Why It’s Important to Offer Personalized Customer Service — and How to Do It
The relationship between customers and the businesses they interact with is constantly evolving. And in a technology-driven age, this means the methods in which customer service can be delivered are more numerous than ever before. They range from the traditional (phone calls and mail coupons) to the modern (email and website marketing) to the ultra-modern (smartphone apps, social media and beyond).
Yet if the channels through which a customer experience (CX) is delivered have become more numerous than ever before, there’s at least one thing that unites them all. No matter what platform that customers use to engage with your business, they increasingly prefer to receive a personalized experience when they do engage with you.
Over the years, tech pioneers like Google and Amazon have led customers to expect an experience that’s tailored to their specific wants and needs. Because they offer hyper-personalized service that offers access to products and services specifically aligned with customer tastes, those tech giants have nurtured an expectation for customized service that other businesses are now obliged to follow.
According to customer service research from Salesforce, almost 60% of U.S. consumers say personalized messaging, based on their past interactions with a company, “is very important to winning their business.” They’re also twice as likely to regard personalized communications as important. In other words, they’re much more likely to pay attention to a personalized message.
But just because people expect customized service doesn’t make it any easier to deliver it. Quite the opposite, in fact. As customer expectations have grown in recent years, so too have their standards. And the companies that meet them have considerable resources at their disposal, as well as years of collecting and then carefully leveraging vast quantities of customer data.
It’s no small task to predict what people want to buy, when they want to buy it. Providing effective personalized customer service requires real expertise. That includes a careful application of analytical processing capabilities, sophisticated marketing messaging and technological know-how.
Because these resources aren’t always available in-house, many businesses are turning to outsourced customer service providers, such as Working Solutions, to meet this need. Doing so means that even businesses of modest size and means can achieve sophisticated levels of personalized customer service—and then can do it at a reasonable price point, to boot.
And if you’re still on the fence as to whether offering personalized customer service is worth the effort, here are a few reasons to consider its value.
5 Benefits of Offering Personalized Customer Service
1. A faster, more convenient customer experience. Personalized service means faster and more convenient service. With the help of advanced analytics, you can keep track of a customer’s preferences and predict his most likely cause for contacting you, which in turn, better prepares you for any inquiries. And that means you’re answering questions and resolving issues faster.
And offering faster service is no small matter. “Speed is everything in business,” as Mabbly founder Adam Fridman writes at Inc magazine.
People simply aren’t satisfied with the status quo; they want something more and they want it now. Companies must work quickly to satiate their appetites because audiences will have no qualms about moving to another product or service.
2. A better balance between automation and live agents. As we’ve often emphasized, automated customer service is essential to a successful customer service strategy. Sometimes, customers don’t want to have to explain their exact situations to a live agent. Sometimes, their needs are simple enough to be handled by an automated service, such as live chat or a website’s FAQ page.
On the other hand, an inquiry or complaint can quickly escalate into the need to speak with a live agent. And when that happens, the transition needs to be fast and seamless. With the framework of personalized service in place—tracking your customers’ preferences and habits and matching them to each interaction—you come closer to anticipating those shifts and delivering that seamless service.
3. The power to meet customer expectations. As we’ve discussed, the simple truth is that today’s customers have come to expect a customized experience, and they’re disappointed when they don’t get it. And yes, the public outrage over the data-sharing done by Facebook is justified. If good judgment is used, however, customers expect their information will be used by businesses, as long as privacy is respected and data safeguarded.
“63% of U.S. consumers are willing to share their protected, personal information with a company in exchange for a great customer experience—because they know it saves them time, and makes their lives easier.”” Click To Tweet
And that’s because customers know that companies will keep track of their purchase histories and personal preferences to offer better service. To that end, PricewaterhouseCoopers reports 63% of U.S. consumers are willing to share their protected, personal information with a company in exchange for a great customer experience—because they know it saves them time, and makes their lives easier.
4. A foundation for omnichannel service. Hand-in-hand with the need for personalized service comes the necessity to make sure all communications are consistent and in sync. Customers are more likely than ever to engage across a variety of channels. For instance, they may browse your in-store offerings before making an in-app purchase, or try to redeem an email promotion at your website.
Syncing up all of these channels is called omnichannel marketing, and, like personalization, it’s now expected by customers. According to a Salesforce report, shoppers want the same kind of product recommendations from in-store sales associates as they get from online ads. Personalized service gives you the ability to offer them that high-quality service, wherever they choose to interact with you.
5. Empowering continuous improvement. When you take the necessary steps to offer personalized customer service most specifically, keeping a record of your customers’ shopping histories and then implementing an advanced analytical strategy based on that data—you’re also laying the foundation for continuous improvement for your larger CX efforts.
Tracking customer data, then analyzing it to find important patterns and preferences, not only improves each interaction with each customer, but it also empowers agents to communicate more effectively. The result is more conversions, and a better shot at sustainable growth. With each passing year, quarter or even month, you’ll accumulate even more data to improve that messaging even further.
We Can Help You Deliver Personalized Customer Service
The benefits of offering personalized customer service are serious indeed — and so are the consequences of ignoring this important trend. Luckily, the availability of outsourced customer care services like those offered by Working Solutions means there’s no need to be left behind. We have the skills, experience, expertise and tech footprint to help you achieve all of the above, and much more.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you achieve the kind of personalized service that customers demand.Let's connect.