Personalisation is the key to an exceptional customer experience

We all know that happy customers are an important ingredient in the recipe for a successful business. Enviable customer service has been proven to lead to improved customer retention, loyalty and of course revenue. There’s something to be said for the standout employee who is always receiving high praise, but consistency is key and should be reflected across the board no matter who handles your call.

So how do you ensure that all your customers leave a call feeling like they’ve just spoken to your best employee?

The ‘Six Pillars’ of customer experience excellence, discussed in a recent report are;

  • Personalisation

  • Integrity

  • Time and effort

  • Expectations

  • Resolution

  • Empathy

All of these factors combined create one unique ‘story’ for a specific customer relating to their experiences with your company. The key is personalisation, it might seem like a small factor but wishing a customer a Happy Birthday if they call around that time and you have that information or providing your own recommendations about a product or service that your company offers makes a customer feel you’ve gone the extra mile.

There’s nothing worse than having to repeatedly call a company for the same reason only to find that none of the previous conversations you’ve had with other agents are recorded in any way. Is there a way that your agents can record and access this information?

  • Know your customer

  • What did they purchase or what are they interested in based on past interaction?

  • Know why this customer may be contacting you

  • Know what the customer may want based on previous interactions

All of this information can be used by your agent to better interpret or assist with the customer’s needs, create a better B2C relationship, help shape future interactions with the customer for other agents, increase the likelihood that your customer will leave the call feeling positive about the level of personalisation and thus be more likely to recommend you.

Like it or not we’re all suckers for a compliment, make your customers feel special, respected, that their time is like gold dust and you are a heaven-sent customer service angel ready to wow them with your professional, yet approachable nature. It’s human nature to feel just a little self-obsessed from time to time so why shouldn’t we indulge ourselves with a bit of flattery every now and again?

KMPG Nunwood found in their report that personalisation had “the most significant impact on advocacy and loyalty.”

The report looks at how as business you will likely have looked at metrics and targeted customers based on their individual behaviour yet when we put ourselves into the customer’s shoes this changes your whole strategy, your focus should be on how your agents and company respond to your customer’s needs as this is a crucial element in developing and improving their experience.

How can you include personalisation in your customer service?

  • Friendly and warm greetings

  • Use of the customer’s name

  • Know your customer’s history

  • Patience and empathy with the customer

  • Personalising and recommending products and services

  • Listen to your customer and ask questions

If you’re ready to start making customers feel that their relationship with your company is one worth maintaining, then you need to ensure that there’s consistency, this means putting in the time and effort! If you’re not quite sure where to start why not speak to us about how we can help improve your customer experience, we know our stuff!

Are you investing enough in your customer service?

It might be time to take a leaf out of the big gun’s book, after earlier in the week Vodafone pledged to invest £2 Billion into their customer service over the next two years. OK, so maybe it’s not feasible for your company to do this on the same scale but it’s time to think about how you look after your customers and those you employ to carry out that role.

In Vodafone’s case, the refreshed outlook on customer service follows a damning report by Ofcom in 2016, highlighting issues with the company’s billing system and the way they handed customer’s complaints. The company previously routed a substantial amount of its calls to centres based in South Africa and India, increasing customers’ frustrations but since the report they have looked at re-shoring their contact centres.

Vodafone are increasing their in-shore call centre roles, with 2,100 new jobs in locations around the UK including areas of Wales, the Midlands and Scotland as well as almost half the new roles being allocated to the company’s Manchester call centre.

Mobile network EE was supposedly the first operator to bring their calls back to the UK in 2014 after previously using off-shore call centres. Other giants are following suit, with EE’s parent company BT also choosing to reduce outsourced call centre roles and bring these back to the UK and Ireland, hiring around 1500 new call centre employees.

With this in mind, why is it so important to a customer that the support they speak to someone UK based? A survey carried out by Which? found that call centres, in particular those not based in the UK were the nation’s biggest pet peeve in 2015. This all boils down to customer service, a dislike of automated phone systems, being passed around from person to person and likely feeling that your call isn’t as important if it’s been directed to the other side of the world.

“Overseas call centres soon sparked a consumer backlash spurred on by difficulties associated with language barriers and the concern that jobs were being taken away from the UK.”

The cost of operating a call centre overseas is comparably cheaper to employing UK based contact centre operators, it seems some companies are prepared to save money at whatever cost, even if this means reduced customer satisfaction. Yet as we’ve discussed, the importance of customer satisfaction is being recognised and having UK based staff to deal with customer queries and support is almost a marketing tool now!

A 2016 consumer survey found that:

86% of customers would pay up to 25% more for better customer service

Are you focusing enough on training agents to handle calls?

Could your customers be better directed through your automated system?

Are you investing enough in your customer service?

If you’re unsure about any of those questions then it’s time to see how IVR-Recordings can help!