So, you’re probably thinking you’ve misread the title of this article. How on earth can you actually improve customer experience and cut costs at the same time? It’s clear that you can’t possibly do both, right?
Not necessarily, and we are going to tell you how. Even businesses who are teetering on the edge of insolvency and have to take some tough budgetary decisions do not have to neglect customer satisfaction.
Here are our top tips for how you can achieve this, even in the current uncertain landscape of the global pandemic:
Cut your field sales costs
Now, this is something you will have been forced to do, most likely, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it could be something that you carry on when things get back to whatever ‘normal’ will eventually be.
By bringing the majority of your sales team into the office, you can simultaneously cut costs and improve customer experience. You make a number of savings on cars, fuel, and salaries (which are generally lower), and because of the saved travel time, you can put in more regular calls to replace face-to-face meetings.
The customer feels like they are getting more of your attention due to more frequent contact. It is also easier for you, as a business, to identify weaknesses in your team’s performance more quickly and target training accordingly. Again, saving you money in the long term as your people become more effective.
Look more generally at your staffing costs
If you have been through analyses for all areas of your business in order to safeguard against insolvency, you will be well aware that you need to think about your staffing bill when you are looking to cut costs. if you do this right, it needn’t impact on customer experience.
In addition to looking at costs you might easily cut, like overtime hours, you could also look at the tasks and expertise of your existing staff and ask yourself whether you are utilising them to their full potential.
For example, are your account managers wasting time on admin tasks such as dealing with simple queries, running reports and placing repeat orders? These are tasks a cheaper office junior could perform, or even an intern or apprentice.
Making sure you are maximising the value your staff are bringing to the table needn’t spell the end for customer satisfaction. Your clients will enjoy more attention from the account manager once their time is freed up from menial tasks below their pay grade.
Evaluate your customer base
While it is true that all of your customers should feel like they are your top priority, we’d be lying if we tried to pretend that they were all of equal value to your business.
When you are thinking about how you can cut costs, whether that is to safeguard against insolvency, or just to make sensible cashflow decisions, you need to ensure you are not doing anything to upset your most significant customers.
Your most important customers are those who contribute significantly to your current profit, but also are key in your potential future growth.
It is more expensive to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one, so it makes sense to focus on retention as well as new customer acquisition. You can then upsell to boost your revenue for less than it would cost you to take on new customers.
Take feedback seriously
You absolutely have to make sure that you are listening to, and acting upon, customer feedback. It is vital to be mindful that, if you are looking to cut costs, you might be more vulnerable to inadvertently committing service failures, leading to customer dissatisfaction.
There is evidence to suggest that most customers do not even tell you about a bad experience; instead they will just leave. So, you need to make sure that you do something about the feedback you do receive.
Acting on negative feedback and making sure you move swiftly to right any wrongs will save you money in the long term and work wonders for customer retention.
How to improve customer experience: Conclusion
If you haven’t thought about any of these things already, you might want to get some expert advice.
Hudson Weir Insolvency Practitioners can help you to map out a plan, protecting you from insolvency, whilst at the same time boosting customer satisfaction.