Personalisation in customer service can generate great results. However, personalisation in telephone communications is becoming less frequent. Personalisation in digital communication is very common, with channels such as email and live chat being able to offer more personal greetings and targeted responses than the phone seems able to do. Undoubtedly, the level of personalisation a business is able to give has a big impact on customer service and perceptions of a brand.
Companies are now questioning if it is possible to personalise calls when dealing with large volumes of customers. Alternatively, can SMEs without the big budgets of corporations still deliver personalised calls without the expensive technology? Personalising all calls is possible and should be taken seriously if you want to achieve strong levels of customer service.
Whether big or small, it is more than likely that your business will use CRM software. Take advantage of your business’ CRM system when looking to personalise inbound calls. Contact centres should be integrated with their CRM allowing agents to access a customer’s relevant details. The CRM system is also vital in viewing customers’ engagement with your company. Have they recently made a purchase from you? Have they phoned several times in the last week with an ongoing issue? Having access to a customer’s history and record with a company will allow your agents to handle the call in the best manner. They will be knowledgeable of all historic and ongoing circumstances, preventing the customer from repeating themselves numerous times.
Your CRM is a great tool to profile customers and understand their behaviours and requirements. If all members of staff have access to the CRM, detailed records of each customer can be created. Agents can then personalise each call accordingly, delivering exceptional customer service.
Command Line Interface Recognition
Command line interface (CLI) is a clever bit of technology that can be assigned to each caller’s profile. CLI can monitor the source of the call and connect this with the caller history. It allows callers to be directed to an agent that they have spoken to previously if they are available. This is a great idea if possible. Instead of the caller having to repeat an issue several times or worry about miscommunication between agents, the customer is connected to an agent who they are familiar with and who is already aware of their current circumstances. Through personalising calls, a strong relationship between the agent and customer is created, resulting in high levels of caller satisfaction.
There are some suggestions of how CLI can even help stylise a greeting with customers. Categorising customers into certain profiles – with blue indicating a formal greeting style or green for a warm and empathetic greeting style depending on previous interactions. The difficult part with this however, is how to categorise new callers, plus it makes agent training that bit more complex.
Tracking Website Activity
There are technologies available that can track customers browsing on your company website. From this, it can determine when a call is made and what page they are on when they call. Agents can then greet the caller with a strong estimate of what the call will be regarding. Are they on your sales page for a product? Perhaps on a refunds page or a recruitment advert? Being prepared for the call and anticipating queries will help agents deliver personal customer service.
This may also help with target offers – personalising sales for customers makes them much more likely to buy, as well as showing that you are taking the time to understand what they want.
It is worth looking at companies that provide this service, like Call Tracks. Call Tracks offer a highly regarded call tracking and analytics solution with the capability to link phone calls to marketing spend.
This is perhaps the most important aspect of customer personalisation. The primary advantage of using the telephone is that the agent has the opportunity to show emotion with the customer and really build up a great rapport, something that is a lot harder to achieve through digital methods of communication. A simple act of personalising a call is tailoring your greeting, introducing yourself to the customer and in return greeting them by their name.
It is easy to tell when an agent is working off a script. A good idea is to provide agents with guideline prompts to work from, allowing the conversation to flow naturally and make the caller feel like they are talking to a person that is listening to and understanding their needs, not a robot. As one retail director says: “Shoppers are people and as such have a number of emotional needs. These include acknowledgement, appreciation, being cared about, being important, listened to, getting noticed and being valued. Personalisation recognises these emotional needs and differentiates your company from competitors that don’t provide such a great level of service.”
Automation is great and can do wonders for customer service – take a look here to see how. Tools such as an IVR, which can narrow down a customer’s enquiry or let them use self-service to find the answer they need, can greatly help the efficiency of their enquiry. Automation is also great to direct calls to agents best suited for the enquiry. Personalisation is all about focusing on the customer’s need and directing them to the solution as quickly as possible – which is exactly what automation can do.
However, too much automation can be a bad thing when it comes to personalisation. There are still people who would prefer to be transferred by someone who has listened to their need first and decided on the best person to deal with their enquiry. Excessive layers of IVR or flawed voice recognition technology is going to depersonalise the experience for a customer and leave them unsatisfied with your levels of customer service.
Personalisation for calls is definitely possible, even without large budgets. Measures such as greetings, IVRs, access to customer history and specialised skills are great ways to personalise customer interactions with your company. Personalisation can greatly increase your levels of customer service which in turn will create a great reputation for your brand. Through creating trust with your customers, sales and revenue are more likely to increase, helping your business grow.