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How to Build a Customer-Retaining Support

Regular customers are a key to successful business. In its turn, a good service is a key to regular customers. Here you will know how to build a Support that helps retain customers and increase sales.
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Regular customers are a key to successful business. In its turn, a good service is a key to regular customers. Here you will know how to build a Support that helps retain customers and increase sales.

Why do you need to retain customers?

There is a term “customer retention” in marketing. It describes company’s actions aimed at making buyers return for new purchases.

The customer retention rate reflects the brand’s level of retention. The higher it is, the more often buyers return and the more money they bring to the company.

You have to retain customers to increase sales.

  • The consulting company Invesp has found out that regular customers spend 31 % more money than new ones do. According to Bright Local, the difference is even larger — 67 %.
  • If the customer retention rate increases as little as by 5 %, the profit will increase by 25 % or sometimes by 95 %.
  • Loyal customers bring their acquaintances to the company.

In order to understand how much money you lose due to a low customer retention rate, you should calculate the lifetime value (LTV).

Let us assume that your company earns 7,000 euro per year on each customer. It costs 1,750 euro to draw a new one. The average customer lifetime in the company is 5 years. It means that the customer will bring you 7,000 × 5 – 1,750 = 33,250 for the entire time in the company.

If you do not retain the customer and they stay in your company for a year only, you will lose 26,250 euro.

What influences customer retention?

  1. Customer expectations from the purchase and the company mean more than money paid.
  2. Fair treatment inspires customer trust, they feel their importance and know that they can always receive support and help.
  3. The company has a strong team spirit and comfortable working atmosphere, employees want to keep a high service level.
  4. Regular customers feel their value — their issues are addressed in time, they can always ask a question and get a response.
  5. Customers use the product or the service on a regular basis.

Support employees participate in at least half of these factors. They communicate with customers every day, form company image, and influence loyalty and trust. The service level is a key factor for 96 % of buyers when they decide to purchase.

The Support has other functions in addition to resolving issues and recording customer complaints. It is one of communication pillars — using the right approach, you will be able to build loyalty and increase customer retention percentage via the Support.

Six steps to customer retention via the Support

  1. Give your customers self-service

Your customers are always busy. They do not have time to wait for operator response, and their issues had to be resolved yesterday. They require self-service tools — the Knowledge Base, video guides, and manuals.

Imagine a situation — a customer visits the company’s website to get in contact with managers and resolve an issue. They need a detailed and clear guide alone.

The company has two options — to make the customer wait for the guide from an operator or to post it in the Knowledge Base. In the second case, the customer will not have to wait any time — they will get answers to their questions immediately.

  1. Automate processes

The less time operators spend for routine issues, the more energy they have for a high-quality communication with customers.

Here are three ways to automate processes.

  • Create a chatbot. It can process initial requests in the contact center and send information from the data base to customers. If it encounters non-typical questions, it will transfer the customer to an operator.
  • Use software that can transfer chats between specialists. For example, OmniOmni can use a single button to redirect a chat to an operator from another department and leave an internal comment for colleagues.
  • Address issues in real time — for example, automatically colorize chats that wait for responses longer than permitted. Your employees will not miss messages, and fewer customers will remain unsatisfied.
  1. Establish intra-company communication

Many companies pay attention only to the front line of support. They forget that each employee influences the service quality.

Marketing specialists can create a high-quality knowledge base and make it usable to customers. Warehouse employees can monitor package quality, so the Support receives fewer complaints about damaged goods.

Establish communication between employees — allow the Support to transmit information to any department. When all work together, the service quality will improve and, consequently, customers will return more often.

  1. Customize communication

Customers like to communicate with people, not robots. Therefore, scripts, even the most sophisticated ones, can play a dirty trick. Let operators deviate from written scenarios and communicate with customers like humans.

Treat every customer as a unique person — adapt to their stories, experience, and preferences. CRM systems and other programs that can save customer information will be useful. For example, OmniOmni’s operators can see customer data, chat history, and comments of colleagues.

You can give a little more authorities to contact center employees than usual. Make a list of bonuses that operators can offer customers without approval — a discount, a small present, and complete or partial refund.

Sometimes operators lack freedom of action. They have to get every step approved by their superiors. At this time, customers wait on the line and cannot get answers to their questions. Allow operators to resolve issues faster.

  1. Develop omnichannel

Customers communicate where convenient. They want to get a high-quality support regardless the communication channel.

Let people select the most convenient way of contacting you. If your business is small, you can check messages on social media and in messengers manually — timeliness is most important.

If the customer flow is large, you can combine the channels into a single system using a chat center, for example, OmniOmni. The service makes it possible to work with messages from various messengers and social media in the same window. Different channels will have a common response time and a common brand voice. 

  1. Focus on customers, not figures

When estimating contact center efficiency, the number of calls and the waiting time are the most frequent indicators. Instead we suggest you answer two most important questions — Are your customers satisfied with their contacts with your company? Are their issues resolved?

For example, the shoe company Zappos uses the “happy experience” form when estimating Support work. Supervisors analyze whether the operator tried to establish emotional contact with the customer, revealed unspoken needs, and ensured wow effect.

In addition, OmniOmni allows for connecting a feedback form and asking customers to rate their chats with operators. If a person remains unsatisfied, the supervisor can quickly take in the situation and address the issue.

Customer retention requires patience

Business is a sprout that becomes a tree only under gentle and regular care. You need time to build a new support system. But a base of loyal customers returning to your company over and over again is at stake. Such a result is well worth the effort. 

Use OmniOmni for stable customer support. Text us via the widget in the lower right corner.

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