The solution is simple: create a company culture emphasizing the customer and a personal touch. “Sure, that’s easy to say. But how exactly do you do it?”
Let’s start with the basics. Businesses have to stop thinking of themselves as a business. That word itself has a kind of cold indifference attached to it. But it doesn’t have to. Because businesses are made up of people. People with feelings and emotions and the ability to make everything they do personal, and therefore emotionally connect with customers.
In the previous blog post, we introduced the idea of using names, so let’s look at this in more detail – we’ve got some cracking examples of how to apply it even on a micro scale too.
Personalization boils down to fostering a person-to-person relationship with your customers. This means treating customers not as “customers,” but as people with wants, needs, hopes, and **desires**. Treat them like individuals and make them feel valued.
Think about any time you’ve spent on a call with a company. You listen to pre-recorded prompts that go on forever, and often don’t have the number you need to press. You then get put on hold for what feels like hours on end listening to often ghastly music, and why because you are waiting, waiting to speak with a person. Because it’s a living breathing person who is going to help you, not an email or chat, but a person, your customer through this very action is asking for that personal touch, so give it to them!
So what’s the first step in a strategy that prioritizes giving customers the best experience possible? Easy: Use your customer’s names.
But how does a business go about learning their customer’s names?
It’s a bit impudent (and inefficient, not to mention ridiculous) to station a member of your team anywhere with a clipboard to jot down customer’s names. Although sometimes these ridiculous things are not so ridiculous.
Of course, in most circumstances that never happens. What we do see however is cafes writing their customer’s names on cups, and doctor’s offices that station sign-in sheets to gather who’s waiting. Websites asking for names and contact details before you can access further information.
That’s fine. It works for the hustle-and-bustle service industry. But it’s a bit of a cumbersome means. Is there another way to go about addressing customers by name?
There is a whole myriad of ways to capture customer names and making it personal. When booking tickets etc we always ask for the customer name, make sure you print their name on the ticket. Then when they hand it in, you can say welcome John, rather than welcome sir. Imagine a train conductor doing that, actually a welcome would be a good start wouldn’t it. What do we currently get, “Tickets please” punch, and a thank you if we are lucky.
Train seats rather than say reserved how about this seat is reserved for Penny Jackson.
Theatre tickets, rather than just your seats this way, how about, “Good evening Colin, welcome to Newcastle Theatre Royal, let me show you to your seat.” Doesn’t take a lot does it?
Effective CRM systems, where you can get really personal, you can even capture the name of their dog.
Or a call management system, where it’s not a number that pops up on the screen it’s your customers name and a little bit about them. Hi Stuart, how are you today, how was the holiday?
It’s not rocket science any of this stuff, its little things that can cost little that make a big difference. Even your mobile phone, when a customer calls rather than have the company name flash up why not put a note from the last call. Holiday New York Sept.
A professional speaker might add the date and location of the next event for a client to their name so when they answer the phone they know the basic information (and can look a lot more on the ball).
Making things personal and emotionally connecting to customers is a fundamental shift from delivering customer service “what’s expected” and customer experience emotionally connected!