Nothing can make customers feel more like a cog in a machine than reaching out for help via a call or email and facing an endless menu of cookie-cutter support options and scripted answers. Customer satisfaction is crucial to business success, and that’s why it’s important to personalize the customer service experience, no matter what business you’re in, including computer software. In the final analysis, every business is a people business.
While it’s unreasonable to expect every single customer service interaction to be the best moment of your customer’s life or the highlight of their day, it is possible to ensure that customers feel that they are heard and that their unique needs are addressed. No two conversations will be the same, and some calls won’t go as well as others. But you can make sure customers know that you are 100% focused on their issue during your call.
And that’s important, because when you personalize the customer service experience and give them the sense you’re working diligently to fix their issues, they’re much more likely to remain customers. Here are three tips you can use to create a more personalized customer experience:
1. Take copious notes. Whether you have five, 50, or 500 customer service employees in the department, eventually two different people will end up helping the same customer. When this happens, you don’t want any mix-ups or miscommunications, and you don’t want the customer to get frustrated with answering the same questions every time they call.
That’s why it’s important to keep copious notes on each customer. Every single phone call, email or interaction should be recorded and kept in a central location. Not only will this help you fix the customers’ issues, it can help you build a one-on-one relationship with every customer.
The easiest way to document conversations with note taking is to find a digital solution that enables access to notes for every team member. When you find the right solution, you’ll never worry about having the wrong information – or asking customers to repeat themselves – again.
2. Find a good balance in the conversation. There are a variety of bad customer service calls, but two stand out that can really put customers off, and chances are you’ve experienced one of these scenarios as a customer. Sometimes you call a company and get somebody on the other end who just won’t take your problem seriously. They keep changing the subject or cracking jokes, and the call just seems to go on forever.
On the other hand, there are super-serious, no-nonsense customer service agents who are strictly business to the point of rudeness. With this type of bad customer service experience, if you veer off track, the agent humorlessly guides you back to the current issue.
Try to find a balance for your own customer service conversations. You don’t want to come off as a clown, but you also don’t want to respond coldly when someone calls or emails – remember that this is still a people business. A good mix of the two approaches can endear you to even the most irritated customer, especially when you use charm to disarm them.
3. Proactively address customers’ problems. An understanding and proactive attitude works particularly well if you have a customer who either contacts you frequently or simply has recurring problems. Rather than waiting for them to call again, see what you can learn from their past conversations about what may be causing so many issues.
Often these little issues can point to a bigger problem. For example, if the customer calls up with a random bug they’ve experienced with your software, they may actually be having a larger computer issue.
By helping them fix the bigger problem (which may not even be part of your job), you’ve just ensured they’ll keep coming back to your company as a customer. You’ve made them feel more like a member of the family, which is a great way to retain customers for the long term.
Every business that deals with customers is a people business, even if the product is software or cloud services. To be successful, you’ll need to not only resolve customer issues quickly but to make customers feel that you take their concerns seriously and treat them as individuals rather than a ticket number. By following these three tips, you can personalize the customer experience – and achieve more success.