Customer Retention: Keep ’Em And Hold ’Em
Beyond death, taxes and postal rate hikes, most catalogers’ primary worry in life is retaining customers. Aside from continuously offering appealing products and services, there are a number of effective approaches you need to take to keep your customers happy and doing repeat business with you.
Naturally, the question is, “What methods can I try that I haven’t already tried 10 times?” For a few possible answers and techniques for you to test in different departments, consider the strategies offered by several catalog experts.
Good customer service starts with the first interaction you have with customers. And if your call center still is fielding a sizeable portion of your orders, you naturally have a “human” opportunity to keep them happy.
San Francisco-based telephone accessories cataloger Headsets.com takes a majority of its orders over the phone, despite its dot-com era pedigree. “Our inbound contact center is really what makes people remember us,” says founder and president, Mike Faith. “When you provide that ‘wow’ experience over the phone, in a few years time, when they need another headset or their colleagues need headsets, they’ll remember us as the place to come.”
Faith gets his customer service reps (CSRs) to consistently provide that “wow” experience by hiring the right reps. Headsets.com CSRs go through a rigorous interview and testing process. Included in the process are separate interviews with Faith and a customer service manager, an IQ test, and significant time spent listening to live calls.
Teach CSRs that respecting customers is of the utmost importance.
Once hired, Headsets.com CSRs are taught that respecting customers is of the utmost importance. In fact, being disrespectful to customers, either during a phone call or while talking with co-workers, is a fireable offense. “Rolling your eyes, or making inappropriate gestures or comments about a customer are all things at some stage of our lives that we’ve been guilty of,” Faith says. “But it’s just not an acceptable trait, even if the customer is wrong. Customers can be wrong, but they’re paying us money and deserve our respect.”