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The Importance of Personalization in Customer Service

In today’s digital age, where customers are bombarded with countless messages and offers, personalization stands out as a beacon of genuine customer service. As Dan Jak, a Customer Experience Expert, aptly puts it, “Personalization is not about first or last names. It’s about relevant content.” Personalizing the customer interaction experience is not just a trend; it’s a necessity. Here’s why:

Creating Personal Interactions

The foundation of any lasting relationship is trust. Trust is built over time through consistent, positive interactions that make individuals feel valued and understood. Research has shown that our brain reacts differently when we hear our own name. Think about the last time an acquaintance remembered your name or when a server at your favorite restaurant recognized you and suggested your preferred dish. Such experiences leave a lasting impression and foster loyalty.

For instance, the iService platform emphasizes the importance of leveraging data to provide more personal interactions, even at an enterprise scale. By leveraging data to understand customer preferences and behavior, companies can provide tailored recommendations and personalized experiences that foster loyalty and increase customer satisfaction.

The Evolution of Personalized Service

Consumers are increasingly comfortable with companies collecting their personal data, provided it enhances their customer experience. They appreciate custom communications sent via various channels, from email to messaging apps. Personalized service means tailoring experiences to individual needs and preferences, which often results in increased brand loyalty.

According to a Gartner 2022 Customer Service and Support Priorities Poll, the top goals were Growing the Business and Improving Operational Excellence. In 2023, those objectives were still the top two choices with Operational Excellence taking the top spot, However, Gartner points out that data is a critical component to achieving either of those goals.

 

Understanding customers’ needs and expectations for the service experience is integral to improving loyalty and creating customer value. To achieve your 2023 goals, you should focus on collecting actionable customer data across channels through a robust voice of customer program to improve your customer experience strategy. ~ Gartner
~ Gartner

Why Customers Expect Personalization

Customers expect personalized service because it makes them feel valued and understood. Despite concerns about data breaches, customers are more willing to share their data if it leads to a personalized experience with a better outcome. The expectation for personalized service has grown, with 76% of consumers expecting tailored experiences, such as engagement over their preferred contact method and product recommendations based on their history. Customers don’t want to be spammed, but they do seek and accept well-timed, appropriate messages.

Benefits of Personalized Customer Service

Customer data analytics is a powerful tool that can help businesses track customer preferences, account history, and interactions across service channels. By analyzing customer data and previous interactions, companies can provide tailored recommendations and personalized experiences that foster loyalty and increase customer satisfaction. Personalization often makes customers feel more valued, which inspires greater brand loyalty.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further emphasized the need for personalized customer service, with consumers expecting tailored ecommerce experiences. By leveraging customer data analytics, businesses can respond to customer inquiries and resolve issues swiftly, which can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. Data analytics are needed to identify trends and patterns in customer behavior, which can help you make better business decisions and improve your products and services.

How to Provide Personalized Customer Service

To strike the right balance in personalization, you need to:

  • Use data responsibly, balancing technology with human considerations.
  • Deliver a context-rich, omnichannel support experience, ensuring seamless service across channels.

For instance, Walgreens has enhanced its omnichannel customer experience with personalization, reminding online customers to repurchase items and notifying in-store customers about prescription availability via their app.

So, how do you get all this data? Your operational processes and interactions with customers provide opportunities to learn about preferences, but you can also augment your data using a third-party. Consider this example using a Zapier integration with iService forms. Zapier can be a game-changer when it comes to gathering additional details about prospects who submit an iService contact form. Here’s a brief overview of how it works:

iService Form Submission Trigger: Once a prospect submits an iService contact form, Zapier can be set up to trigger a specific workflow or “Zap”.

Data Integration: Zapier integrates seamlessly with various data augmentation services. Based on the information provided in the contact form, Zapier can pull in additional data from other platforms. This could include social media profiles, company information, or any other relevant data that can help in personalizing the prospect’s profile.

Data Augmentation: By connecting to services that offer data enrichment, iService can augment the information from the contact form. For instance, if a prospect provides just an email, Zapier can fetch their full name, job title, or even their LinkedIn profile, depending on the integrations used.

Personalization: With the enhanced data, you can tailor your communication to be more personalized and relevant to the prospect. This can significantly improve engagement rates and foster a more meaningful connection with the prospect. You can also use that data to customize your outbound iService email campaigns using criteria based on these data points.

Streamlined Workflow: The entire process is automated, ensuring that the sales or marketing team has a richer set of data without any manual intervention. This not only saves time but also ensures that no potential lead is missed or overlooked. As more prospects fill out the contact form, the iService can continuously learn and improve, offering even more refined data over time.

Get Started

Personalization in customer service is not just a strategy; it’s an approach that puts the customer at the center of every interaction. By understanding and leveraging data, businesses can create memorable experiences that foster trust, loyalty, and long-term relationships. It takes time to build a solid data analytics strategy and build knowledge about your customers and prospects. So, the sooner you start, the sooner you will reap the rewards.