Today, customers can research products or services online, order them from the comfort of their home, and have a package dropped onto their doorstep after a few days or an account set up in a matter of minutes.
It’s often the case that the only person they’ll ever interact with at your brand (if they choose to interact with your brand at all) is a member of your customer service team. Indeed, a customer service agent is now the main touchpoint between a consumer and a brand; in the eyes of the consumer, the agent is the brand.
And when they do choose to interact with your team, your agents, and your brand, customers are looking for experiences that feel authentic and personal to them. According to research, 80% of customers say they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences.
As a result, it’s key for brands to set their teams up for success to deliver personalized customer service that shows each customer they’re valued by the brand, not just another order number or service ticket, if they want to increase loyalty and keep customers coming back to their brand.
Keep reading for 3 tips on how to make your customer service more personalized.
3 Ways to Offer Personalized Customer Service Experiences
#1: Ask customers for feedback – and use it!
First-hand customer feedback is a gold mine of opportunity for learning, not just for your customer service team, but for your entire business.
By working on the front lines of customer communication, agents have access to a wealth of insight on the full customer experience. As a result, support teams can become strategic business partners to other teams within a company, like your marketing and product teams, to share their findings.
According to our Customer Service Trends for 2021 research report, surveying over 1,000 consumers in the United States, 86% of consumers are more likely to leave feedback regarding a positive customer service interaction if they knew the agent would directly benefit from it.
Humanized customer feedback focuses on giving your customers the opportunity to leave feedback directly for the agent they spoke to, which helps build a more personalized relationship between that customer and your brand.
In truth, collecting customer feedback is a business-critical initiative that drives product innovation, brand loyalty, process efficiencies, and overall helps improve the customer experience.
#2: Meet your customers where they are, and help them how they want to be helped
Modern customers want brands to be available on the channels they prefer to use, when they prefer to use them, and to understand their needs before they even know they have those needs.
Despite their tech-savvy ways, 43% of consumers today say that the phone is the most likely channel for them to seek out when they have a customer service issue, followed by email (28%) and chat (23%).
To create a really successful experience and offer personalized customer service, brands need to combine innovation with optimization. Continuing to invest in new channels is critical, but can only be successful if it’s paired with a strategy focused on making your current support channels even better for your customers.
#3: Invest in your customer service agents
Agents should be at the front of every brand’s customer experience strategy, particularly when it comes to offering personalization.
Consumers care about customer service.
They want to know that the brands they’re spending their money with value them as a customer, and will do what they can to meet your needs and resolve your issues. If they have a negative view of your support team, they may jump ship to a competitor and never consider doing business with your brand again.
Ensure your organization is investing in the tools your team needs, providing coaching for your front-line agents, and holding ongoing 1:1 meetings to keep reps on track with their goals and in-line with brand values.
Why Personalized Customer Service Drives Loyalty
At the end of the day, customers will be stickier and more loyal if they have an emotional connection with your brand.
The numbers don’t lie: 73% of consumers say a good experience is key in influencing their brand loyalties, and 96% of customers say customer service is important in their choice of loyalty to a brand.
And when customers feel loyal to your brand, they’ll share their experiences with others.
According to our research, 24% of respondents ranked reviews from other customers as the most important factor when deciding which brand to choose.
When you have loyal customers, they become five times more likely to purchase again, and four times more likely to refer a friend to the company.
Now more than ever, the virtual support agent is the single point of human connection with the opportunity to solidify that emotional connection between customer<>brand.
By offering personalized customer service, you give your business a competitive advantage over your competitors, create more positive customer relationships, and foster relationships that lead to repeat business and growth.