas on using customer preference data to deliver premium service, encouraging employee development through team-work systems and incentives, and on defining the guiding mission and objectives of a customer service strategy
"During the current market downturn, the fight to retain customers is growing desperate," said Chris Bogan, president and CEO for Best Practices. "Employees who are empowered to understand and react to individual customer preferences will delight clients and drive repeat business."
A summary of the report has been made available for free download at the Best Practices web site.