The perspective of the modern consumer has shifted. Expectations have become more complex and today’s customers expect to receive more than traditional customer service protocols. They now expect a streamlined customer service experience. In fact, Kustomer research revealed 93% of consumers expect customer service to be more convenient. In reaction to effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have made adjustments to cater to these new expectations all while experiencing labor shortages that required them to do more with less.
Despite the constraints, companies are having success with customer service by personalizing the experience to each individual customer. In fact, 84% of customer experience (CX) leaders predict personalization will become more important over the next three years. Why? Because nearly half of customers spend more when their experiences are tailored to their particular wants and needs, according to a study by Kustomer.
From feedback to virtual reality, let’s explore six different opportunities for companies to personalize their customer service experience.
Personalized Customer Service Examples to Implement
1. Be on a First Name Basis
Building relationships with customers is what it’s all about. Customers are genuinely seeking out opportunities to create relationships with your brand, and the best way to foster those relationships is through your customer service agents. A simple but highly effective way to make customers feel welcome and heard is by getting on a first-name basis with them. This means greeting your customers by name in all communication channels and introducing yourself to them at the beginning of your conversation. Research shows that customers are keen on personalization, as it helps them remain in control, reduces stress and defeat, and helps them feel more empowered. Leverage your CRM to track these interactions and follow along with those unique customer journeys, personally engaging at every step to build a more long-lasting relationship. Something as basic as a quick introduction can make all the difference, and while it seems obvious, not all companies are doing it right now.
2. Ask for Feedback
Engaging with your customer in meaningful ways can take your CX to the next level. Keep in mind, CX is not a set-it-and-forget-it process. It’s a system that requires constant re-evaluation and improvement. The needs and expectations of the modern customer are frequently evolving, and it’s essential for businesses to stay on top of these changes and adjust their CX strategy accordingly.
What’s the best way to find out what consumers are looking for in the customer experience? Just ask. By asking customers for feedback throughout the customer journey, you’re not only re-engaging them in communication, but you’re gaining valuable qualitative and quantitative insights that can help improve future interactions. The crucial next step here is to make smart, proactive decisions that implement logical change based on the feedback from your customer base.
3. Review Customer History
We all know the feeling of being bounced around from rep to rep, having to begrudgingly re-explain our same story to each individual. Our research showed that 74% of respondents reported that consumers dislike when agents use a script. The best way to get around this? Actually know your customer — their history with your company, past purchases, preferred method of contact — before diving headfirst into the reason you’re speaking with them.
Most companies already have the advanced analytics systems in place to collect this data, whether it comes from the CRM, the chatbot or even phone conversations with customer service agents. Why collect all this customer data without intending to utilize it to make the customer experience smoother and less tedious for both the consumer and the brand representative? Nearly half of customers spend more when their experiences are tailored to their particular wants and needs, and the best way to do that is to access previously-attained customer data and streamline the process at every interaction.
4. Leverage Self-Service Tools
More than half of surveyed consumers reported that they prefer to solve customer service issues on their own rather than talking to a company representative. In fact, when asked to rank the top three preferred customer service methods or channels, consumers under the age of 35 ranked self-service among their top three. Live representatives communicating via email and phone calls do not need to be the only methods of personalized customer service.
AI and chatbots have advanced their capabilities far beyond early iterations, and are now helping companies meet customer demands and deliver superior service, without overwhelming agents. If your customers are asking for ways to resolve their issues with automated solutions, why not utilize them? Do not underestimate the power of a highly informative FAQ page or community forum either. These are all tools to consider including in your arsenal when it comes to self-service options.
5. Personalize Your Chatbot
The preference for a personalized chatbot is growing rapidly. 77% of consumers under the age of 25 say that they find chatbots to be helpful. Continuing to tailor the CX strategy toward individualized customer preferences, powerful AI can leverage customer data and demographic information for major personalized customer service benefits. While automated responses are beneficial, some customers can be wary about talking to a bot rather than a human, so don’t shy away from getting creative with your chatbot — give it some personality and a cohesive branded feel to bring out the human element even in automated conversations.
6. Offer a Variety of Alternate Choices
Each customer brings their own set of unique preferences when it comes to communication, and they will expect to be given the opportunity to select from different communication options. Providing seamless communication methods across multiple channels ensures that your customers are able to engage with your brand in the method that is personalized to their preferences. Some customers prefer to interact with brands exclusively over the phone, while others would rather send a direct message to your company Instagram. Recognizing these differences and offering each customer the option to choose is an essential step in improving your customer experience.
Providing alternate choices also means staying up to date with the newest advancements in technology. With the rapid evolution of virtual assistants and virtual reality, there are significant changes in the way that personalized customer service plays out. Over the next three years, 43% of organizations are preparing to be able to provide customer support via virtual assistants, and another 26% are preparing to provide customer support via virtual reality, according to research done by Kustomer in our CX Predictions for 2022 e-book. As mentioned earlier, consumer behavior is perpetually evolving, and the only way to stay ahead is to embrace the future of customer experience technology.
Drive CX with Data
Integrating personalization into your customer service experience is an essential method to engage your customers. Along the way, you’ll learn more about your customers on an individual level and drive stronger, more meaningful interactions. Today’s customer is not a very forgiving one when it comes to poor customer experience — without a concerted effort to enhance your CX strategy, your customers will take their business elsewhere.
Interested in learning more about personalized customer service benefits and how to tailor the customer experience on an individual level? Download Kustomer’s guide “Delivering Data-Driven Personalized Support at Scale” today.