Personalization in Customer Service Was Hard to Scale… Until Now
[Updated January 25, 2022]
Simplr’s Personal Connection Prompts feature is giving brands what call centers can’t… personal connection on a global scale.
When making a decision of whether or not to avail of the service or buy a product from a certain business again, one of the things that consumers take into consideration is their past experiences (including with its staff).
Customer experience – good or bad – has a huge impact on brand loyalty. A personalized approach can help a business increase its following and get ahead in the competition.
Personalizing your customer service empowers your customers and strengthens your business.
But what exactly is personalized customer service and why is it so important?
In simple terms, customer service personalization is providing assistance based on what a customer needs.
Whether you are an online retailer, a B2B company, or have a subscription business model, the probability of attracting more customers is higher if you offer a personal touch in customer relationship management.
Personal connections are at the heart of every great customer service interaction. We all know that wonderful feeling when a sales associate or customer service representative remembers your name, greets you with a genuine smile, recalls a previous challenge, or asks how our loved ones are doing.
That zap of connection instills trust and confidence in your brand and ensures that customers keep coming back for more.
In fact, we are more likely to recommend a business to our friends, colleagues, and others when we experience excellent and personalized assistance. It doesn’t matter if the service was extended via email, social media, instant messaging, or a telephone call. Existing data on sharing customer service experience shows that nearly 40% of consumers in the United States tell others whether they have good or bad customer experience with a business.
Call center agents of online shopping sites can attest that the probability of customers shopping again is high when they are given the right information about a product or a discount coupon and diligently assisted when placing their orders.
Technical support specialists are more likely to turn a frustrated customer into a happy client when they can provide a simple explanation about how a certain software, computer program, or mobile app works.
Personalization, if used well, is a win-win strategy for the business and its stakeholders. It promotes customer satisfaction, increases profit and sales, and creates more opportunities for the business. Customers are more than willing to extend their gratitude by spreading good words about the business.
But how can companies deliver that personal touch at scale? Where call centers have struggled with this in the past, Simplr is excelling, with Personal Connection Prompts.
What are Personal Connection Prompts?
Personal Connection Prompts is a new feature of the Simplr platform that gives Simplr Specialists the ability to be as personal and empathetic as your very best agents.
Simplr’s platform now proactively prompts Simplr Specialists directly within their workflow to easily respond to customers with statements that connect with customers personally based on detected and known customer data- including past purchase behavior, past interactions, life events (like birthdays, weddings, and holidays), world events, and detected personal interests.
Why is it important for customer service interactions to be personal?
Customer service interactions need to be personal for one main reason: the NOW Customer expects it.
If you care about what your customers care about, and want to treat them in a way that they expect, then you realize that personalization counts (and pays).
But maybe you just care about the bottom line (who doesn’t). If that’s the case, then you should know that personal and empathetic service experiences that are tailored to individual customers actually lead to higher loyalty, higher conversion rates, and increased wallet share.
- In Gladly’s 2021 Customer Expectations Report, they found that 84% of consumers go out of their way to spend more money with brands that deliver personalized customer service experiences.
What prevents traditional contact centers from being personal?
The truth is, only your very best agents today are delivering truly personal responses to customers that connect and drive loyalty. And even they are only doing it a small percentage of the time.
Part of the problem is too much focus on the marketing side of the business. Although sound marketing campaigns and effective advertising are crucial in raising brand awareness and attracting people to make purchases, it’s not enough to gain and retain customers. The implementation of a personalized marketing approach backed by effective marketing research can significantly help, but may still not be enough if customer service is lacking with a personalized approach.
The other reason why most in-house customer service teams and outsourced contact centers struggle to deliver and consistently scale personal interactions is that their technology and data make it challenging for an agent to know how to personalize a response in the moment, so they don’t.
Two things make this particularly challenging:
- Customer data lives across systems and is not easy for agents to easily access (if at all)
- The burden of actually knowing how to apply a personal connecting statement in a response is completely up to the agent, with no guidance within the technology they use
Because of this, agents generally have to go through a 3 step process to actually make a response personal:
- SEARCH: the agent has to make the choice to go out of their way to search for personal information on this customer (past purchases, where they’re from, etc.). Most won’t even take the time to start on this step.
- FIND: if they do choose to search, the burden is on the agent to not only understand what information is relevant for their response, but they have to navigate multiple tabs and systems to find it. It’s time consuming, and takes critical thinking, which is hard to train for, and most agents won’t do.
- APPLY: lastly, even if agents go out of their way to search and find relevant customer information, they need to know the right way to actually articulate this in their response, which leaves a lot of room for error.
How Simplr’s Personal Connection Prompts Make the Impossible, Possible
Simplr built Personal Connection Prompts in our platform for one reason: to enable all Simplr Specialists in our network to act like your best agents (and even better). Personal Connection Prompts make it very simple for our Specialists to connect with customers with personal statements, every time.
Here’s how it works: Simplr’s AI platform detects insights and uses known customer data to surface prompts and suggestions directly within our Specialists’ workflow so that everyone in our network can reply with personal statements in just one click, without the traditional manual effort and training.
How it Works:
- Simplr inputs a “personalization token” in a macro
- When a specialist selects a macro, they will be prompted with 2-3 statements for the specialist to use in their response based on known or detected customer data (based on data points below):
- Previous Purchases:
- By connecting to your backend and ecommerce system, Simplr knows which products the customer has recently purchased and when, and can intelligently prompt Specialists to include acknowledgement of their loyalty or previous purchases in their response.
- Previous Questions & Interactions:
- Based on a customer’s previous interactions with your brand, Simplr is able to prompt Specialists to reference the previous conversation, confirming that previous issues were resolved adequately.
- Personal Interests:
- Simplr analyzes the content of the customer’s interactions with you to detect potential interests, and prompt suggested responses based on their interests.
- Life Events:
- When a customer indicates or mentions a relevant life event, such as a birthday, anniversary, wedding, or holiday that they are celebrating, Simplr is able to prompt Specialists to include a connection statement in their response acknowledging or celebrating the event to build a stronger personal rapport.
- Relevant World Events:
- World events, especially localized ones such as weather related issues, sports team championships, and more largely affect a person’s day to day attitude. Simplr can now detect when a person is in an area where such a relevant event has occurred, and provide a prompt/suggestion to acknowledge the event to show empathy and connection with the local situation.
What is the value of Personal Connection Prompts for Simplr partners?
Personal Connection Prompts add yet another layer to Simplr’s technology that enables us to deliver a level of service quality that can’t be matched by a traditional contact center. By providing our Specialists with these in the moment prompts, our Specialists are applying personal, empathetic connecting statements 80% of the time, which has lead to:
- 12% improvement in CSAT vs. responses where prompts aren’t used
- 20% improvement in Conversion Rate vs. response where prompts aren’t used
- 18.5% improvement in Customer Effort Score vs. response where prompts aren’t used
Making Personal Connection Across All Platforms
Although a telephone call is still the top preference of customers when reaching out to businesses, other communication channels should not be neglected. The employment of customer service agents skilled in building rapport can help your organization in building a solid reputation and achieving success in your industry. Encourage them to take ownership of every case they handle, and offer rewards for outstanding performance. This way, they will be inspired to make customer happiness a priority.
Introduce a loyalty program and use your business website to engage customers. Provide a unique shopping experience to your shoppers by regularly conducting market research to know what they are looking for and understand what they want.
Lastly, utilize data analytics to decide on which areas of your business can be automated without sacrificing customer satisfaction.
Interested in learning more about how Simplr can help you scale personal high-quality interactions with all of your customers? Reach out today!