10 ways to win the battle against customer churn

8th Jun 2015


UK firms are already feeling the impact of customer churn. Business leaders fear losing 10% of their customer base over the next three years, threatening some £2.23 billion of revenue. Here are 10 ways you can win the battle against customer churn:

1.The bottom line

Customer service must scale the boardroom agenda. With service a key driver of bottom line performance, it will be the critical strategic battlefield in an environment marked by intense competition for customers.

In our survey, 41% of leaders expect the war for customers to intensify this year. Customer retention will be critical to their ability to achieve growth. 35% identify customer churn as the greatest threat to their business.

2. Service counts

Companies that differentiate on the quality of their customer experience will be best placed to achieve their growth ambitions.

71% single out customer service as a key loyalty driver, ranking it above product, brand reputation and effective sales and marketing. Their customers agree: the large majority (83%) identify the quality of service they receive as an important driver of loyalty.

3. The customer comes first

Acquiring and retaining loyal customers will be crucial as 47% of consumers describe themselves as more likely to switch companies in the future.

To combat this, senior leaders need to consider how their business strategies and operating models reflect what today’s consumer really wants.

4. Get the priorities right

Businesses could impair the quality of their customer service if they have a short-term focus on prioritising cost–cutting and sales over service.

Cuts have damaged the quality of customer service in close to half of organisations (48%), with only a quarter (27%) preserving service levels through the recession.

A third (31%) believe the quality of their customer service has been impaired by a short-term focus on prioritising sales over service.

5. Cutting back on customer service is not an option

Invest to ensure customer retention. Senior managers in our survey put the cost of replacing a single customer at more than £6,500 and an average of 58 days. Work hard to hold on to customers or face the financial consequences.

6. Equip and train your employees

…so they can give the best service. If you recognise customer service as a true profession, you will want to empower, motivate and develop professional skills in your workforce. Customers will benefit – and so will employees.

7. Engage and empathise

Make the ‘moment of truth’ an experience that customers can relate to. Demonstrate that you remember them and they will be more likely to remain with you.

8. Embrace social media

It gives your customers a podium, make sure you have one too. A plethora of channels is available to customers which successful organisations are using both to monitor customer reactions and engage with them.

9. Track feedback and complaints

Complaints cost money so a workable, practical system will help you identify weaknesses – and put them right.

10. Think creatively and strategically

Ensure all the customer touch points are consistent and appropriate.

https://www.instituteofcustomerservice.com/media/pdf/20538-customer-first-7-winning-the-war-for-customers-p12and13.pdf

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