Listening & Empathy Is Key To Stemming The Tide Of Customer Churn

The CallMiner Index UK  uncovered that call centres play a pivotal role in a consumer’s decision to switch their suppliers or stay loyal. In fact, the report reveals that 68% of customers are very or extremely likely to switch suppliers if they have a bad experience with a call centre.  The total who say they are planning to switch is 62%. However, many more people (84%) switched in the last 12 months. This means that people want to stay loyal but are forced to switch by suppliers’ failures or other behaviour that drives people away. And, as the cost of switching is at least £25 billion per year, it makes sense to find ways to eliminate avoidable churn.

The CallMiner Index: Consumer switching by sector, the reasons and the impact of call centres

Good call centre experiences can really help reducing avoidable churn

When asked how likely they are to stay loyal to a supplier if they have a good experience with a call centre, more people (74%) scored between 7 and 10 – with 20% scoring 10.

The CallMiner Index: Consumer switching by sector, the reasons and the impact of call centres

Turn the call centre into a problem resolution centre

The top two reasons to contact a supplier relate to problems with the service or product (61%) or problems with the bill (61%). This means call centre agents need to be very effective at handling customers who arrive with issues.

The CallMiner Index: Consumer switching by sector, the reasons and the impact of call centres

Listening and showing empathy is key to success when handling emotionally charged customers

The research shows that customers have a simple expectation – they want to be listened to. In fact, this is the #1 emotion before contacting a call centre (46%). Sadly, the research shows that only half that number (23%) feel listened to after the call.

The Index report highlights that listening needs to be backed up by good empathy skills. Because almost two thirds of people arrive with a problem to be solved, they also arrive with a range of negative emotions that make handling the call even more challenging.

The CallMiner Index: Consumer switching by sector, the reasons and the impact of call centres

Over a third (36%) say they arrive annoyed; a third (33%) arrive hopeful; one in six (16%) arrive angry and the same number arrive ready for an argument!

Some call centres are good at taking the heat out of the situation. The top response for the emotional state after the call, by over a third (35%), is satisfied (Chart 5). The percentages of people feeling angry, annoyed or upset, all show reductions of an average of 28% from the before-call figures. However, other call centres may be less empathetic. The second highest response by 32% of people is feeling frustrated and one in seven people feel ignored!

Get all the data in report!

If you want to see which sectors have the highest churn rates, and all the other results for the CallMiner Index UK, you can download the Report here.

You will see that the call centre has become a key engagement centre that has a pivotal role in keeping customers loyal.

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