Customer service can be kind of like a first date; screw it up badly enough, and you probably won’t get a second one. Not only that but in today’s world of Yelp reviews and (ugh) viral TikToks, if you piss off the wrong person, that one “date” can have some serious long-term repercussions. Excellent customer service is expected, and if you fall short, you (and the rest of the internet) are going to hear about it.
Now, we aren’t suggesting you need to bend to the whims and fancies of the entitled, perpetually unhappy, or fame-seeking nuisances who will always find something to bitch about. Nor are we saying you should approach customer service from a place of fear. Remember, your customers are your business's greatest asset; building and maintaining relationships should be a priority because you want to meet their needs, not because you’re afraid they’ll leave a nasty online review.
If you’re looking for ways to up your customer service game, consider personalizing it. Research shows that 78% of consumers are more likely to be repeat customers when brands or companies personalize their experience. And we all know repeat biz is King.
So how can you personalize customer service for your small business? Here are seven tips to get you started:
Get to Know Your Customers
The first step in personalizing customer service is to get to know your customers. Use social media, customer surveys, and other tools to gather information about their interests, preferences, and needs. This will help you tailor your interactions with them and provide more relevant and meaningful experiences.
Use Their Name
There’s nothing quite as personal as using someone’s name. This small gesture can make a big difference in how customers perceive your business. Ensure your employees address customers by name, whether in person, on the phone, or via email.
Remember Their Purchase History
If a customer has made a purchase from your business before, make sure you remember what they bought. Use this information to recommend related products or services, or to personalize future offers and promotions. This shows customers that you value their business and are paying attention to their needs.
Anticipate Their Needs
Anticipating your customers’ needs is a great way to personalize the customer experience. For example, if you run a restaurant, you could offer a customer their favorite drink before they even ask for it. This type of proactive service can make customers feel valued and appreciated.
Use Personalized Messaging
Personalized messaging is another effective way to personalize the customer experience. Use customer data to tailor your marketing messages, emails, and other communications to each customer’s interests and preferences. This will make them feel like you’re speaking directly to them, rather than sending generic messages to everyone.
Offer Personalized Support
If a customer has a question or problem, offer personalized support to help them resolve it. Rather than providing a generic response, take the time to understand their issue and provide a tailored solution. This shows customers that you’re invested in their success and are willing to go the extra mile to help them.
Follow Up After the Sale
Finally, make sure you follow up with customers after the sale. Send a thank you note or email, or even a small gift to show your appreciation for their business. This will help build loyalty and encourage customers to come back to your business in the future.
Personalizing customer service is an effective way to build stronger relationships with your customers, increase loyalty, and boost profits over the long term. By getting to know your customers, anticipating their needs, and using personalized messaging, you can create a genuinely memorable customer experience…and one less likely to go viral for the wrong reasons.