This is the second article in a three-part series dealing with the importance of personalisation in customer service. The first article started with a focus on the importance of customer retention and the increased importance of personalised customer service for customer retention. In this article, we briefly look at how the impact of technology on customer expectation and this interaction is shaping personalised customer service.
Customers have been influenced by online shopping and communications for a few years now yet the Covid pandemic has accelerated customers searching and shopping for the products and services they need online. The obvious implication is that those businesses with limited digital exposure are probably experiencing customer losses.
Technology has increased the variety of channels of communication that businesses have with their customers. These include, websites, online stores, apps, social media, chat, email. Customers are using all these online channels to communicate with businesses and their expectation is that they receive the same kind of attention, level of service, offers and recommendations, across all the channels, including in-store.
When used well technology allows a more efficient means of collecting, collating storing, retrieving, and analysing data related to customers. The modern customer is more tech-savvy and more discerning and they expect businesses to have and to use this data. The expectation of the customer is to receive personalised attention and service in the shortest time possible. When they ask for advice the expectation is that it is useful and in the context of previous conversations. Ultimately they want to receive a reliable service or product.
When a business builds this relationship with customers and gives more personalised attention to them, this engagement and building of trust enables many customers to share information about themselves more willingly. This increases the possibility of returning as a customer. It also increases the possibility of businesses to get referrals by word of mouth as there is an increased chance of talking about their experiences.
It is understandable that smaller businesses might feel at a disadvantage compared to larger firms when it comes to managing the various customer communication channels. Having said this, however, it is good to note that nowadays there are solutions also available and accessible for smaller businesses to help with technologically providing personalised customer service. CRM systems can link to the various digital and social media channels that customers use. In addition they have the capability of collecting data, organising it, recording customer interactions and events from phone systems, email, chats, social media etc… These tools can give businesses great power through customer information and intelligence enabling them to increase retention.
In our next article we will delve deeper into some elements where digital tools can give businesses a greater edge in personalised customer service.