They often say, “it takes a lot of time to get a customer and very little time to lose one”. It also takes a lot of money to get a new customer and relatively less money to retain one.
The Consumer Services function plays an important role in being the listening point for the company
However, listening is not good enough. Companies also have to respond to their consumers.
Consumers should be provided the opportunity to reach the company.
This would be in more than one of the following ways:
- Call the company. This would be on numbers published by the company on its website or on its packaging. It can be a toll call (paid by customer) or a toll free call (paid by the company)
- Send the company an email or a letter or a fax
- Drop into the branch of office of the company
- Reach out through social media like facebook, twitter, etc
- Web chat on the company website
We recently conducted a consumer services audit of over twenty well-known firms. This was done by calling the phone numbers as given on their product package.
The service levels varied a lot. Some company phones went unanswered, while some went into voicemail. Others had a real person answering.
Responses and readiness levels varied a lot too. Surprisingly, some of the large, rich, well to do companies had poor levels of service.
Given the exploding social media scene and the ease for bad news to travel fast, companies need to up-the-ante on their consumer services management.
This had to be done with the following components:
- Appropriate technology to enable consumer to reach the company in a cost effective and timely manner
- Appropriate technology and resources to be able to assimilate and prepare responses to consumer enquiries and issues
- Recruitment and ongoing training of teams responsible for taking in queries as well as well as responding to them on a timely basis
- Internal coordination processes for responsible personnel with the company to play their part in query or problem resolution
- Reporting and analytics processes to gain insights and make service or product improvements
All the above makes consumer services management an expensive and complex task. It has to be well thought through and the organization has to put its weight behind it.
Consumer services management cannot be one more task being managed by an executive in the team.
If the company is serious about its consumer and the consumers perception of the company, it needs to make the appropriate investment in the Consumer Services function
And it needs to find a good, reliable outsourcing partner like Kankei (www.kankei.com) to be able to manage its customer interaction and engagement in a smooth, timely and effective way
To learn more about how your company can excel in its consumer services write to firstname.lastname@example.org or whatsapp : +65 83886673 or wechat : ajaymiglani