Personalized Customer Service enhances Customer Loyalty

True you have the ideal Customer Service model as an ‘umbrella’ service to serve all your loyal and prospective customers. However, the demanding customers want more. They want the customer service to be personalized, designed to meet what they ‘perceive’ as pertinent to their business, industry and individual likes. While this is demanding, it has far more positive and widespread implications than a ‘one size fits all’ kind of service. Customization or tailor made customer service will gain for you enhanced customer loyalty through elevated levels of customer satisfaction, trust and perception of quality. This customer loyalty would be a natural outcome since anything that is personalized makes one feel special, taken care of and wanted and your customers are no different.

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[img src=”×150.jpg” width=”” height=”” align=”right”] Personalized customer service is still not a stand-alone aspect and would be more effective when used in conjunction with your other promotion and marketing tools. Customers are now, more than before, aware of what they can and should expect making it increasingly difficult, for companies who continue to use traditional methods of customer service, to keep their head above the water. Companies that use innovation and personalization are the ones that are forging ahead and will continue to dominate going forward too. They are able to generate better customer satisfaction scores leading to enhance trust and loyalty from their customers. As word spreads, more prospective customers would come knocking providing the opportunity to the company to convert this in to business.

As a company, you would do well, to start this service customization with customers that currently are still with you but are not completely happy with your customer service. They continue to be with you either due to a long association or for want of a better competitor. This could be potentially dangerous since it won’t be long before a competitor does rise to the occasion and you will find yourself scrambling to save face and stop the customer from walking out the door. Through personalizing and creating value-added service for such a customer, it is sure to get the customer’s trust back to a desired level as the effects of your service will be clearly visible to them. As you manage to ‘conquer’ all the fears of some of the ‘lesser loyal ones’, you should also move on to customizing service for the happy and completely loyal ones too. Customizing your service to each of your customers, will get for you diligent propagators for your brand and company which is more powerful than any marketing tool you could employ and the value it adds to your company will be far superior than what you can do on your own.

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Put in to high gear your customer feedback mechanisms and the data collected from these surveys will help you as a company to decide upon how you would allocate your resources, which areas need more robustness and which areas shine and what you need to do in order to keep them shining. This information is invaluable to plug any gaps between what you as a company views as customization and what the customer actually wants. In addition, it is important to keep this circle – of service personalization, feedback and re-looking at your service – to secure a happy customer base and high levels customer loyalty. Companies need to however caution against getting stuck in a rut and it would be equally important to keep adding innovation, creative ideas and perceived added value to the for this circle to move along smoothly.

Companies need to look inwards and evaluate what has made them successful or not enough to even survive. Businesses now are not just about selling ideas or products to customers it is about making these interactions pleasant, engaging and able to withstand the pressures of competition or changing scenarios. Re-looking at ways to perfectly tailor the end product or service in a way that when it reaches the customer, all he or she needs to do is use it for the purpose intended. The value provided through such near perfect products and services is that you are providing a value for life and one that justifies all the effort put in by the customer in reaching out to you and understanding your product or service. The customer must feel good about using your brand and can clearly see that extra mile you walked in customizing it to fit his / her business.

Human error does play spoil sport on a number of occasions and that’s when the product or service fails to deliver in the way you intended it. An unfeigned and immediate apology will give you the chance to keep the communication open with your customer. The next step is immediate action aimed at resolving the complaint. Both these actions will go a long way in protecting your relationship with the customer and keeping him or her happy and loyal to your brand. As a display of your commitment, you could maybe hand deliver customized high-end stationery. The customer is sure to remember and cherish this gesture. However, please check before doing so as some companies consider it a conflict of interest to receive gifts from vendors. However, you decide to approach this service recovery, ensure that it is immediate, genuine and customized.

The information and data you gather from the customer surveys, will help you identify your most loyal customers. Create some kind of a reward program for such customers like a special ‘can be shared’ application they can download even on their phones and use it to remain updated with the current trends in their industry, updates on what your company is offering and also provide the customer service scores received by you. The customers remain connected with your company and will be appreciative of your efforts in keeping them engaged and loyal. It is going beyond great customer service to the high-powered customized customer loyalty programs, which will be the differentiation between good business to ‘through the roof’ profits.

Offering discounts or one-off freebies seems so redundant now. Customers want to see value even in the ‘extras’ you are ready to serve to them. As a company you want to do everything you can to keep all your customer relationships secure irrespective of the size of business you get from a particular customer. In fact, smaller customers, whose first point of attraction would be pricing, would be the ones to keep an eye on lest they slip away to your competitor due to the lower prices offered. Loyalty programs and reward programs must be carefully planned and seamlessly put into action for them to be successful and be viewed as valuable for the customer. The frequent-flyer points given by a number of airlines, is a fine example of a tangible and money’s worth experience. A friend told me of how a high-end chain of hotels would focus on the Executive Assistants of the senior management since they were the ones empowered to make booking decisions within company framework. They would provide great prices, upgrades and inclusions for the traveling executive and top it off with a complimentary one-night stay for two for the Assistant that gave them a certain amount of business. This stay would be at a location, date and property of the Assistant’s choice replete with the luxuries of a 5-Star. Their business from this particular company boomed and as word spread, they received business of even better and larger organizations. Certainly a fine example of personalized customer loyalty! By introducing these programs, you as a company are building almost impenetrable relationships that would leave your competitors running for cover and trying to replicate some of your tactics. The key however, is not in just the offerings but how you as a company have uniquely customized and placed before your customer. As you grow a robust and solid customer base, you will find it increasingly easier to meet the ever increasing customer demands and reach the optimum satisfaction levels within the realm of customized solutions for them.

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