Customers today expect to be treated as individuals and not addressed with standard, prefabricated responses. Ideally, it is now widely accepted that excellent customer service can be a key differentiator in building customer loyalty. Going by the trends, leading organizations are redefining their relationships with customers to create more personal experiences through focusing on the quality of interactions, initiatives that build deeper engagement, and ongoing management of a lasting relationship.
According to Econsultancy and Adobe global survey, 65% of organizations consider enhancing their data analysis a critical element in delivering a better client experience. Interestingly, 84 percent of businesses that undertake efforts to enhance their customer experience report an increase in income.
In today’s fast-changing business landscape, companies must share information about customer expectations early into product development cycles so that products don’t have nasty surprises at launch time. Customers want a personalized experience everywhere they go, and social media is influencing businesses to change their marketing strategies.
What Does a Personalized Customer Experience Even Mean?
Today, many companies use social media websites to communicate with customers and create a positive image of the organization; however, not all organizations are doing it well. Customers are not only expecting a response to their inquiry or complaint on social media, but they’re also expecting a personalized experience.
A personalized customer experience means that the company knows who you are as a customer, what you like and don’t like, and what you’ve purchased from them in the past. It also means that the company is aware of current trends and can make suggestions for products you may be interested in. When a company provides a personalized customer experience, it makes the customer feel special and appreciated.
Why Personalizing Customer Experience is Important
In today’s economy, it’s more important than ever for companies to make customers feel valued. Many of today’s customers are informed, and they know what they want before they walk into a store or log onto an online retailer’s website. Personalizing customer service with the correct information at the right time makes good business sense because research has shown that personalized experiences can increase conversions by more than 80 percent. It also builds trust between the company and customers, which will result in lifelong customers who share positive referrals about your products with their friends and family members.
It doesn’t even end there. You can also increase customer lifetime value (CLV) and reduce churn rates by personalizing customer service. CLV is a calculation that estimates the long-term profit generated from a customer relationship. Churn rate is the percentage of customers who discontinue their relationship with a company within a given period of time. Both CLV and churn rate are important metrics to measure because they indicate how successful a company is at retaining customers.
How to Deliver Personalized Customer Service
Delivering personalized customer experience doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Ideally, it should be a part of your organization’s culture, and there are some simple things you can do to create that personalized experience for every customer. The very first thing to do is knowing your customers
This means gathering information about them, such as their preferences, what drives them, what makes them happy, and what frustrates them. You can gather this information in a variety of ways, including surveys, interviews, focus groups, and social media listening. To deliver personalized customer service, here are eight more ways you can try:
- Build a relationship based on listening and understanding your customers’ problems before getting into solutions mode: The more knowledge you have about the challenges your customers face, the easier it will be for you to provide relevant answers at multiple touch-points in time. To build a relationship with customers based on trust, listen first without giving any solutions. Furthermore, respond to the issues you hear customers talk the most about.
- Always be aware of your customers’ changing needs and adjust accordingly: Today, customer expectations are high in terms of variety and flexibility. With the rise in technology comes an increased inconvenience for consumers, so companies must continually evolve their products and services to meet customer needs. When your company evolves along with the market, your customers will feel like their relationship is evolving too.
- Respond to your customers in a timely manner: A personalized customer experience requires that you be proactive and reactive at the soonest possible time; otherwise, you risk losing their business forever. Social media can help facilitate this by acting as a two-way communication platform for customers and brands.
- Connect with your customers through all channels possible: Customers now interact with companies through a variety of channels, such as traditional voice channels (phone, chat), digital channels (website, social media), self-service channels (FAQs, online forms), and indirect channels (partners, dealers, etc.). Make sure you’re covering all your bases by being where your customers are.
- Anticipate customer needs and greet them with a personalized experience before they even have to ask: Providing what your customers are looking for before they even ask will make the overall purchase experience much more satisfying. This can be done through careful analysis of data (customer history, demographics, and preferences) to understand their buying patterns and trends.
- Tailor your messages to each individual customer: Customers don’t want to feel like they’re just one of many faceless individuals that your company is trying to reach out to. They want to feel special, so take the time to personalize each message. In addition to tailoring messages for each customer, make sure that the message itself is also personalized – i.e. if a customer has already made a purchase from you, don’t send them a ‘welcome’ message – it will come across as insincere and fake.
- Provide multiple pathways of communication with your customers. To facilitate personalized communication, make sure that you have various channels available to connect with your customers. You can use social media or an online messaging system to provide both self-service assistance and assistance from a live agent whenever necessary. Also, don’t forget about the more traditional communication routes of phone, email, and live chat.
- Create an interactive website where users can help themselves before getting in touch with customer service when they need further assistance on something they cannot answer: Many companies are now providing a self-service option on their website that allows customers to help themselves before contacting customer service. This helps alleviate the pressure on customer service representatives, who are often bombarded with inquiries and complaints. Additionally, it allows customers to find the information they need without having to wait for someone to get back to them.
Bonus: Establish a presence wherever your customers are: Just because your company isn’t selling directly on Facebook doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t establish a page; this is where many of your customers will be looking for updates and product information, which will ultimately increase the likelihood of them making a purchase from you in the future.
Delivering personalized customer service can be a daunting task, but if you follow the tips outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to providing an exceptional experience for your customers. Remember, it’s not about what you think is best for them – it’s about listening and understanding what they want and need. By taking this approach, you’ll be able to create a lasting relationship with your customers that will ultimately benefit your business.
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