Every company wants more customers, but once you get those customers, how do you keep them coming back for more?
It’s seven times more expensive to acquire new customers than to keep the ones you already have. Yet customer churn remains an ongoing challenge for broadband and telecom businesses. And many of the root causes of churn can be traced back to one thing: customer service.
So, how can you create a customer service experience that stops churn in its tracks? Below, we go over what customer churn is, some of the most common causes and how you can use customer service to increase brand loyalty.
What is customer churn?
Customer churn refers to when customers stop using your services or products. This means loss of revenue and potentially losing customers to industry competitors. Customer churn is a critical challenge for companies, especially those in the telecom or broadband industry. And many studies show that customer service plays a key role in your company’s ability to retain or lose customers.
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Common causes of customer churn
There are several causes of customer churn, many of which come back to the quality of your customer service. For example, a major factor in customer churn is customer rage, often due to poor customer service.
Increasing customer rage
According to the 2023 National Customer Rage survey, one of the leading causes of customers’ frustration with businesses is the inability to speak with a human. There are gaps between what customers want regarding customer service and what they receive, such as companies treating them with dignity and not using scripted, robotic-sounding responses.
Evolving customer expectations and shifts in behavior
Failure of companies to meet customer expectations can be a big driver of churn. For example, more customers are using self-service to resolve tech issues. 81% of customers try to resolve tech problems independently before reaching out to your contact center. Additionally, 88% of customers expect you to provide self-service options.
If your company doesn’t focus on providing high-quality customer self-service, you’re increasing the risk of customer churn. In fact, a study by Bain and Company found that customers are four times more likely to leave you for a competitor if they receive poor customer service.
Lack of personalized experiences
The demand for personalization in customer service is higher than ever before. 71% of customers expect your company to deliver personalized interactions.
Customers want service providers not to greet them with “Dear valued customer” but by name. They want businesses to recognize their individuality and to know their tastes. Companies that fail to deliver personalized experiences risk losing their customers to competitors that will.
The central role of customer service in reducing churn
Two-thirds of customers consider customer service when weighing a purchasing decision. And 96% of customers will leave a brand after just one bad service experience. This means that high-quality customer service is vital to reducing customer churn.
Improving customer support can provide your business with numerous benefits. Competitive customer service can create unique upselling and cross-selling opportunities and improve your net promoter score (NPS).
Five strategies to reduce customer churn through customer service
Many causes of customer churn come back to one central theme: poor customer service. So how do you create an exceptional support experience? Below, we go over five customer service strategies to help reduce customer churn.
Invest in contact center agent training
A vital first step in reducing customer churn is properly training your support team. Help your contact center agents hit the ground running by providing an effective agent onboarding program.
To do this, provide agents with the tools they need to do their job well. This means implementing technology like virtualization or virtualized tech support. Virtualization is more cost-effective than maintaining physical devices and allows agents to provide more accurate tech support.
Virtual devices mimic all the functionality of physical ones, and agents can switch between multiple versions of the same device. This helps create a more tailored tech support experience, increasing first-call resolution rates and boosting customer satisfaction.
Provide customer self-service options
Did you know that 88% of customers expect businesses to provide self-service options? This means that self-service is now a must-have for a successful CX strategy.
However, it’s not enough to provide a few FAQs or lengthy text-based manuals. You need to create a truly exceptional self-service experience to keep customers coming back. A few guidelines for providing competitive customer self-service include:
- Creating an effective customer onboarding experience
- Providing tutorials in multiple formats, including video
- Ensuring content is WCAG 2.0 compliant
- Regularly updating support content to ensure accuracy
Implement an omnichannel customer service strategy
The telecom and broadband markets are increasingly crowded, providing customers endless options if their current provider doesn’t meet expectations. You need to employ an omnichannel customer service strategy to differentiate yourself from competitors.
Omnichannel customer service refers to customer service resources and information that are centrally located, allowing contact center agents to share consistent answers across multiple channels. These channels might include phone, SMS, email, chat or a chatbot.
Not only is this information accessible to agents, but customers can access the information as well. Omnichannel customer service provides a consistent, seamless service experience across various channels. Good omnichannel customer service increases first-call resolution rates, saving your business money and time.
Consider implementing AI technology in your customer service strategy
AI technology can be a powerful asset in your tech support toolbox. There are numerous benefits to using chatbots in your customer strategy. Chatbots help you effectively scale support while cutting business costs.
Chatbots are also a great way to tailor your customer service strategy to Gen Z. They prefer chatbots more than any other generation. This generation has more than $360 billion in spending power, creating many potential revenue opportunities for your business.
Other AI technology, such as conversational AI, can help you create the personalized service that customers demand. Over three-fourths of customers say they’re frustrated by the lack of personalization in company interactions.
Personalization benefits both your business and your customers. As conversational AI learns more about your customers, it can make product and service recommendations, greatly increasing the chances of customers making additional purchases. In fact, McKinsey estimates that AI will increase corporate profits by more than four trillion dollars.
Stay a step ahead of competitors
Customer service is constantly changing. To stay ahead of the competition, you must keep an eye on customer service trends. Focusing on the future can ensure your business stays relevant and aligns with customer expectations.
So, what sorts of trends should your company take note of? Some examples of current customer service trends for the upcoming year include:
- Embracing a hybrid customer service strategy
- Providing seamless smart home support
- Focusing on creating streamlined customer self-service options
- Designing more personalized customer service experiences
Use the power of customer service to stop churn in its tracks
Customer churn rates are an ongoing battle for businesses, especially in broadband and telecom. However, customer service can play a vital role in reducing churn rates. By following the tips mentioned in this post, you can create a truly exceptional service experience that boosts loyalty and, potentially, your bottom line.
Are you looking to create a service experience that your customers will love? As a leader in omnichannel customer service, Ozmo is trusted by Verizon, Appalachian Wireless, TELUS and more. Learn more about how Ozmo’s omnichannel platform can help your business.