The shopping experience as we once knew it has changed with ecommerce sales skyrocketing to $870 billion during the pandemic alone, a 50% growth compared to pre-pandemic data. What used to be a casual Saturday afternoon at the mall comparing prices of electronics or styles of our favorite clothing quickly turned into scouring the internet for the best deals the moment we decided to make a purchase. As a result, customer service has quickly become one of the only times a customer interacts with a human during the purchase process. As such, investing in the customer experience is more crucial than ever, yet businesses are losing $75 billion a year in revenue due to inadequate customer service alone.
As we continue to move into an increasingly ecommerce driven world with every buying option instantly at our fingertips, it is necessary for brands to break through the increasing digital noise and create human connection through personalized customer service, and invest in CX tools that allow agents to do just that. With the incorporation of CX software designed to tailor the experience to each customer, brands can benefit by taking a happy customer and creating a loyal one – ultimately contributing to a brand’s bottom line.
The Key to Humanized Customer Service: Personalization
In today’s day and age, customer service investment might not be top of mind for brands, but customer service is a key component of customer retention and driving customer loyalty. In fact, a recent survey reported 63% of consumers fall in love with brands because of great service and on the other side of the coin, 45% will never shop with a brand again after two bad service experiences. The importance of providing a great customer service experience cannot be underestimated.
One of the best ways to create a better customer experience is through a personalized approach – aka human to human connection. It starts first with understanding who the consumer is, something as simple as their name vs assigning them a number. When armed with personalized information – but not too personal, we’re talking approved and consented info – customer service agents can more holistically understand the details of each customer’s journey and address each situation tailored to their specific needs. With the proper tools – historic and people-specific profiles, consolidated chat flows, easy knowledge base centers – agents can make personalized recommendations based on past purchases, reviews, and more, leading to a seamless experience and a satisfied customer.
Taking this concept one step further, when brands incorporate customer service software that matches an agent with a customer based on their unique situation, it leads to time saved on the agent side and a happier customer. Instead of the classic, “How can I help you today?” the customer gets to hear, “Are you chatting with us about your recent purchase?” This expedited process leads to a smoother experience for all parties involved and, through the proper consumer nurturing, can lead to a loyal customer.
It might seem simple but think about all the times you’ve had to hunt for the order information yourself, or received multiple replies on the same issue from different agents, or dealt with buggy chatbots that prolong the process of getting answers. By focusing on technology that is personalized you kill two birds with one stone – you get streamlined, clean processes and build the most important piece, connection with your shoppers.
As we move into 2023, we expect to see an increasing emphasis on the customer experience and cultivating a human connection even in virtual environments such as live chat. Brands can no longer afford to skirt by with mediocre customer service as consumers are becoming more discerning and, as a result, harder to convert to a buyer and, eventually, loyal customers. With the adoption of technology that personalizes the customer experience — and puts the customer first, not the backend process — brands can break through the noise in the market and reach their audience in the way they want to be reached.