Personalized customer service is about treating people as individuals. In an age where customers can buy into your products and services from almost anywhere in the world, this has become increasingly complex. Although there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, the following 10-step plan will provide a framework that will allow your contact center to adopt a more personalized approach to customer care.
1. Develop customer profiles
One of the most important parts of delivering personal service involves taking the time to understand who your customers are. Your company’s marketing department should be able to supply demographic data and customer information. From there, sit down with your best service reps and discuss the types of customers they commonly deal with on a day-to-day basis. In combination, this process will allow you to ‘flesh out’ a series of profiles based on your typical customer’s needs, wants and expectations.
2. Create a customer-focused vision statement
Defining your customer service principles in a vision statement provides a strategic reference point. The easiest way to create a customer-centric vision statement is by focusing on key expectations identified in your customer profiles. Once in place, every rep in your business should know the vision statement by heart. This way, its principles can act as guiding values for your entire service department.
3. Train employees to be customer-facing
Training customer-facing reps how to deal with customer emotions is crucial to creating personal experiences. No customer wants to feel ‘processed,’ and how reps respond to someone that is angry or upset is crucial. In this situation, the last thing any customer wants to encounter is a robot-like agent taking their cues from a script.
4. Give customers choice
Customers don’t think in terms of channels. In today’s hyper connected world they expect to access customer service in the manner they find most convenient. It doesn’t matter if it’s talking face-to-face, by phone or email, via social media or live chat, customers expect your business to be there when they need you. If you’re not providing an omni-channel service experience, your customers will happily switch to a competitor that does.
5. Develop a self-service experience
Self-service provides information that customers can use to help themselves. In a service environment that’s now defined by speed and convenience, self-service reduces frustration by allowing customers to find the answers they need quickly and easily. Suitable materials for self-service portals include FAQs, explainer videos and step-by-step solutions for common problems.
6. Offer support via social media
J.D. Power reveals that over two-thirds of consumers have used a company’s social media channels for customer service. Social has become key to multichannel initiatives because it’s a good way to engage with and listen to people. As such, social channels provide a valuable source of information and insight that your business can use to personalize customer experiences.
7. Empower your sales and service reps with a well-implemented CRM
Customer relationship management (CRM) systems improve your service offering in several powerful ways. For instance, CRM systems provide a suite of interactive voice response (IVR) options, plus real-time, customer-centric data such as personal information and call and purchase history. As a result, a well-implemented CRM system can empower service reps to deliver more personalized greetings and responses.
8. Use customer feedback
Feedback loops are a great way to listen and learn from your customers. Creating a systematic approach to collecting feedback gives your business a unique opportunity to hear what your customers think you could be doing better. Used effectively, this means you can optimize your customer service to ensure it’s as personalized as possible. A well-integrated CRM can also help you implement automated tools such as post call IVR surveys that provide even more insightful feedback.
9. Seek regular employee feedback
As the eyes and ears of any contact center, service agents are crucial to delivering personalized experiences. They’re also the ones speaking to your customers every day, which means they’ll be the first to notice trends that can help improve your customer service offering. Providing platforms for them to offer ideas and constructive feedback can therefore help stimulate small changes that make a massive difference.
10. Evaluate your service offering regularly
As their needs and habits evolve, the customer profiles you develop will change. Consistently reviewing your customers’ preferences and seeking feedback from every available source is the only way to ensure you keep offering a personalized experience. It’s crucial to keep learning and building knowledge so the insight you glean can be used to develop increasingly personalized interactions with your customers.
So, there you have it: the 10-step plan to personalizing your customers’ experiences. To learn even more about taking your customer service strategy to the next level, read NewVoiceMedia's whitepaper Building the customer centric contact center.