Customers have higher expectations than ever before. Customers know it, and businesses know it, and it’s true all over the world. It’s not enough to simply answer a call fast, or even to just be friendly while rattling off your strict company policies. Customers want more than that.
Personalized customer service is the new standard of excellence, and it’s what more of your clients may be expecting to receive.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at why the ability to personalize service for your customers is so crucial and clear steps you can take to do exactly this!
What Is Personalized Service?
If you’ve ever worked with an insurance company or an internet company, there’s a good chance that you’re familiar with hyper-regulated, not-efficient customer service.
When your internet goes completely offline for the fourth time in a week, it’s infuriating to for customer support to only proceed to help you after you reset the modem while you’re on the phone with them. You want to skip right to “We’ll have someone out within 24 hours with a new modem to fix this.”
Similarly, if you’re reaching out to a retailer because your bridesmaid dress was supposed to arrive six weeks ago and the wedding is in two weeks, you don’t want to just be offered a refund. That does you no good, because you still have nothing to wear that will match the rest of the bridal party. You want a new dress overnighted to you.
Personalized service is all about understanding and approaching each customer as an individual, and each situation as unique. While you will have company policies that dictate what you can and can’t do in customer service situations, the ability to think outside the mold when possible can turn a negative customer experience into an outstanding one.
Why Personalized Service is So Important
Personalized service is currently the highest quality of standard in customer service today, and your customers will absolutely notice if they do (or don’t!) receive it.
Up to 72% of consumers surveyed in a recent study stated that they expect customer service agents should know who they are, what they’ve purchased, and about any past engagements.
Think about that phone call with the internet provider we mentioned earlier. Once you’re on your fourth call and you’re still being asked to describe your issue (as if it’s your first call), could make you determined to switch to any other competitor out there.
Personalized service allows you to create unique branded experiences for each individual customer, showing that you value them while also delivering the best experience for them possible. This is how you can increase customer retention rates and customer satisfaction, all while outshining the competition.
1. Use High-Quality CRM Software to Track Client Data
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is designed to help you track leads and customers. High-quality CRM isn’t just about nurturing leads, though; it should also be used to improve your customer’s experiences.
Use CRM software to pull up each customer’s history when they get in touch. Identify their past orders so they aren’t scrambling to find order numbers (unless you need this to differentiate for your own information), and look at past complaints or concerns they’ve had. This can help you track what’s been done so far to resolve the issue and help you see what opportunities there are to help the customer now.
There are a number of outstanding CRM solutions out there, all at varying price points and with an array of different features. Hubspot and Salesforce are two of the top names out there, but there are plenty of other great options, too.
2. Train Your Team to Find Custom Solutions
Your company’s customer service policies are undoubtedly thorough, but they can’t possibly account for absolutely every situation imaginable.
Let’s say that you own an interior design business and have a client who requested a re-design of their dining room in time for the holidays. Your supplier never delivered the new dining room table, however. Maybe it was due to COVID issues, or maybe it just never made it to shipping. Telling the customer that they’ll get a refund won’t save their holiday; offering to temporarily provide another table of the same size, however, may cause you to lose a little money upfront in exchange for a lifelong customer.
Your customer service team needs to be trained to find custom solutions. They need to know what’s possible (you can’t promise to overnight something that needs an absolute minimum of three days to be custom-made, for example), and be given the power to work within those realms to find the best possible solution for each customer.
3. Have Your Team Build Meaningful Connections
Sometimes, increasing personalized customer service is as simple as just talking to the customer in a way that’s designed to build meaningful connections.
Ask about their day, and really respond to what they say. If you hear a child asking for mom’s attention, ask how old, and bond over how wonderful but exhausting kids can be (if that’s the given sentiment, of course).
Even if the customer is working with a customer service representative that they’ll never interact with again, this creates an incredibly positive experience for the customer that feels authentic, meaningful, and personalized.
4. Hire an Answering Service With Customized Call Handling Instructions
Answering services may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about personalized customer service, but high-quality agencies are changing that.
Here at PATLive, for example, we completely customize call handling instructions for each and every customer. We work with you to create custom call handling instructions for your business, which can follow different threads of conversations depending on what the customer says and needs. We can actually handle many customer service concerns for you, and if you give us a wide range of options and company policies, we can implement them for you.
If you need to scale your customer service department, a high-quality and reliable answering service that utilized personalized call handling instructions can be an affordable and fast-acting option.
Customer service expectations have risen dramatically in the past few years, and that’s not expected to change anytime soon. Consumers have more options than ever before, and the customer service bar has officially been raised.
Offering personalized service based on each individual customer’s needs may feel like a monumental effort, but it’s actually one of the best secrets to scaling and growing your business quickly. You just need to invest more into growing your customer service team and equipping them with the tools, policies, and flexibility that they need to be successful!