12162017

6 Quick Tricks to Personalize Your Online Customer Service

Photo credit: mama_mia/Shutterstock

Though the internet era has made it easier to communicate with your audience, customers increasingly prefer a personalized experience. Here are some tips for giving personalized service.

The internet era has come with a lot of changes to how we do business. Every part of business has been affected, from how we sell to how to interact with customers. Customer service is an area that’s changed drastically over the last two decades. However, there’s still a lot of room to grow in one particular area of online customer service: personalization.

Does customer service personalization matter?

While the internet may have brought a lot of convenience and independence to users and companies alike, consumers are still seeking a personalized experience. Whether their interactions take place online or not, personalization plays a large role in gaining and retaining customers. A 2017 report from Monetate found that a staggering 97 percent of consumers reported their purchase being influenced by an online experience with a brand.  

More importantly, personalization can turn into higher revenues for your company. Forrester Research’s 2015 study showed that 77 percent of online consumers are willing to pay more for and recommend brands that have a personalized customer experience. If more than three-quarters of the online consumer base thinks personalization is so important, you need to acknowledge it as well.

Tips for creating personalization online

Because you’re not interacting in person, you’ll need to work a bit harder to make sure you’re giving your customers personalized attention. Here are a few tips on what you can do.

1. Be responsive.

No one likes talking to a wall, be it physical or on social media. When customers post to brands’ social media pages complaining or complimenting, they may want a response without realistically expecting it. A personal response from your company shows you’re listening to your customers and that you care about what they have to say, even if it’s negative.

2. Create proactive profiles.

Collecting data about your customers means nothing if you don’t use it. Anticipate things your customers may care about or need based on the data you have. Addressing relevant potential concerns before they even look for them can be a great way to win people over.

3. Focus on quality over quantity.

The quality of your interactions with customers will make a more lasting impact than the number of customers you interact with. If your online customer service is all about getting through as many communications as possible while on the clock, you’re doing it wrong. Instead, focus on understanding each customer’s needs and giving them a useful, practical solution.

4. Give out your name.

It sounds too simple, but it makes a big difference. Many companies make the mistake of using a department or role title when signing communications. Replacing that with the name of the person interacting with the customer helps it to feel more personal.

5. Remember customers.

If you have an online platform, such as an e-commerce shop or any site where users create accounts, track your customers’ previous moves and refer back to those when they’re relevant. For example, you may show them reading materials similar to what they read before or give promotional offers for products similar to previous purchases.

6. Segment interactions.

The days of generic email, text and social media blasts are over. Segment customers by different demographics like age, location or buying history and send them communications that are more targeted to them, instead of hoping that every customer will respond to the same type of mass communication effort.

Customer service may be a little easier to manage online, but if you want to do it well and give your customers a better experience, you need to focus on personalization. That little touch can go a long way toward helping you convert, retain and win back customers.

 

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