How to Design an Effective Customer Recovery Strategy

Brands work hard to keep their customers happy and to create positive experiences, but the reality is that no organization can prevent every negative experience that might come a customer’s way. Whether it’s due to unforeseen circumstances or plain old human error, negative experiences are always a specter that brands need to watch out for.

Perhaps more importantly, organizations need to be prepared to recover at-risk customers when those experiences, for whatever reason, do occur. At the end of the day, a brand’s obligation to these customers goes beyond the bottom line—it’s part of creating a grander, positive, human experience that will not only salvage the relationship but also keep that customer coming back for more. Let’s dive in.

Before Problems Become Problems

The first step to an effective recovery strategy is to be as vigilant for negative experiences as possible. Proactive multichannel listening is key here—brands need to constantly meet customers where they talk about their brand interactions, then analyze their sentiments to make sure they’re not missing anything. Post-transactions surveys can be helpful here, but brands also need to pay attention to social media, phone calls, and every other medium their customers use to express how they feel about their experiences.

This strategy is effective for more than just one-time problems, too. The right experience platform can digest entire spectra of customer feedback, which helps brands spot recurring issues that they may not have even known about. Thus, companies can use this strategy to both save at-risk customers and fix deep-rooted problems that might be plaguing their wider goals and aspirations.

Closing The Loop

Paying close attention to customer conversations is important, but what happens when problems slip through that crack and put their relationship with your brand at risk? When that occurs, organizations must be prepared to close the loop with customers. In this context, closing the loop refers to assigning an employee to the customer, having that employee intently listen to the customer’s story, and rectifying the problem well enough to salvage that relationship.

While closing the loop seems pretty straightforward at the outset, there’s much more to this process than ‘just’ effective customer service. Closing the loop doesn’t end when a satisfied customer hangs up the phone—meaningfully rectifying that problem means reviewing how it occurred with the wider organization, creating a solution, and implementing it so that future customers don’t suffer the same issue. Looking at it this way means that the organization is actually closing two loops: the one with the customer (inner loop) and creating a more customer experience (CX)-driven culture (outer loop). Both are vital to customer recovery.

Making Things Right

There’s a common element to both of these strategies and to customer recovery in general, and it’s empowering your employees to do the right thing. Challenging employees to step up, involving them in the recovery process, and democratizing data to help them see the big picture are all great ways to ensure that your recovery strategy is working. There’s no better person to salvage an at-risk relationship than an impassioned employee, and no better way to instill passion in your teams than giving them the tools (and encouragement) they need to rise to the occasion.

By challenging employees to be proactive, paying attention to customers’ constant conversations, and by closing the loop when problems do arise, brands can ensure they’re doing everything they can to rescue at-risk customers. This approach allows them to create fundamentally improved experiences that both strengthen the bottom line and turn recovery situations into meaningful human interactions.

Want to learn more about how you can boost your customer retention through recovery methods and more? Read our full eBook on the subject, “How to Improve Customer Retention & Generate Revenue with Your CX Program” today!

How to Eliminate Friction in Your Customer Journey

“Friction” is probably a term you’ve heard whenever your teammates talk about reducing customer churn. Within that context, friction refers to points in the brand experience that can have a long-term impact on customers’ relationship with a business. Friction may even cause some customers to quit a brand altogether.

Because of this, it’s essential that brands have an experience program in place that can detect friction, help experience professionals understand the problem(s) creating that friction, and correct them. The result is both a meaningfully improved experience and saved customer relationships. So, without further ado, let’s go over how your organization can ensure it’s eliminating friction across your customer journey.

Understanding The Moments That Matter

Like we said earlier, an important part of reducing friction is knowing about and understanding the moments that matter to customers. Brands can achieve this understanding by mapping out a few of their most important customer journeys. Learning about key touchpoints is one of the best ways to become aware of problems as they arise.

What’s more, brands can use this strategy to immediately begin solving those problems and expediently reduce journey friction. Understanding touchpoints and their drawbacks enables organizations to come up with solutions, implement them, and listen to see how they’re working. Experience practitioners can then point to those changes, and their improvements, when proving their program’s worth.

Talking to Employees

Getting your customers’ take on an experience is clearly important, but many brands, in their rush to do so, overlook chatting with their employees about customer journeys as well. Employees, especially frontline ones, can provide extremely powerful and eye-opening intel about your brand’s experience. How can brands access and leverage that?

The best way for brands to get their employees’ perspective is by letting them constantly submit feedback and ideas in real-time. Rather than relying on, say, an annual survey, organizations should instead utilize experience platforms that give employees a constant voice. This also further allows brands to learn about, and act upon, problems as they emerge in real-time instead of too far down the road for the customer’s liking.

Keeping Tabs on Your Customer Journey

That notion of being constantly aware of journey friction as it happens is at the heart of keeping it suppressed as much as possible. Surveys are important, but this dynamic is another reason why they’re insufficient for reducing journey friction by themselves—a constantly possible problem demands a constantly active solution. Organizations simply cannot achieve that level of awareness otherwise.

Another element of getting a full picture of your experience is leveraging data sources outside of surveys. Brands can do this by combining survey listening with other sources of data, like your employees’ perspectives, and putting it against a backdrop of financial and operational information. This approach creates a 360-degree view of your customers and experience, an understanding that your organization can leverage to reduce friction, boost retention, and create a meaningfully improved experience.

Want to learn more about improving customer retention? We just published an entire eBook on the subject—click here to check it out!

Three Paths to Understanding Why Customers Leave Your Brand

Retaining customers is one of the best ways to ensure that your brand is building a strong bottom line and an ever-improving experience, but keeping customer churn low is easier said than done. Customer churn is, unfortunately, an unavoidable fact of doing business, but that doesn’t mean that brands have to let it happen in vain. Today, we’re going to give you a quick rundown on understanding why customers leave your brand so that you can prevent future churn, retain loyal clientele, and continuously improve their experience.

Enabling Storytelling

One of the best ways to become aware of friction points within your experience is by letting customers point them out in their own words. We’re not just talking written survey answers, here; experience feedback programs that enable multimedia feedback are among the most powerful tools for learning about problematic or broken touchpoints in your customer journey.

Think about how much more human it is to see and hear customers express their concerns instead of just reading about them. Multimedia feedback empowers brands to understand customer concerns on a much more human level than surveys allow, which is also important for motivating employees. In short, empowering customers to express their concerns in their preferred format and sharing that frank feedback with the relevant teams is one of the best ways to motivate genuine improvement.

Seeking Disclosure

Receiving feedback from current customers is important, but what about past customers? What about the competition’s? The best customer experience platforms are sustained by the best market research, and brands that opt for the former can often receive the latter. Databases, customer panels, and other sources of market learnings are now available at the push of a button, and brands that want to understand their experience from all angles should seek this knowledge out as resources allow.

Once you have all of this feedback and intel from customers both inside and outside your brand, a handy next step is to feed all of that structured data directly into a real-time text analytics engine. This tool is incredibly helpful for brands because it can extract customer sentiment and reinforce organizations’ knowledge of customer churn’s root causes. 

Keeping Churn at Bay

Like we said earlier, brands can’t keep customer churn out of the equation, but they can do a great deal to prevent it with tools and methods like these. Reducing churn in this way is also great not just for churn reduction’s sake, but also for creating a more human experience, instilling greater loyalty in customers, and creating a stronger bottom line.

Want to read more on how you can improve customer retention? Our new eBook walks you through exactly how to build a holistic initiative and the math that will prove the value of your efforts! Check it out here.

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