8 Ways to provide better, more personalized customer service
The term customer experience encapsulates the whole of a customer’s interaction with your business. It’s made up of your website’s landing pages, conversations with your agents over the phone, right up to the thank you email and receipt received after a purchase.
Every company wants to have good customer service, and one of the best ways to get there is by implementing actionable strategies that will lead to tangible improvements in customer experience over time.
Below you’ll find a list of eight such improvements. Feel free to pick and choose the ones that seem right for your business, or implement them all — we’ll leave it up to you.
#1 Use your name
People generally want to feel as though they’re making a genuine connection with whomever they might be talking to, even if that person is a sales agent. That’s why it’s so important for your agents to use their names when speaking with clients.
There are exceptions to this rule, of course — some people are in a hurry and don’t have time for small talk. Even in these situations, though, you should tell your agents to use their names.
The customer should never be made to feel like they’re just another number on some spreadsheet, and using your name in conversation can help accomplish that goal.
Bonus: frustrated customers are more likely to be courteous with your agents if they use their name in conversation.
#2 Don’t use templates
While the use of conversation templates has its merits in a training context, you should avoid having your well-established agents use them when speaking with customers.
Too often companies rely on these sorts of templates to guide customer service conversations in a certain direction only to see their agents struggle through awkward, forced small talk because a piece of paper told them it was necessary to spend X amount of time building rapport.
Your agents should be comfortable enough on the phone to ascertain the needs of their customers and shape the conversation in the most efficient way possible — without the use of a template.
#3 Put thought into your recorded messages
The great benefit of pre-recorded messages is that you can take your time with them — plan in detail the tone and tenor of what you will say (not to mention the words themselves!).
These messages are a place where a personal touch really shines through. Pick a staff member or hire a voice actor who sounds bright and enthusiastic, have your copywriting team draft a script that pops and record messages that’ll make your customers happy.
#4 Automated messages for holidays
Automatically sending out emails or text messages to your customers on holidays or birthdays doesn’t take much effort, but it can have a sizable impact on the perception of your company among clients. These sorts of messages let your customers know that you haven’t forgotten about them, especially those that come on their birthday. Everybody likes birthday wishes, regardless of where they come from.
If possible, you should consider including discounts or promotions in your holiday messages. Timed promotions during these periods often catch people in a good (and spendthrift) mood, when they’re more likely to consider upgrading from their current plan with your company.
#5 Send out thank you notes after sales
Expressions of gratitude are always a welcome gesture, especially when money has changed hands. For your business, sending out thank you notes after completed sales will let your customers know that you value the trust they’ve placed in you to deliver a quality product or service. With CloudTalk’s workflow automations, you can create a trigger that will automatically send out these thank you messages after a deal has been closed.
In addition to being a generally nice thing to do, thank you notes present an opportunity for your company to naturally establish ongoing contact with a customer. Once a customer receives a thank you note in their inbox, they won’t think twice about receiving materials from your next email outreach campaign.
#6 Make use of modern technology
Today’s CRM software programs let you automate almost anything, which is great for teams that need to nurture relationships with a large number of clients.
Team leaders at your company should develop strategies for consistent customer outreach that take advantage of modern automation tools. Phone calls, texts and emails can all be recorded or drafted ahead of time, and then sent out to your customers in bulk.
CloudTalk has a whole host of easy-to-implement integrations with the best CRM tools on the market. Take a look!
#7 Develop a plan and stick to it
If you want to accomplish anything of significance in business you need to first develop a plan. This is especially true when trying to improve customer service, because there are so many moving parts to the process. Customers can be fickle, so you need to come up with actionable steps that will keep them in your company’s fold.
Once you’ve developed your plan — perhaps using some of the methods discussed in this article — you should be vigilant in sticking to it. The success of your customer service improvement efforts will depend on your discipline in staying the course.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be open to receiving feedback. In fact, that’s a pretty important aspect of any improvement effort, as we’ll discuss below.
#8 Ask for feedback
Gathering feedback from both your agents and your customers is crucial.
Your agents are the ones who will be doing all of the groundwork — making all of the calls, sending out all of the written communications — so they’ll be able to tell you if and when they notice a bug in your program.
Your customers, meanwhile, are the ones whose opinion matters most in all of this. You can solicit feedback from them in a number of ways, both formal and informal. You could, for example, send out an email to all of your customers a couple months into your customer service improvement initiative asking them to rate their experience as customers overall.
You could also try and gauge your customers’ moods through social media interactions. The comments section of a social media post, for example, presents a fine opportunity to ask customers for their opinion on your company’s customer service.
The Bottom Line
We’ve just listed eight methods for improving your customer service and offering a more personalized experience for your customers, but the truth is there are an innumerable amount of ways to accomplish these sorts of goals. One of the most important first steps you can take, however, is giving yourself a good foundation for growth.
CloudTalk’s modern telephony solution puts many of the tools we’ve discussed in this article right at your fingertips. When you craft a call flow with CloudTalk’s IVR, you’re able to pre record those custom voice messages that will make your business shine.
CloudTalk’s easily-navigable interface makes it incredibly easy for your agents to schedule automatic emails for all of your clients. At nearly every turn, CloudTalk makes personalizing your company’s customer experience simple. See what we mean for yourself with our free 14-day trial. We’re confident you’ll be impressed.