You might be familiar with hearing ‘best package’ deals from utility companies when your contract is coming to an end, this month Ofcom has rolled out this initiative to other service providers such as TV, broadband, mobile and home phone companies.
Ofcom’s research has found that 1-in-7 customers don’t know if they’re still on their original deal and 1-in-8 thought they had a contract but didn’t know the expiration.
Uswitch, which has long argued for these regulations, estimated that UK consumers were paying as much as £3.5 million extra a day when not on the best deals. While Ofcom found that 10 million consumers had deals with an automatic price increase at their end date.
Understandably this is a great move forwards for consumers who will benefit from the greater clarity about the packages available to them. For businesses who offer fantastic joining offers it sounds like an immediate win but there are opportunities for businesses to engage with their existing customers and promote service quality over price.
Make service and value your selling point
According to the Harvard Business School, increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.
Value doesn’t always mean price is the pinnacle point. There are always going to be bargain hunters who will move from the cheapest deal to the cheapest deal – and in that case they’re never going to be a lifelong customer. You’re not actually losing anything by telling them there could be a better deal out there – chances are they were already looking.
Your customers have values whether they’re directly relevant to your services such as green energy, paperless technology or great self-serve tools and administration to indirect values such as mental health awareness and support or environmental concerns. Finding commonality and talking to your customers about how they are helping you as a business do more in those sectors is a selling point.
How businesses communicate during their customer’s initial contact period is crucial to whether they provide customers with value, not just a price saving.
Enable customers to connect
Creating a dialogue with customers doesn’t just rely on outbound messaging. Your emails could be very interesting but do they provide customers with the ability to talk to you? It goes beyond just social media channels, if a customer wants support what options and channels are available for them to do so? Do they need an app? Can they text in? How do you talk back? Are you thinking multi-channel or omnichannel?
The best way to improve your online customer service efforts is to utilize the channel your customers most prefer. Although recent research has shown that a majority of people still prefer and use email more than other services (including social networking), you need to pick the channel that makes the most sense for your business.
Providing customers with the convenience of being able to choose which channel to use (SMS, voice, mobile web apps, chatbots etc.), and the ability to automate some responses for speed and scalability is key to both the customer and businesses alike.