This is the first of a 3 series of articles that will focus on the increasing importance and evolution of personalised customer service.
This theme just keeps popping up in various industries and its importance is very often brushed aside. In the recent weeks we have had repeated interactions with various businesses who have approached us to discuss measures required to increase their sales. Delving deeper into these businesses exposed a common theme that was especially stronger in the smaller of these businesses. There was a clear lack of focus on customer retention which means that these businesses are missing out on reaping from the benefits of repeat business, upselling of services and products and cross-selling to loyal customers.
In trying to understand this further, a point that keeps emerging is that often, the drive of such businesses, especially those that are more B2C, is on new customer acquisition driven through advertising on various channels to attract customers, through special offers and discounts. Such an approach clearly has its benefits and can drive results however relying solely on such an acquisition approach can be more expensive and less efficient.
So, what is personalised customer service and why is it important?
Personalised customer service goes beyond satisfying customer needs, delivering a good product or service and in a timely manner.
Personalised customer service goes beyond satisfying customer needs, delivering a good product or service and in a timely manner. It refers to a genuine conviction by a business to design, as much as possible, its products, services and customer experience according to individual customer needs. It refers to a visible effort by the business to reach out to its customers and ensure that in all aspects of its interactions with the client, the business is easy to work with and the customer has a clear, smooth and seamless experience at all times.
Traditionally, in personalised customer service it was sufficient to know your customers by name and to greet them, perhaps to engage in small talk whilst delivering service. With increased online buying though, the relationship between businesses and customers has become increasingly technology-driven and, in the past years, personalised customer service has evolved into being able to anticipate, rather than react to, customer needs. A very well-known example of this is Amazon.com where the technology monitors all activity, likes, searches, purchases and comments enabling customers to then be targeted with products and related offers based on their activity.
In our next article we will examine how personalised customer service is evolving because of technology. In the third and final article we will look at how the less digitalised businesses, can still offer a more personalised customer experience.