If your company is something other than a multi-global mega-corporation, there is likely a competitor bigger than you, gobbling up market share. While it’s tempting to try to undercut its prices, at some point, there is nothing left to slash from the budget as margins approach zeroi - then what? When price is the sole differentiator, customers are only loyal to their wallets, giving their business to the lowest bidder. The second someone comes around who is cheaper than you, you’re done.
So if you can’t compete on price, what else is there?
Organizations looking to create lasting customer relationships need to deliver value over and above their goods or services. Instead, value is created by providing a better level of service than the low price leader.ii Investing in contact center solution that is something more than a simple “operators are standing by” call center is a wise first step to providing this customer experience. Just a few loyalty-inspiring features to consider adding to your customer experience arsenal include:
1. Integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Allowing you to deliver a consistent experience from agent to agent, channel to channel and transaction to transaction, a CRM solution provides agents with historical context tools for deeply personal and insightful interactions. CRM users also have an average customer lifetime value 2.5x greater than non-users; in addition, users have more than 2x higher average profit margin per customer, and a staggering 35x greater level of customer satisfaction.iii
2. Interactive Voice Response (IVR). A robust IVR allows customers to be efficiently routed to the most appropriate person, and, with self-help features, quickly resolve issues without needing to talk to a representative at all.
3. Omnichannel. Not all channels are created equal for all transactions. Sometimes your customers would prefer to chat, other times only a phone call will do. A smart company will accommodate those preferences, especially when channels other than voice are significantly less expensive. In fact, Forrester Research found the price per contact for call center CSR ($6 and up) to be 20% more on average than webchat, double the rate of email responses, and 600x more expensive than web self-service.
Having the lowest price only works in the short term, while providing a superior customer experience is the only true way to build loyalty. The ability to shape customer experience has become a source of competitive advantage, and companies of every size can leverage that ability to build and strengthen their brands, and their bottom lines.
iRoggio, Armando. “Competing on Customer Experience.” Practical eCommerce, Mar 2015.
iiHyken, Shep. “There’s Very Little Loyalty When You Compete on Price,” 2016.
iiiMinkara, Omer. “Next-Generation CRM: Moving from a System of Record to a System of Engagement,” Aberdeen Group, Jan 2017.