Pro-tip: you can collect a lot more water with a bucket than with a sieve
Likewise, if you can plug the holes in your service that customers slip through… you’ll end up with more customers.
But you already knew that. What you might not know is how your autodial software can help to keep those customers in.
The big secret about customer retention is this; it’s actually pretty easy.
Customers want the simplest option. That usually means doing nothing, and staying with their current supplier.
Here are a few ways that your autodial software can help to make that happen.
#1 Autodial Software Hack – Virtual Queuing
Virtual queueing is some of the lowest hanging fruit for the inbound call center. As we’ve covered previously, customers really dislike waiting on hold. Nonetheless, it’s tough for call centers to cover periods of peak call volume.
Autodial software can make it far simpler. Here’s what the call looks like with virtual queueing:
- The caller hangs up and gets on with their day
- Your integrated IVR stores their number and schedules a call based on rules you’ve set
- Your integrated auto dialer places a call while your integrated CRM provides the agent with contextual data.
Doing this spreads out the peaks in your traffic, and that’s obviously good for you. And how do the callers feel?
Well, think about this: 25% of customers stop dealing with a business after a single negative experience. And what’s the most common negative experience?
It’s getting stuck on hold, which 70% of customers say makes them ‘very frustrated’.
‘Companies recognize that securing a customer today provides no guarantee that he’ll return in the future. That’s why customer service is inextricably linked with customer retention – and why a lack of current technologies can be so devastating. Companies must be ready to recognize when older technologies limit that needed flexibility and progress.’
Pamela DeLoatch, TechTarget
#2 Autodial Software Hack – VIP call back
Let’s say that you’re ahead of the curve. You set up virtual queueing ages ago. Now you’re looking for your next innovation.
VIP callback may be that innovation.
The idea is to do something about abandoned calls (which is often as high as 20% of total call volume.) Virtual queueing will make a substantial dent in that, but some callers may still choose to hold for an agent… before hanging up anyway.
But losing the call doesn’t mean the problem has gone away. Clearly, you should help that caller if you can.
Luckily, this isn’t any harder to set up than virtual queueing was.
*First* your callers are identified by the number they call from (or from IVR inputs where needed).
*Then* your integrated CRM and autodial software schedule a call back to them as soon as an agent is free.
Maybe you don’t need to call back every customer who abandons. But the high-priority customers? It might be worth getting back to them.
Who knows; it might be the most important call of the day.
#3 Autodial Software Hack – Real-time Response
So we’ve looked at one way you can respond to a specific type of input – inbound calls. Now we’ll raise the bar slightly. What else can you respond to?
Some issues will affect large groups of your customers. Think power outages, cancellations, bad weather and strikes. These are the circumstances when a lot of customers face disruption – and almost all of them reach for the phones.
Of course, they won’t need to call you – not if you call them. Your autodial software + a simple recorded message can prevent hundreds or even *thousands* of calls coming in, saving… well, a lot of time and money. (Anglian Water saved £100,000 per year, simply by being more proactive with their customer service messaging.)
Modern customers have high expectations because they’re hyper-aware of what technology makes possible. Over 85% of customers expect you to take the lead and make contact proactively in matters of customer service.
Just as important as the cost savings are the PR opportunities. When a thousand customers face some kind of disruption, and they all call in, most of them will have to wait a long time. They’ll blame you, and the situation goes from bad to worse.
Whereas – if you reach out to customers, not only can you reassure them, you get to present the facts. Instead of showing faulty service, you’re showing how you can spring into action.
‘When it comes to service, companies create loyal customers primarily by helping them solve their problems quickly and easily. Armed with this understanding, we can fundamentally change the emphasis of customer service interactions. Framing the service challenge in terms of making it easy for the customer can be highly illuminating, even liberating, especially for companies that have been struggling to delight.’
Various authors, Harvard Business Review
#4 Autodial Software Hack – Flight-Risk Customers
Here’s the loic for retention in a nutshell: what’s the cost of a call and what’s the value of a call. The cost of a call is usually measured in loose change. But when you’re calling your flight risk customers, the value could be *thousands*.
Flight-risk customers are those most likely to leave you. You have some idea who they are.
- made a formal complaint
- given bad feedback in a survey
- simply belong in a ‘risky’ group based on age or location
All that really matters is the goodwill you can generate with a simple phone call. Almost three-quarters of customers who receive proactive contact report a positive change in attitude towards the brand.
And, just like everything on this list, outbound calls to risky customers are very easy to automate. Whether you use a predictive dialer, a power dialer or any other tool – if you can integrate your dialer with other key systems, there’s nothing easier.
There’s that word, ‘if’. If you can integrate systems and build automated processes, then you can do anything.
So how do you make sure that you can do that?