From Good to Great: 7 Practical Tips for Personalized Customer Service
Humans love connection, and as customers, we are more likely to support businesses that we feel understand and value us. Such is the reason for personalized customer service.
Personalized customer service is basically customer service tailored to the needs and preferences of the individual customer. This is especially helpful for small businesses who need to attract customers but can also be equally important to large businesses who are looking for increased customer retention and loyalty.
Where do you start? Here are practical tips on how you can provide personalized customer service.
1. Use their names
Whether it’s through email newsletters or social media messaging, it’s important to address your customers with their name so they know they are getting personal support instead of a standard automated reply.
2. Collect and use customer data
Customer data is key to getting to know your customers. Collect their demographics information, purchase history, and browsing behavior to make recommendations, cross-sell or upsell similar products or services, suggest relevant content, and offer targeted promotions.
3. Offer multiple support channels
Customers have different preferences when it comes to communication channels. Tech-savvy customers often rely on social media support because it’s easy, fast, and available 24/7. Others, meanwhile, prefer email, phone, or chat. You can cater to your customer preferences and let them choose which ones works best for them by offering support across multiple channels.
4. Offer self-service options
Another way to cater to your customer preferences is to offer self-service options. Some customers prefer to do their own research and decide which products or services to purchase on their own without going through a representative. As such, it’s helpful to set up FAQ and tutorial sections in your website and social media pages. Facebook also has an Automated Response feature for pages where you can set frequently asked questions and set automated responses.
5. Use customer feedback
Ask for and take appropriate actions to address customer feedback. You can use this to understand your customers’ needs and preferences, make improvements on your products or services, and even learn about potential issues that you aren’t aware of.
You can gather feedback through customer reviews or by conducting surveys, polls, and online comments. Doing so will also help your customers feel heard and important.
6. Provide a quick response
Customers appreciate a prompt response to their messages. Even if you’re not online 24/7, you can set up an automation tool to acknowledge that you’re received the inquiry. Even a standard, “Thanks for sending us a message and we will get back to you soonest,” can be helpful in assuring the customer that there will be a representative who will get in touch with them soon.
In some cases, it will be hard to attend to all customer inquiries immediately. In this case, you should set up a priority stem where urgent cases are handled first before the lesser important issues.
Your business should also reach out proactively to your customers. Offer them personalized offers and promotions and address known issues before the customer does. For instance, if you know that there are shipping delays in your products, reach out to the customer to let them know and tell them the new delivery dates.
7. Send handwritten cards
In the internet age, everything is done through emails and other forms of online messaging. Giving handwritten notes is a great way to add a personal touch to communication with your customers.
For example, you can include handwritten thank you notes in product packaging that you send out for shipping. If you own a real estate business, you can opt for a real estate agent handwritten note to give to your customers as a thank you for business. You can also give them notes as an automatic way to get in touch, greet them on their birthdays or holidays, or update them about sales and promotions. A handwritten note is often considered a warm gesture and leaves a lasting impression compared to an email.
A lot of customers appreciate personalized customer service and prefer to support businesses where they are treated as individuals rather than faceless buyers. Improve your customer service through a personalized approach to make customers happy and loyal to your brand.
Katherine Cortes is a 30-something freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).