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Why do you need honest customer service?

Why Should You Have Honest Customer Service?

By | Administrative Support, Backend Support Services, Business Improvement, Business Sustainability, Call Center Support, Customer Service, Employee Management, Entrepreneurship, IdeasUnlimited US Remote Workers, Receptionist Service, Remote Work, The IU Way, Virtual Assistant | No Comments

Why do most companies keep customers in the dark until the issue can be resolved?

They don’t want to have to tell the customer that there is anything wrong and to acknowledge their mistake. Often, the problem might not even be any mistake but an accident caused by uncontrollable events, but customer service representatives are hesitant to disclose the real issue behind the scenes for fear of being held liable for it later on.

Backed by our 9+ years of experience in operating a customer care center, we are here to tell you that honest customer service is the only way to go for operating a sustainable business.

Why Customers Dislike Being Left Out of the Loop

Customer dislike being kept in the dark for these two major reasons:

  1. 1. It makes the customers feel frustrated that they do not have the full picture of what is going on and it makes them feel that you as a company do not care about your clients.
  2. 2. Customers cannot manage their expectations because they literally have no idea what to expect.

Why You Should Tell Customers the Truth, Even When It’s Bad

It is a natural impulse to hide bad news for as long as possible but we’re here to tell you that being honest with your customers would be a better business decision. Here is why:

  1. 1. Being honest will generate trust between your company and your customer. Doing otherwise will not create long term value for your business. If you are straightforward and clear in your dealings as a company, it is only natural that honest and trustworthy people will in turn be attracted to your business. Like follows like.
  2. 2. Customers are intelligent. They understand that problems do arise. They can handle bad news and do not even mind if it is handled correctly. They’re more interested in what you’re doing to fix the issue. They just want some reassurance that something is being done to rectify the situation in an expected timeframe.
  3. 3. If clients are happy with the customer service they are receiving, they’ll return more and more. A successful business depends more on return customers than new ones.

Why Valuing Honest Customer Service is a Good Business Idea

Having a strong customer service center which becomes known for its honesty and integrity can be a huge asset that can catapult your popularity. Customers are more willing to try out a new company if they hear that they are willing to go above and beyond for their customers. They are likelier to reward a company who they hear are honest. It makes the customer realize there are actual human beings behind the screen who care about you as another human being and want to solve your issue.

Another advantage of this is the goodwill this develops between the customers and your employees. Your employees will be content in a place they know upholds good moral values and will be proud to be working there.

Honest customer service

How Can You Become a Company with Honest Customer Service?

How can you uphold these values without altruistically running your business into the ground?

What you need to do when defining your expertise/ services is to be as detailed as possible in favor of exactly defining what it is you are offering. This shows that you value time and clarity of thought. It will also make it easier for customers to be able to find you from amongst the hundreds of other companies.

If the customer has been inconvenienced, you should be transparent and ask them how to make it up to them. You can give options like giving refunds, gift cards or coupons and let them decide.

One major deterrent to opting for a dishonest approach to handling customers is that anything you do will always remain online for everyone to see. Be they reviews or internal communications with your employees, you should know anything done on the internet remains on the internet. An ethical company would have nothing to fear from a disgruntled employee or irritated customer.

Things to Avoid:

Using vague language which is extremely generic will give the impression that you are brushing off your customers by using popular jargon without putting much thought into what you are saying.

People will have pre-established notions of your company if they have already been exposed to negative reviews pertaining to your reputation as untrustworthy or fraudulent. They could have heard it from other people or read it online, it doesn’t matter. It shows a history of behavior and customers are less likely to give such a company a chance.

Lying has another negative drawback. It can always circle back, and the actual truth can be revealed. Even if you think you got away with it in the initial situation, if a customer later realizes they have been lied to, there is a chance that they get angry enough to take their business elsewhere.

At the end of the day, there will be no business if there are no customers, so it is simply good business sense to make their satisfaction your priority. So, what are you waiting for? Get expert customer service center support today in order to avoid these pitfalls and build a sustainable brand.

Losing sales because of your website

Your Website Is the Reason Why You’re Losing Sales

By | Administrative Support, Business Improvement, Business Sustainability, Customer Service, Ecommerce Support, Ecommerce Support Services, Entrepreneurship, Freelancing, Marketing Virtual Assistant, Social Media, The IU Way, Virtual Assistant, Virtual Assistant Support | One Comment

7 stages of the purchase process where you’re driving customers away

These days, if you don’t have a website for your business, product, or service, you are losing out on 81% of your potential customer base; who research their purchase online before buying it. Having a website, however, can prove to be a double-edged sword if you are unfamiliar with website development. A business unconversant in the common assumptions customers derive from website design may inadvertently cause itself to look untrustworthy or obsolete.

There are a host of reasons why investing in ecommerce website development is a good idea for every business. The development, design and code of your website affects every stage of the customer purchase process.

1. The numbers make sense

A quick Google search will lead you to thousands of ecommerce website development agencies; large and small. There will always be someone willing to work within your budget, who can make the website according to your business’ needs. One thing is certain; professional website development always provides return on investment far beyond what you expect. An attractive website lands more leads onto your website, introduces them to your products or services, and converts them into customers.

Trying to set up your own website is like stabbing in the dark for most businesses (unless you’re a web developer yourself). You’re bound to make mistakes, redo things, or give up on having what you think will work best for your business. Hiring a web developer within your budget from the beginning will avoid potentially expensive mistakes and re-dos later.

2. You don’t stand out if you use a template

While there are tons of website templates available on the internet, using one without making any changes to it is not a good idea. Your website needs to mesh seamlessly into your business identity, and a developer will help you make the changes necessary to optimize the website for your business.

Using a template as-is also makes your website incredibly forgettable. Each template you see on the internet (especially one which seems attractive) has been used by hundreds, if not thousands of other businesses. Making your website seem exactly like theirs does not help you stand out in the customer’s mind. Using industry-specific templates compounds this problem by making you forgettable within your niche. Therefore, creating a website that makes your business stand out due to its design will require investment in ecommerce website development.

3. Visitors don’t make it to your website

You’d have heard the buzzword “search engine optimization” everywhere these days. People think it means utilizing keywords and paying for advertisements, but rarely realize that your website visibility on major search engines is inextricably linked with the design you choose for it. Clunky and obsolete design and coding pushes your website lower on the search rankings.

Google, for example, assesses the quality of your landing pages when determining your website’s search engine ranking. It is important to partner with an ecommerce website development agency familiar with search engine optimization; or potential customers will not be able to find your website through search engines.

Why is ecommerce website development necessary?

4. Your website’s first impression may be unappealing

When 66% of all potential customers prefer a beautiful design over a plain one, it is worth looking at making your website appear modern and appealing. Your website is often the first impression potential customers, who have myriad distractions online, receive about your business.

Your website needs to appear attractive on all devices. 88% of customers in an Adobe poll said they used multiple screens to access websites. A further 73% of people require the content to display well on whichever device they are using to visit websites. Professional ecommerce website development will ensure that your content is optimized for display on all devices; so that customers do not turn to your competitor’s websites instead.

5. Customers don’t engage with an unprofessional website

If your content is unattractive or your website is difficult to navigate, 38% of people will stop engaging, and 35% will click off, according to the same Adobe State of Content Report. However, if you think you can make content attractive by merely utilizing videos or inserting high-quality graphics, you would be cannibalizing your website’s position on search engine rankings. Website design needs to straddle the fine line of attractiveness and ease of loading– if your website is bogged down by content, it will load slowly, and Google will kick it right off the front page of search results. Partnering with an ecommerce website development agency that is right for your business will help you avoid these pitfalls.

6. It hurts your brand image

As customers keep navigating your website and use it to consider products or make purchases, they form an opinion of your business, your customer service, your trustworthiness, and whether or not they want a long-term relationship with your company– all without meeting any person representing your company.

Brand Message

Your website is the best way of reaching out to all your current and potential customers with an organized brand message, especially new offers and products. A website can be designed in such a way as to not only sell the product or services but also to receive feedback about its utility. This would make your website and business appear cohesive and reliable.

Trustworthiness

Small mistakes like using a simple template, or forgetting to put a “Contact Us” section in places a customer would expect it, can make your website look unplanned and untrustworthy without you realizing it. An ecommerce website development agency will help you with its wealth of experience in this regard.

Customer Service

Your website also signals how you will treat your customers. Leads who have come across your page might leave it and go to a competitor instead if you haven’t communicated purchase and return policies clearly, for example. If you pride yourself on your customer service but have not managed to portray that on your website, you may be losing out on a lot of potential customers.

Niche Branding

A good ecommerce website makes clear from the homepage whether the customer will find what they are looking for. This helps you avoid unwanted traffic, so that your traffic-to-conversion rate is higher. Niche design for your industry is possible only through investing in ecommerce website development.

7. Visitors don’t convert into sales

All the considerations mentioned earlier combine to create a website experience that will either convert leads into customers, or drive them away to your competitors. When it comes to ecommerce website development, search engine optimization, and conversions, nothing beats experience. A good ecommerce website lands on the front page for search results, draws the customers onto the homepage, directs them easily and quickly to what they want, keeps them there through attractive design, allows them to get help whenever they need it, and familiarizes them with brand enough so that whenever they are ready to purchase, they choose that website. You have to bear all this in mind when creating an effective website for your company.

A buyer-oriented website is also instrumental in retaining customers. Every ecommerce business knows that retaining customers so that they make multiple purchases is much less costly than creating new buyers from scratch each time. A good website will do all the work of retaining customers for you.

That’s why you need to choose the right partner when creating your website. IdeasUnlimited provides unparalleled ecommerce website development services, with customized packages for your business; depending on the services you need. Our multilingual team can create your website in any major language and industry, no matter how small or large your business is. If, after creating your website, you need a team to manage ecommerce support or ecommerce customer support, our experienced global team can take care of all of your support needs.

5 Must-Have Tools to Globalize Your Business in 2020

By | Administrative Support, Business Improvement, Business Sustainability, Call Center for Small Business, Customer Service, Ecommerce Support, Globalization, Technical Support, The IU Way, Virtual Assistant Support | No Comments

What is the tool most commonly used in today’s world by individuals and commercial organizations? Very simple, the Internet!

The Internet has made so many tasks convenient and so many processes irrelevant in the business world. Ecommerce support is only one click away—be it multilingual support for your stakeholders or technical support for your customer care center. If you have high-speed internet connectivity and a functional operative system, 80% of your business is already global. Therefore, it is important to investigate a futuristic version of your business considering the global context and available digital tools in order to truly globalize your business.

Globalization 2.0 brings the world to your doorstep and the Internet brings a huge potential market to your work desk. It is now easier than ever to create and promote an international brand image. There are many innovations in the tech world to help digital businesses grow. Here are 5 main tools that will be help you globalize your business:

  1. Research Tools

Research, Research, Research, ACTION! Make this your business mantra and make Google your best friend.

Use research tools to analyze the perceptions and behaviors of your new and existing markets. You can use Google Trends to gauge the demand of your offerings in a specific location, or consumer barometer to read into consumers’ ecommerce behavior.

Another free online tool is Quartz Atlas. It provides a vast database on world demographics and helps you search for information using your relevant keywords. Moreover, the data is presented in the form of tables and charts, which you can customize using your own variables.

Other ecommerce research tools are priced but come with convenient payment plans and free trials. For instance, you can use Jungle Scout—which is most popular for product research, or SemRush—which gives you an insight about your industry’s top keywords and performance of your competitors based on their website.

Similarly, if you are interested in hiring a virtual team, research can help you harness the best of the best by guiding you where to locate your next star worker.

You can find a plethora of other software applications to help you gain more information about your competitors, your niche, your campaign, and product performance.

  1. Resource Management Tools

There are plenty of software and tools available in the market that help in organizing and monitoring resources. They prove helpful in carrying out budget controls, time management, human resource management, as well as data and document management.

Do you also need a solution for conducting audio and video meetings with your remote team members located in different time zones?

Project management software and tools are a good way of managing a remote team, tracking time, efficient communication, and resource management. Popular project management software such as Wrike, Monday.com, or Basecamp include helpful features like real-time chat and messaging, task assignment and progress tracking, document sharing and analyses. Moreover, a comprehensive set of integrations across different in-demand, cloud-based tools makes these software applications a more compelling option. Read more about the best project management tools here.

  1. Marketing Tools

Time has brought enormous innovation in marketing as well. The arrival of Big Data and interactive technology have refined the way marketing is carried out and innovation has introduced new techniques for acquiring and retaining customers.

Marketing tools can handle everything from social media automation to customer-company relationships and affiliate marketing.

In a nutshell, marketing tools for ecommerce sales should ideally relieve you from social media, content creation, SEO, and email campaigning stress. You should also be able to find and segment consumer data for better customer service and targeted marketing campaigns. Some of the most popular marketing tools today are:

  1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools

This set of tools are usually a composite of marketing tools, analytical tools, and research tools. They allow your business to have a systematic approach to managing all the information and interactions of your business with your customers, suppliers, and other businesses. Some examples are Intercom and Pipedrive.

Your customers are your bread and butter. For your business’ survival, it is important to reach out to your customers and meet their requirements. As a global business, you must use multiple communication channels to communicate with your customers. A customer management application (CRM) can help you aggregate all communications in one place and effectively deal with all the purchase, engagement, and feedback information. Look into a CRM before you take any other steps to globalize your business.

This allows your customer care center to prioritize and attend to customers who need immediate response. It also becomes easier to track the website traffic, consumer movement, and preferences in order to optimize their purchase experience and enhance customer loyalty.

CRM tools help the customer care center agents to:

methodically identify and work on prospective clients

build and retain loyal customers

understand customers’ requirements and their response to marketing campaigns

segment customers based on demographics and preferences and create personalized follow-ups.

  1. Coordination and Translation Tools

Important: Communication is the key!

All interaction with your customers, suppliers, and teams has to be timely, efficient, and clear. In order to globalize your business, your brand needs to possess a multilingual and multi-ethnic outlook. Your website should cater to native languages and norms of your target market. Also, your customer care center should be equipped to provide multilingual support to equally cater to all your customers across the globe.

Communication tools can help avoid unnecessary delays and misunderstandings. This results in identifying issues and resolving them in a timely fashion. Bilingual customer service or multilingual support can be invaluable too.

Other than project management and CRM tools, translation services, and coordination tools such as Calendar, Hangouts, and Skype can help your company boost its ecommerce sales.

For expanding internationally, it is important for you to distinguish between ‘time zones’ and ‘time relationship’. While everything is 5 minutes earlier in Germany, there is a more relaxed relationship with time in the global south. This is where coordination comes in. An efficient multilingual support service can easily handle both for you.

Global expansion is exciting and risky, but it is the best way to increase ecommerce sales.

Some of the abovementioned tools’ features overlap. Hence, it is important to critically analyze your business and its requirements. There are many more tools that you can use to streamline your activities and globalize your business. Choose the right tools from the start or contract a business service provider to take away these worries while you focus on your core activities and strategizing for going global.

Which tools do you use in your business? Let us know by commenting below.

How to Grow Your Ecommerce Business

How to Grow Your Ecommerce Business

By | Administrative Support, Call Center for Small Business, Customer Service, Ecommerce Support, Ecommerce Support Services, Multilingual Support, Virtual Assistant Support | No Comments

Buying and selling online is one of the most lucrative business ideas that you could come up with today. The 21st century consumer is primed and hungry for more and more opportunities to be able to finish their shopping experience with ease from the comfort of their own home. But you have to be smart about the strategies you use to grow your ecommerce business. If you know how the consumer’s mind works, the task becomes absolutely smooth sailing.

  1. Strategically Market Your Business

Buy ad space on popular websites and search engines to market and grow your ecommerce business. Focus on video ads and only market your most popular products.

The first major decision-making junction comes at the stage of marketing. Let’s say you already have a website or an app. How are you going to let people know about it? Which products will you market? Where will you market them and how? These all might seem a bit overwhelming, but they follow each other naturally and once you get the ball rolling, it will gather momentum on its own.

The ideal solution would be to buy advertisement space on popular websites like YouTube and Facebook and search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! etc. Your ads should preferably be in video form, since the typical consumer spends 88% excess time browsing a website with video (especially without sound). Videos create more engagement with the user and that results in positive action.

  1. Focus on Customer Retention

Retain your current customer base and offer frequent incentives to make them feel appreciated.

The importance of a loyal and regular customer base cannot be emphasized enough for you to be able to grow your ecommerce business. They are the ones who will visit your website or app again and again and buy multiple items. 65% of a company’s business comes from previous customers. Maintaining these customers with good customer service and showing them you value them beyond one-time customers creates goodwill, word of mouth marketing, and a steady increase in sales. One popular, tried and true way of doing this is by having loyalty cards. Great emphasis should be placed on customer satisfaction at every stage of interaction with your business; you should work with a call center support services provider like IdeasUnlimited that specializes in customer retention.

  1. Affiliate Marketing and Discounts

Get more customers through affiliate marketing and entice them to purchase.

Partner with another business and offer promotions and discounts specific to those customers to bring in new users. Not only will you develop a strong business partnership, these new website visitors would have a high conversion rate due to the strong referral. You get to grow your ecommerce business without directly expending any sales effort.

Flash sales are also effective ways to create urgency to boost sales and profits, because customers do not want to walk away from a good deal. Never miss out on having sales during festive occasions or celebrations and holidays. Your ecommerce business will generate the most revenue in that time.

  1. Widen Product Base

Widen your range of products to cater to a wider clientele. These can include supplementary products and services related to each other as well as completely fresh product lines.

Although most ecommerce businesses start out small, it is prudent to slowly try to attract other market segments as well. If you have a stationery business and the primary consumer is a school-going child, it is highly likely that their parent or caregiver is doing the online shopping. Think about the extra traffic and revenue you would generate and how much you can grow your ecommerce business if you increased your range of products to entice mothers with kitchen utensils or home décor, for instance.

  1. Optimize the Customer Experience

Ensure you have good customer support, a user-friendly website/app interface, and a hassle-free shopping experience.

The first-time user especially will not take long to form an opinion and turn away from the website if their initial experience was negative or anything less than ideal. You need to make certain all issues are dealt with before they even become actual problems by ensuring your ecommerce support is par excellence.

A user-friendly interface means optimizing your website for mobile devices or even creating an app for it. 79% of smartphone users have made an ecommerce transaction in the last six months, so this is just astute business sense.

Your call center support should be professional, courteous and, above all, make the customer feel heard, understood and helped. You don’t need to invest in anything in-house; simply find a reputable call center for small business like IdeasUnlimited or partner with a firm that can handle your established business.

Do you feel like your business has stagnated and is not producing the desired profits? This is the ideal time to think outside the box in order to grow your ecommerce business. Come up with creative and fun marketing techniques. Use social media and affiliate marketing to boost your audience reach. Never underestimate the importance of your happy return customer. Most importantly, find an ecommerce support services provider who is experienced in tackling all the above.

Improve your customer service center for customer retention

What Are Customer Retention Strategies?

By | Backend Support Services, Call Center Support, Customer Service, Ecommerce Support, Multilingual Customer Service | 2 Comments

Successful customer retention is a major sign of business health and it is closely related to the growing concept of customer success through a well-established customer care center.

It works simultaneously as a marketing strategy while also aligning the company’s vision as part of its strategic goals. Customer retention means you are focused on developing a long-term relationship with the client rather than extracting short-term, temporary transactions.

Previously, marketing strategy revolved around convincing a consumer to buy your product/service and realize that it is at least marginally different from the other alternatives available in the market. Now, a customer care center must work on the entire customer purchase pattern and create consumer success—tangible rewards and benefits that the consumers will receive by making your company a long-term member of their consumption bundle.

This shift brings more challenges, but results in higher retention rates, lower costs of sales, and an improved bottom line.

It is crucial to understand that a customer retention strategy requires detailed study of successful consumers, their buying behavior, preferences, and disposable income. Top of FormThese customer retention strategies can vary from business to business. As a rule, it should be kept in mind that customer retention entails keeping the old customers with you, lowering exit rates, and increasing sales.

Let’s elaborate each of these concepts to help you formulate your own strategies for each step and retain customers successfully through your customer care center.

Keep Existing Customers Close to You:

A simple look around you can show you how expectations have changed and how an influx of choices has made consumption more complicated.

It is common for businesses to divide their customers into demographic profiles for setting marketing and sales goals. It is about time that these profiles are scrutinized to understand customers’ thought processes and buying patterns.

As customers are changing, your company should be able to keep up with their changed preferences to give them the choices and products they are looking for now. There can be a number of ways to retain your customers once you have outlined their preferences and are ready to meet their expectations.

Selling More and Often:

Brand Loyalty Programs can be introduced that are most likely to attract new and keep your existing customers coming back to you. They key factors here are features, designs, and quality you offer your customers. 66% consumers tend to stay loyal to a brand if they find features, quality, and design as per their changing demands.

Similarly, Coupons are a very effective and popular way of retaining customers. Offering coupons to your existing customers for their preferred item can motivate them to make an immediate purchase, especially after 30 months of association. This also gives them a feeling of personalized service, which further instills brand loyalty. In a study, 60% consumers agreed to Surprise Rewards being a major factor for their staying loyal to a brand.

Value Added Services or Cross Selling with a partner brand also keeps customers coming back to you.  Data-sharing partnership is also a potential avenue for increasing customer retention by letting partner companies share data and collaborate for time, season, and location-specific offers.

Rebrand your business to meet customer expectations. As Richard Branson has very aptly said, do not just meet expectations of your clients but exceed them.

It is equally important for acquiring new customers as well as retaining existing customers that a business is rebranded. Rebranding helps you move with customer preferences, as mentioned earlier. It is evident that modern customers are always on the look-out for something fresh and new. Therefore, it is feasible to rebrand and accommodate existing customers to show them all new customer success to convince them to stay. Rebranding helps to overcome an outdated image of a company and helps in exceeding the expectations of your existing clients.

Where Is Customer Churn Taking Place and Why?

In connection to the above discussion, reviewing customer behavior and company-client relationships can give valuable insights for retaining customers. One important information is to know where the customer exits and why?

Monitoring customers’ online journey can tell you the exact point which disturbed the customer enough to withdraw from your company and move onto someone else for a purchase. It may be long delivery times or dodgy/outdated payment options. It can also be the outdated overall layout of your website and poor social media presence. Most importantly, customer churn can take place due to improper handling at the customer care center.

Revamping the Customer Care Center

For modern consumers, online presence, customer service and delivery service have to be top notch. A well maintained customer service center can be an answer to all three of these goals.

To build a successful, longer term client relationship, your company has to build an effective customer service team. You require a friendly, personable team that is agile, technically smart and is trained to show gratitude and courtesy to the customers. Agents should have product and policy knowledge and the ability to resolve issues satisfactorily. This also leads to the capacity of a customer care center to quickly respond to a query in the required language, take required actions immediately, document, and follow up.

To have a versatile customer care center, it is most feasible to contract a company with prior experience of multilingual call center services, omnichannel support, and capable of managing and monitoring the teams to provide hassle-free best results for your company.

A good CRM tool is also a vital investment to keep your relationship organized and documented. It can cover all channels of support. To keep customer engaged through your online presence and product lifecycle, reemphasizing their customer success is important.  Influencers and arranging Q and A sessions can ensure a lot of engagement and build stronger relationships. A good customer advocacy program or creating online customer groups, webinars, and user group meetings are also some ways of bringing customers together.

Customer retention is a goal and strategy in itself. As the technology is advancing and nothing is inaccessible for a modern consumer, it is important that your business is able to deliver products and customer services that match the requirements and ideas of your customers. Targeting new customers improves revenue but keeping old customers intact helps in building company value and sustainable growth.

Originally posted as an answer on Quora for What are customer retention strategies?

Answer by Saira Zafar, Content Contributor, IdeasUnlimited