Friday, 11 May 2012

Customer Loyalty – Helping Call Centres Survive the Recession

During the financial downturn, contact centres need to do more than just make a sale - instead they need to retain that sale and achieve customer loyalty in order to survive. To find out more visit    

Due to the recession, businesses are under pressure to reduce costs whilst investing time and money into customer loyalty, but getting the right balance can be difficult and meeting in the middle with all the right procedures is all about smart judgement.    

Customer loyalty is detailed in the loyalty business model.  The loyalty business model uses company resources to increase customer loyalty and customer retention.  This model looks at the quality of a product, quality of service and level of customer care.

Understanding the loyalty business model will increase customer loyalty, which ultimately leads to profitability.  But how can contact centres avoid spending too much money in the wrong places?  During the recession, investing can be a risk and most companies cannot afford to spend money on something that does not guarantee positive results. 

Customer Loyalty Guideline for Call Centres

For contact centres, there are a few guidelines that could help to boost customer loyalty with minimum expenditure:

  • Call resolution is more important than wait times – Customer loyalty comes from customer satisfaction.  Research shows that customer satisfaction is mostly affected by the quality of a call rather than the time spent on hold.  Call centres should invest in training staff to provide quality customer services and avoid racing through calls to hit a target. 
  • Service levels will not guarantee customer loyalty - Setting service levels does not guarantee a positive customer experience. It does vary by industry and the type of customer query but queue times of less than 30 seconds have not proved to have an impact on customer satisfaction.
  • Invest in existing staff – To achieve customer loyalty, companies need to consider investment in people.  But too many companies over-invest in staff to meet the high service levels.  Research shows that customers care more about call quality than call time, so it could be more beneficial to invest in training for existing staff.

The Best Practice for Service Levels 

Although customers respond to call resolution rather than the speed of calls answered, setting service level targets is still a factor that can contribute to the level of customer loyalty.  Service level targets should start with an analysis of call types and customer segments. 

When a company gets to grips with how wait times really affect customer satisfaction, suitable targets can help to establish long-term customer loyalty.  Loosening service level targets can reduce costs without impacting on customer satisfaction.  This will give companies the freedom to invest in other areas such as customer insight and marketing, which can help to improve customer loyalty on a long-term basis.

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