This week we continue with the second law of business growth, that is developing customer focus. If you have been following the conversation, you will appreciate that we emphasised on greater detail why customer focus is important.
The question that we are seeking to answer is, “how do you develop customer focus”. I shared the first principle last week. This week I want to touch on the second way of achieving customer focus, which is providing personalised and quality customer experience.
Personalised customer service perfection will not be attained accidentally, it requires intentionality. It also requires time and patience to work on.
Personalised and excellent customer service requires you to have a better understanding of your users, their habits, and their common issues. This presents you with an opportunity for you to work on your messaging and the overall customer service approach for your team.
Who does not want it?
This past decade, personalisation, and quality customer service have risen as some of the prominent areas for business success. In this digital era, everywhere you look, you are bound to see personalised content.
The ads that come on your social media, your recommended videos on YouTube, or Netflix or any of your preferred streaming platforms.
The emails that are coming are also being personalised. I receive several of these daily. There is a certain aura that it creates. The focus in all these is to tailor the communication or service to your interests.
Great customer service, on the hand, is so vital to customers, and they have developed a legitimate expectation every time they consume a product or a service from their supplier.
Customers are looking for you to solve their problems quickly and offer them help when they need it.
When these personalisation trends meet, you get the very peak of customer service. Treating each customer with respect, knowing their habits and history with your brand, and delivering them a good user experience where they feel valued.
You need to develop strategies as a business that will help you deliver personalised customer service to your customers, and make sure their needs are met.
The net effect of this is to help you build loyalty and trust, as good customer service strategies often do. How do you get to develop strategies for personalised customer service?
Let us share some few thoughts on how this can be done?
What is personalised customer service?
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “personalised” customer service. The usual thinking is that of chats, or calls when you get to be addressed on a first name basis.
I also do this, I save as many numbers as possible so that when someone calls me I can address them by name. I do the same as well when I respond to WhatsApp messages. But this is not enough, as personalised customer service goes beyond this.
Personalised customer service is about using the data you have gathered about your customers to provide them with a unique experience. Your customers names are an important aspect about this data.
This extends as well to their user history, demographics, purchasing habits, and several other factors.
Personalised customer service helps your customers to feel appreciated and valued. It also puts a human dimension to the business.
There is a research that has demonstrated that more than 80 percent of people are ready to pay more just to get a better customer experience.
This means people are not necessarily worried about price, people are always ready to pay for value.
Who does not want a great customer experience? Do not compete narrowly on price, go beyond and focus on delivering excellent personalised service for your customers.
Excellent customer service is a trend worth investing in. One research demonstrated that almost 90 percent of companies find that customer experience is the main field of competition in their business.
Deliberately invest in good customer service strategy. This is smart move for your business as this can guarantee your continued relevance in a highly competitive environment.
1. Use your customers’ names
There is power in the use of names. People like their names, especially if they are pronounced correctly. Have you ever noticed what happens if the other person on the line actually shares your name? You even soften up, and potentially enjoy the conversation.
Let us go back it time, when Coca Cola decided to personalise their bottles with people’s names. People started buying bottles that had their names and some even collecting them.
The campaign was a phenomenon.
The success for this campaign is explained in the fact that people like the idea of having a more personal connection with a brand. This does well if the brand is famous and adored by many people.
Using names makes people feel appreciated as a person, rather than just being seen as desperate person seeking service or products. In whatever that you do, avoid monotony.
2. Know their history
Let us make this more practical. My mother is on medical aid with one of these local brands. The company may even be reading this article. She is not based in Harare, but when she is in Harare, when she falls sick she visits the clinic for this medical service provider.
She came back with one complaint, every time she goes there is a new person seeing her, and this person seems not to know anything about the last meeting she had with the other doctor.
The records are not kept. How frustrating having to explain what happened in the last meeting when there can be system that shows what happened last time when the doctor saw a patient and then converse on whether or not there has been improvement in the patient.
Lack of this is seriously frustrating. The medical aid is trying to save on money but it can lose out the customer at the end of the day.
Not knowing your customer histories is one of the worst things you can do to your users. It can lose you a customer, leave your agents stressed, and significantly damage your reputation. Invest in a good software that can help you keep track of previous customer issues.
3. Send them personalised messages
My dentist sent me a message that I owed him a visit as I was due for my next session of dental cleaning.
It opened with my name on WhatsApp, and told me about the available slots that I can take advantage of. I was also advised about the team cares about my dental wellness.
This is important to me as a customer.
Personalised customer interactions can happen anywhere be it on social media, phone calls, and emails. Engage your customers from time to time to let them know how valuable they are to you and your brand.
Do not just look for them when you want their money.
People are interested in brands that actually care about them and not just profits. Try this on email by sending personalised emails.
I received a lot of messages from some companies that I have interacted with, and many of them took time to actually do a flier with a congratulatory message. This is really quite humbling.
Collect valuable information about your clients, and leverage it, and surprise your customers with messages so personal that they’re hard to ignore. Look at what Google does on your birthday if you have a Gmail account.
5. Reward loyal customers
Reward loyalty. There has to be an incentive somehow for being a loyal customer.
If a customer really likes your brand and buys your products regularly, imagine how they will feel if they learn that that love and loyalty is reciprocated.
Depending with your business model, you can track purchase habits and use customer histories to make these decisions. You can set a cap and decide that each customer that spends a certain amount of money per month or year gets a 30 percent discount or a free product for their next purchase.
This is just an example. Add to this, a personalised “thank you” message. By so doing you’ll have a satisfied, loyal customer that feels valued.
Arthur Marara is a corporate law attorney, keynote speaker, corporate and personal branding speaker commanding the stage with his delightful humour, raw energy, and wealth of life experiences.
He is a financial wellness expert and is passionate about addressing the issues of wellness, strategy and personal and professional development.
Arthur is the author of “Toys for Adults” a thought provoking book on entrepreneurship, and “No one is Coming” a book that seeks to equip leaders to take charge.
Send your feedback to [email protected] or Visit his website www.arthurmarara.com or contact him on WhatsApp: wa.me//263780055152 or call +263772467255.