Today's guest blog post is from Karel Zeman, the Owner of GO-Gulf.com. This post is about how important personalizing your brand for your customers has become recently. Please enjoy all that Karel has to say and feel free to leave your comments below.
How many times have you waited in line over the phone to be connected to a customer service representative? How many times have you repeated your complaint to a person on the phone, only to be placed on hold again while your call is connected elsewhere? We’ve all been there; half-hearted customer service that makes us lose heart with companies and makes us look for other firms. Why does this happen?
What is personalized customer service?
What’s happening in today’s fast-paced world is that no one has the time anymore and everything is getting automated, using a one size fits all method. What ends up being compromised is the personal touch that comes with personalized customer service.
When a customer’s query or issue gets the undivided attention of a customer representative, and when that query is resolved in a timely manner without undue stress to the customer, it can be considered that the customer service is personalized.
Why is personalized service important to the success of your business?
When service is personalized, your customers will feel more connected to you company. For example, if you’re providing online customer support, your customers should be able to configure their own settings and personalize their experience. If you provide phone support, a customer’s query should be resolved without unnecessary delay or call bouncing. Imagine this: If a customer is able to just click their way to a solution quickly, or is able to reach the pertinent department over phone quickly, you get to retain and grow customer loyalty.
The entire purpose of a business endeavor is to attract and retain customers companies. By providing personalized customer service, you will not only retain existing customers’ loyalty, but will attract more customers by word of mouth alone.
If you provide half-hearted customer service, you’re telling your customer that they are not important to you.
When is personalized customer service successful?
What counts with personalized customer service? The appearance and manner of the customer representative, the attention that the customer is given, and the efficiency of the transaction. These three attributes win over the customer each time. The absence of any of these attributes will be detrimental to your company’s business in the long term.
How to ensure efficient personalized customer service?
There are several methods by which personalized customer service can be achieved, as follows:
- If it’s a voice call, record the customer’s complaint before routing the customer to a different department. Nothing is more frustrating to a customer than to repeat the complaint each time to a new rep.
- If it’s online support, ensure that the customer’s profile is stored in the database. This way, the customer won’t have to enter information such as name, address and social security number on several forms, time and again. Profiling a customer not only helps you in providing superior service to the customer but also helps the customer quickly get the resolution they seek.
- If the customer service is face-to-face, ensure that your customer representative is dressed respectfully. A badly dressed and ill-mannered representative can actually help break deals. Make sure that your representative is trained to answer questions without sounding impatient. Ensure that all your customer representatives conform to official guidelines for behavior and conduct when with a customer.
- When you offer customers personalized service, you're letting them know that you care about their specific needs. One way to provide good personalized customer service is to pay close attention to their likes and dislikes, and ask questions about the type of products or services they're looking for. For example, if you're a personal chef, you can provide personalized service by preparing the meals that your customers most enjoy.
General guidelines for customer retention
The following personalized customer service guidelines will help retain customers thus increasing your business:
If your business is local, such as a store:
- Make a note of a customer’s preferred product choices and stock more of the same in your store.
- Ensure that an offer is made to deliver the customer’s purchases to their home.
- Offer special discounts to customers who buy more from you.
- Greet the customer by name, if possible. This makes the customer feel privileged.
- Train your assistants to always be polite, well mannered and helpful, and dress smartly while attending to your customers.
If your business is online:
- Each time a customer makes a purchase, send out a thank you note to their email Id.
- The next time when the customer logs in to make another purchase, offer a small gift or a discounted item.
- Offer reward points on each purchase.
- Send birthday and anniversary cards to customers
- Note the customer’s purchase preference and sending them emails on similar products.
- Suggest new or updated services based on customer requirements.
- Always ask for customer feedback, but keep the form simple.
- Listen to customer