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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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Introduction

Personalisation in some way harkens back to earlier days, by making customer relationships more closely tailored to the individual, if we continue to take Amazon as an example, if you ever bought a book off Amazon, the next time you pay a visit – like a friendly desk clerk – greet you by your name, suggest you books in stock that they think will suit your taste and suggest books that are very similar to the one you purchased. Search portal sites, such as Yahoo, allows its site users to customize the page with selected news categories, local weather report and other features. Businesses - worldwide - supply their clientele with personalized customer services. Even small businesses, like single chain boutiques and beauty salons, run smoothly because they provide their clients with personalized customer services. (SearchSalesforce, 2018)

What is Personalised Customer Service

Personalized Customer Service, also known as one to one marketing, is tailoring provided services to an individual user's characteristics of preferences, to enhance customer service and increase sales. It is also called one to one marketing because the services have been customized to specifically please each individual customer. Personalization is an expedient of meeting customer's need more effectively and efficiently, making interactions faster and easier and, consequently, increasing customer satisfaction and the likelihood of repeat visits. Personalization is more than paying lip service to customer's preferences; rather it is adding value to a customer's choice.

Personalized Customer Service in Businesses

The reason personalized customer services appeal more is that of a phenomenon called ‘familiarity bias', which supports the theorem that preferences are made of habits, where habits are established in the familiarity of repeated choices. Product design demands a business to choose to sell a product that customers "prefer" as inferred from their previous choices or selling a product that adds value to the customer's choice. Decisions based on preference appear less risky than those based on "value," under the assumption that past behaviour is the best predictor of our future behaviour. Amazon's recommendations for similar products after you make a purchase is a great example. Looking into how all these businesses bestow personalized customer services, these six communal techniques were found to be the pillars of this customized experience.

1. Get to know your customer: Knowing and using your customers' names sounds simple. But, the gesture makes a serious impact once it involves building trust and relationships – There's a reason why corporations like Starbucks places most stress into knowing and vocation their customers by name. Research shows that major brain activation occurs when participants hear their own names being called. The experience is more memorable and customers feel valued. This is especially important knowing that 68% of customers will stop shopping at a business if they feel the business is indifferent towards them.

2. Understand repeat behaviors and react in real-time: Business analytics can outline recurring patterns in your customers' behavior. Are your customers asking a similar support question over and over? Do they struggle to use your mobile platform? Are they failing to fully adopt your product? All these trends are often evident in business analytics, enabling management to make decisions to better accompany customers. This is a transition from reactive to proactive client service; attempting to bring client pain points to light to weight and supply solutions before they even arise. For instance, by victimization location knowledge in time will enable you to recommend selections to your customers that best suit their scenario and save them the undue effort.

3. Give customer options and add value to customers' choices: If you're giving customers the chance to decide on the manner they move together with your business and your service, you need to make sure that all the options available to them are worth their while. Giving decisions to customers for the sake of paying pretence won't make them feel highly cared for. Choosing one possibility over the others ought to add worth to their expertise. Adding worth to a customer's selection suggests that considering the result of that selection. It would take lowering the hassle they need to expend to complete a task, reducing the time required to resolve their downside, or giving them the self-service tools to repair their issue on their own. No matter which channels you make accessible to your customers, you need to be able to guarantee similar consistency throughout. Information silos are the source of a productive omnichannel strategy. Picking one channel over another has no worth if the 2 channels don't complement and reinforce each other through the unification of client knowledge. The same is true of cross-platform customer service. It's crucial to cater to mobile customers on the go. But the latter shouldn't feel your mobile service belongs to an entirely completely different operation. Context is key to delivering personalized customer service. But just as important as the context is consistency.

4. Know your customers' history, collect and share customer data: When a customer contacts your business, their interlocutor should be on top of who they are, and have a good idea of why they're calling. Much like the patron in line at their favorite sandwich shop who is asked, "The usual?", your customers can appreciate not having to detail their data and past history whenever they contact you. 89% of respondents are most frustrated by having to repeat their issue to multiple representatives. Personalized client service strives to keep a record of exclusive rapport customers has with your business. Thankfully, technology is on your end during this case. No longer reserved for enterprise-sized businesses, CRM systems, help desks, and varied support channels are accessible to a greater number of businesses. This lets everybody afford the tools to form their client service more personal and economical. This information is available easily and can be collaboratively edited for the benefit of your whole team. This will save the agents' time and energy. In addition to this, your customers can fancy a lot of personal and dedicated service.

5. Be human: Have you ever talked to a customer service representative who you could tell was just reciting rote answers off a script? It can make you feel like they aren't really listening to you. Contrast that with a customer service representative who chats with you while they're working on your issue. Something as uncomplicated as asking a client how the weather is where they're or if they have fun plans for the weekend will help humanize the experience. Also, incorporating human traits in the conversation, like being friendly, giving advice and recommending other products according to a person's situation and history makes the individual feel special and heard. Many businesses do things to incorporate this, such as:

o Use the customer's name, and your own - Using the customer's name in voice communication can show that you're endowed in their scenario as an individual. They won't perceive themselves as another numbered ticket to be addressed and sent. Using your own name can make the client trust you a lot of, and give them the certainty that you are personally taking ownership of their predicament. Using names can foster a sense of commonness and mutual trust.

6. Implement a loyalty program. Recognize and reward loyal customers: Encourage customers to give feedback on both good and bad experiences, so you can improve procedures and customer satisfaction. Ninety-seven percent of consumers are more likely to be loyal to a company that implements their feedback. Consider rewarding customers for feedback that leads to changes, and give them credit for it on social media, your website and in a thank, you note with a small gift certificate.

Advantages of Personalised Customer Service

1. Increases Conversions – When a reader receives a tailored message, your message has more resonance, the message means something to the reader; a resonate message has higher chances than a generic message to increase conversions.

2. Fewer Email Yields More Customers – Before personalization, companies sent a generic mail to all its customers, over and over again until a needed revenue level was hit. Today, email is focused on relevance, a company is much more likely to spur an action when they personalize the topic, timing, and content of an email to a reader's profile.

3. Builds a passionate audience – Everyone loves something, and when you love something, you are very specific about what exactly you love about that thing. So, tailoring each customer's experience by providing them with personalized customer service with the knowledge of what they love, speaks to the customer directly.

4. Improves Lead Nurturing - Lead nurturing is fueled by content. When you can personalize content to each person's interests and behavior, your marketing will make a stronger connection and convert more leads into marketing qualified leads (MQLs), and sales qualified leads (SQLs).

5. Improves sales calls - The information you use to personalize content all comes from somewhere in your database ... and your sales team would love to get their hands on that so they can personalize their sales calls.

6. Welcomes newcomers - Content personalization isn't just a benefit for nurturing -- it can also help you welcome newcomers to your audience, too.

7. Personalized Customer Service is based on enabling you to get the right information, to the right people, at the right time -- whether that information is email content, a new offer, or an interesting blog post. Generic customer service makes people feel assaulted; personalized customer service marketing makes them feel understood.

Disadvantages of Personalised Customer Service

1. Privacy Invasion - The main consumer concern with personalized advertising is the real or perceived invasion of privacy. Personalized advertising is based on advanced software tracking programs that enable third-party ad platforms to get to know you based on web behavior from your Internet Protocol, or IP address. While you get more targeted ads when the advertiser knows more about you, many consumers feel uneasy when considering the abilities of software to track their personal traits and online behavior.

2. Costs - From an advertiser's perspective, personalized advertising is typically more expensive than other types of online advertising that is less targeted. The increased costs are generally based on a combination of enhanced benefits of more targeted audiences as well as the need of the ad server to cover the expense of using behavior-monitoring software.

3. Confusion - A major disadvantage of personalized advertising is general confusion about what it is, how it works, what tools are ideal and how to balance benefits with privacy concerns.

Discussion

In the beginning, personalized customer service may generate an extra cost to hire more employees to maintain the independent customers and may make the company more complex to manage. However, according to the circle of success, as the company gets used to the personalized customer service, the hidden cost will decrease and create more loyal customers to the company. But since this is a small company, it may not be able to hire as many full-time employees and to reduce the hidden cost, the company can outsource the employees for personalized customer service. Personalized marketing is a good starting point, but ultimately personalization is more than a marketing challenge. For incumbents to defend—and expand—share, they need to reimagine their business with an individualized value proposition at the core, merging physical and digital experiences to deepen their customer connections. They need to put brand individualization at the forefront of their strategic agenda to influence everything that they do, including marketing, operations, merchandising, and product development.

Conclusion

Personalization drives impulse purchases: Forty-nine percent of customers bought items they did not intend to buy due to a personalized recommendation from the brand they were doing business with.

Personalization leads to fewer returns: Only 5% of impulse purchases (mentioned above) were returned, and 85 percent of impulse buyers were happy with what they bought.

Personalization leads to loyalty: This is the “Holy Grail” of personalization. Forty-four percent of consumers say they will likely repeat after a personalized shopping experience.

Brands that create personalized experiences by integrating advanced digital technologies and proprietary data for customers are seeing revenue increase by 6% to 10% - two to three times faster than those that don't. Over the next five years in three sectors alone—retail, health care, and financial services—personalization will push a revenue shift of some $800 billion to the 15% of companies that get it right. This is the big win for the company willing to make an effort to personalize the customer's experience. Forty percent of U.S. consumers say they have purchased something more expensive than they planned to because of personalized service. But personalization isn't all rainbows, plenty of companies are taking great measures and are paying a fortune for their customers to stay. Many companies are making significant investments in personalization: half of the survey respondents have more than 25 employees dedicated to personalization programs and are spending more than $5 million a year on personalization campaigns. Brand individualization is about the future, but it's taking place in the present; companies that are slow to act will see customer loyalty and sales decline.

Writer's Reference

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• Customer Experience & Cloud Call Center | Aircall Blog. (2018). Personalized Customer Service: How to Deliver and Drive Loyalty. [online] Available at: https://aircall.io/blog/personalized-customer-service/ [Accessed 17 Nov. 2018].

• Americanexpress.com. (2018). :locale/business/trends-and-insights/articles/:id. [online] Available at: https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/8-ways-you-can-provide-more-personalized-customer-service/ [Accessed 17 Nov. 2018].

• Fivestars Insights. (2018). Personalized Customer Service is Powerful! Here are 9 Ways to Offer It | Fivestars Insights. [online] Available at: https://blog.fivestars.com/the-value-of-personalized-service-and-how-to-offer-it/ [Accessed 17 Nov. 2018].

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• Cdn2.hubspot.net. (2018). [online] Available at: https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/482191/Onestop%20Research/BCG-Profiting-from-Personalization-May-2017_tcm9-154625.pdf [Accessed 17 Nov. 2018].

• Warc.com. (2018). Personalization to push $800bn revenue shift | WARC. [online] Available at: https://www.warc.com/NewsAndOpinion/news/Personalization_to_push_800bn_revenue_shift/bf87a0e9-c241-4d5e-946e-d972e05235f9 [Accessed 17 Nov. 2018].

• Phocuswire.com. (2018). Personalization drives profits, but too few get the message | PhocusWire. [online] Available at: https://www.phocuswire.com/Personalization-drives-profits-but-too-few-get-the-message [Accessed 17 Nov. 2018].

• Hyken, S. (2018). Personalized Customer Experience Increases Revenue And Loyalty. [online] Forbes. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/shephyken/2017/10/29/personalized-customer-experience-increases-revenue-and-loyalty/#20c015914bd6 [Accessed 17 Nov. 2018].

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• Wainwright, C. (2018). 9 Undeniable Advantages of Using Personalized Content in Your Marketing. [online] Blog.hubspot.com. Available at: https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33971/9-undeniable-advantages-of-using-personalized-content-in-your-marketing.aspx [Accessed 17 Nov. 2018].

• Smallbusiness.chron.com. (2018). The Disadvantages of Personalized Advertising. [online] Available at: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/disadvantages-personalized-advertising-17362.html [Accessed 17 Nov. 2018].

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