The Best Customer Experience Tip: Think About Customers as Individuals

Let’s imagine for a minute.

You’re a new customer to XYZ Energy Company. After a particularly difficult month of expenses, you receive your first bill from XYZ and realize you don’t have enough in the bank to pay it. So you decide to contact XYZ to see if you can get a payment extension. You’re pleased to hear that they agree. But you’re even more pleased when, just a few days later, you receive this Hallmark card in the mail:

I really hope everything goes through for you. I know it was very hard to call in and ask for help with your billing. Remember, like I said, it will all work out. We appreciate you keeping us updated and allowing us to help you during this rough patch. Sending great thoughts your way! -- Karen, Customer Service Specialist at XYZ Energy Company

These are the kinds of messages that many utility companies are sending to their customers to improve customer experience. In fact, the message above is a real example of what a contact center representative sent to one of their customers. Other real messages include:

Wishing you a world of happiness. It was such a pleasure speaking with you today. Make sure you listen to that voice that says, “Slow it down, Karine.” Your call put a smile on my face today.

It was great speaking with you today about your bill. My family has a small office supply business my grandfather started almost 70 years ago, so I personally know the struggles involved with a small business. I wish you continued success with yours.

Pretty powerful, right? As a leader in customer experience, Hallmark is always looking for ways to better connect with our customers. But at the end of the day, nothing can connect to a fellow human being like another human being. Therein lies the magic moments that are at our disposal every day in our customer service centers.

Customer Service Is at a Disadvantage

Unfortunately, before a customer interaction begins, contact center employees often face a disadvantage. Enough poor service experiences with other companies have led consumers to a preconceived notion that the person on the other end of the interaction won’t care, can’t do anything, and will probably waste their time. So how do we create personal experiences that show our customers we don’t view them as a number? How do we show them we actually care? It’s simple: keep it personal.

4 Keys to Making Customer Experience Personal

Anytime we have an employee in direct contact with a customer, we have the opportunity to relate and empathize on an intimate level not available to our regular marketing campaigns. It’s an opportunity to give our customer service centers the power to be real—to be themselves, to really express and convey the empathy that customer experience gurus know is vital to a healthy brand reputation. In that way, we increase employee engagement in the customer service process, and that improves customer satisfaction. In our experience, we have found four key ways to make customer experience extremely personal—and it pays off:

  1. Create a personal experience to show your customers that they are not just a number.
  2. Keep in mind that there is often an emotional reason behind their outreach.
  3. Empower associates to tailor the customer experience in their own way.
  4. Think of each of your customers as core to your success.

A Deeper Dive into Personal Customer Experience

Number four is perhaps the most important lesson in customer experience: think of each of your customers as core to your success. Every single customer is truly irreplaceable. To learn more about this—and our point-of-view on what good customer experience is—read our co-authored article with customer service expert Micah Solomon, where we share our thoughts about treating customers as individuals and how to create meaningful, magic moments in the customer service process that lead to real business results like customer advocacy, improved customer service satisfaction, brand reputation and employee engagement.

Read The Power of Thinking About Customers as Individuals

For even more help with your customer experience, explore our Customer Care platform, where your employees can personalize and send Hallmark greeting cards with just a few clicks.  Ready to speak to one of our experts and get a demo?  Contact us here.

Last updated January 23, 2019.

1 thought on “The Best Customer Experience Tip: Think About Customers as Individuals”

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