You know how important it is to deliver personalized customer experiences. It makes clients feel understood and that their needs will be met. Personalization is an absolute if your business wants to keep customer relationships alive. However, it’s tough to pull off as you grow.
Rapid growth can make it difficult for the team to align company resources with client expectations. Even if you’re not scaling at a runaway pace, it’s challenging to meet the demands of an expanding customer base. You may not be able to hire enough people fast enough or know what tech-driven resources you need. While customizing customer experiences can be tricky for all types of brands, we’ll explore some proven ways to do it.
Automate What You Can
Personalization is about making clients feel like they’re interacting with someone who gets them. You’re their trusted ally who knows what they like, what they don’t, and why they’re looking to you for solutions. As a small business, keeping track of customers’ names, purchase histories, and preferences might be easier. If you’re small enough, all this data could be already in your head.
But as you scale, you can’t rely on memory and spreadsheets. You need more robust technology, including automated tools, to leverage customer data. Automation lets you deliver a personal touch with everything from online invoicing to email marketing.
Tools streamline and sync client information so your team doesn’t have to sort through it all. For example, you can send a customized estimate to a new lead. If they like what they see, they can instantly convert it into an invoice and pay. You’ll get a notification once they approve so you’re able to schedule the job more quickly. Tools like this also track purchase histories, giving customers and companies on-demand access to pertinent data.
Know the Communication Channels Your Clients Use
It’s an understatement to say customers want instant answers. They may not realize their contact person is juggling hundreds of clients simultaneously. Frankly, they don’t care. They’re focused on getting the answers they need as soon as possible.
Customer experience statistics reveal that 39% of consumers are less patient today than they were before the pandemic. And 52% of customers expect an answer within one hour after posting a question on a company’s online channels. These channels could be social media pages, websites, or email.
Knowing how your customers prefer to communicate ensures you have the correct support channels set up. It also helps you customize the customer care experience according to clients’ expectations. For instance, online self-help options and chatbots can provide instant answers to simple, frequent questions. Tying in account data customizes self-serve interfaces and chatbot interactions. However, diversifying your channels for various segments is just as important — you should be reaching customers where they want to be reached.
Train Your People
Technology can work wonders as you scale. But as your team expands, so do the possibilities of service inconsistencies. Despite how the job may appear from the outside, there’s nothing “basic” about client support. You’re handling different communication styles, personalities, and circumstances all at once.
Part of delivering personalized service is establishing rapport. Yet your employees may only have minutes to do it. Some situations may start out tense and call for de-escalation or service recovery skills. Inconsistent information, approaches, and understanding levels among the team won’t help. If anything, they will frustrate both sides even more.
Too often, training gets put on the back burner when companies scale rapidly. If remote and hybrid teams are part of your growth plan, these employees may feel unsupported. Making internal resources available in the form of standard operating procedures and video examples is a start. But they’re usually not enough to upskill and set service-level expectations. Holding live role-playing sessions where employees can listen to pointers, ask questions, and hear what not to say are more effective.
Analyze What Your Customers Say Before Acting On It
What would you think if you told a company what you didn’t like about its customer service and nothing changed? You’d probably get the impression your feedback didn’t matter. You might believe the business is more interested in taking your dollar than providing a good experience.
For customers, personalization involves taking their input seriously. They want to feel heard and see evidence a company values what they say. Still, making every client feel listened to can seem impossible as you get more of them. Also, it’s a challenge to know what feedback to address and prioritize when it conflicts.
For instance, if you survey your customers, some people might tell you they understand their bills perfectly. Others say the statements are confusing and list charges they weren’t expecting. So, do you overhaul your billing statements, or do you avoid fixing something that many respondents tell you isn’t broken? As you grow, the key is to analyze and segment the data. Run tests to see what changes work best with different segments before implementing them on a larger scale.
Personalizing the Customer Experience as You Grow
Managing growth isn’t an easy job. Doing it well requires a strategy. The way you deliver your customers’ experiences also requires a plan. It’s not something you can make up on the fly as your customer base expands.
Getting bigger means you’ll face new challenges determining clients’ preferences, but it can be done. Knowing how to leverage data and connect with customers forms the foundation of personalized experiences. It’s simply a question of mastering these areas with scalable tools and techniques.
Laila Azzahra is a professional writer and blogger that loves to write about technology, business, entertainment, science, and health.