One size rarely fits all. It seems obvious, right? Well, apparently it is not, judging by the frequency with which companies have a customer service strategy that forces its agents to treat everyone based on the same template, the same speech, and the same rules…
We are in times when customers are empowered. They know what they want, when they want it and how they want it. Clients are clearly in charge, and when companies take this into account and take measures to give personalized customer attention, the companies (and the customers of course) are the winners.
Empowered clients have really high expectations and do not settle for an average experience. They want their providers to know them, to take into account their personal needs, their tastes and expectations and offer them a service in accordance with those.
The days of mass production and mass communication are over. We have entered an era where offering a personalized experience can have important income implications. Across the board, consumers are craving a more individualized experience. A recent report from Accenture states that among 20-30-year-olds in the US and UK, 73% prefer to do business with brands that use their information to make experiences more efficient.
The information exchange balance, where consumers are willing to give up some of their information, is based on a trust that the information will be used for their benefit. A study revealed that 57% of consumers don’t have a problem providing personal information as long as it’s for their benefit. In customer service, tailored recommendations and relevant offers are ways to ensure that every customer’s experience is unique. Methods like these also benefit the company, of course, by increasing conversion rates to drive better engagement. It’s a win-win.
The landscape of customer service is drastically changing. Companies are utilizing data to prioritize offers, deliver personalized experiences, and give systematized guidance — all in an effort to provide an improved interactive experience. Personalization has its challenges, but with a little bit of guidance and the right tools, delivering individualized customer experiences can be very profitable.
Consider having your customer service reps use their real names, too, in emails, chats, phone calls or other interactions with customers. It can be a lot more personal than communicating with ServiceRepresentative@YourBusiness.com.
By providing multiple touch points for accessing customer service, you can allow customers to personalize their experience using the method(s) they prefer.
Contrast that with customer service reps who chat with you while they’re working on your issue. Something as simple as asking a customer how the weather is where they are or if they have fun plans for the weekend can help humanize the experience.
But if individualized experiences are so good, why do not more companies provide them? One of the reasons is that they are difficult to correct and to implement. That’s why it makes sense to work with a partner who can provide the necessary experience to develop and execute a successful strategy. Here are four examples you should consider during that process:
Turn on your senses and pay attention. It takes a ton of mental focus and endurance to do this for every customer, but the benefits are obvious. Your customers can go get the product or service they need anywhere. Assuming you’re providing top notch service already, in the end, they’re going to choose you because you understand their specific needs and make them feel special. That’s how you deal a death blow to indifference.
With the implementation of effective, multi-channel personalization technology and practices — along with an emphasis on utilizing customer data — we can only hope that the organizations we interact with on a regular basis will provide more relevant, individualized experiences for each of us.
Publish Date: November 12, 2018 5:00 AM
Charlotte Purvis is a speaker and communication consultant who has influenced an average of one million customer interactions each year for over 20 years. She consults, trains, and speaks on customer service, business communication, and leadership development for global companies, universities, and community organizations. She practices what she teaches as evidenced by nearly 100% of her engagements coming from repeat or referral business.
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