Personalization In Automated Customer Service
⏱ Reading Time: 8 minutes
82% of companies agree that retention is cheaper than acquisition. Building better relationships with current customers, instead of focusing on closing new ones, is healthier for your ROI.
The bottom line is that customers are more likely to buy from brands they already know and trust. However, that doesn’t mean you can solely rely on customers to return to you. Any business with a good customer service team knows that customer retention takes work. This means building stronger links and increasing brand loyalty.
Automated customer service is one of the ways that this can be achieved. When used correctly, automation can help customer service teams create more enriching shopping experiences. And the best way to do it is through personalization.
What is Personalization?
Personalization is so much more than just automating your emails.
Personalization is the art of crafting shopping experiences that are unique to your individual customers. From recommending products that customers might be interested in, to rewarding customers with discounts on items they regularly purchase. The aim of personalization is to increase buyer shopping experience.
Picture 1. Personalization is a great way to boost customer experience
The Benefits of Personalization in Automated Customer Service
Puts Your Business Ahead of Competitors
The number of businesses using automated customer service is growing. However, the use of personalization isn’t.
Even if your competitors are using personalization you have the opportunity to go a step further. Personalizing the experience for your customers can prevent them from defecting to your competitors. After all, if they’re happy with the service you provide, why would they want to go anywhere else?
Makes You Get to Know Your Customers
70% of millennials are frustrated with brands sending them irrelevant marketing emails. They prefer personalized emails over batch and blast communication. Can’t blame them, right?
Knowing what your customers want and need can be tough to gauge. Personalization takes data such as what customers buy and how much they spend. Based on that it recommends products that are similar to their previous purchases.
This information can also be used to segment your customers. Consequently, you can create memorable customer experiences based on what your customers like and prefer.
Picture 2. How well do you know your customers?
Faster and Better Customer Service
Logistically, the larger your business grows, the more customers you have. So for medium and large businesses connecting with individual customers can be almost impossible.
Personalization can give businesses the ability to connect with their customers by making the customer feel valued. If you’re still not convinced, Instapage statistics say that 80% of shoppers are more likely to buy from a company that offers personalized experiences. Makes sense, right?
How You Can Use Personalization in Automated Customer Service
One of the most effective methods of personalization is offering customers product recommendations based on their previous purchases. In fact, Accenture found in their personalization survey that 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that provide relevant offers and recommendations.
There are so many businesses doing this already. Chances are pretty high that you have shopped with one of the most popular brands that do this: Amazon. Offering customers personalized recommendations allow you to showcase your other products. It is also one of the most effective ways of increasing your retention numbers.
Gather Feedback from Customers
Understanding what customers want and need is vital for businesses to grow. This information can supply businesses with the data they need to provide better customer service and experience. Personalization can help with this. 90% of consumers are willing to share their behavioral data if additional benefits are provided that make shopping cheaper or easier. This data may come from analytical information such as:
- What the customer bought
- How long it took from their point of landing on your website to the point of purchase.
- Which pages they visited.
The other way you can garner feedback from customers is via chatbots on your website. You can set these bots to trigger when a customer takes a certain action. For example, you could trigger the chatbot when the customer has completed their purchases and ask for feedback on their shopping experience.
Another way is by asking for feedback after the customer has used the chatbot to make an inquiry. This data can then be used to change the way customers experience your website. Especially if you implement personalized shopping tools. An example of this might be something as simple as adding a location setting if you ship internationally. In this way, the customer can set the country they are from, which will trigger the currency and language of the website to change.
Use the Power of Email
Many business owners are beginning to wonder whether an email is a dying medium for customer communication. But, we check our emails every day for multiple reasons, right? If you’re a subscriber to a business mailing list, chances are you will notice an email from that business.
Here’s the cold truth. If you think email is dead it’s most likely because your contacts aren’t engaging, opening, and reading your emails. Businesses should question what they aren’t doing to receive better results with their emails.
If you believe that you are doing everything you can then trying a new method such as personalization may help. Instead of sending a list of your new line products out to all of your contacts, you should send highly targeted emails including products that customers are more likely to be interested in purchasing.
Remember that stat from earlier? 70% of millennials are frustrated with brands sending them irrelevant marketing emails. Here’s the proof. According to Instapage personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates. Automated customer service is designed to take the guesswork out of what your customers want. With behavioral data and segmentation, email personalization can boost your customer retention rates.
Everyone likes to be rewarded for good behavior and your customers are no different. In fact, in their loyalty program report, Bond reported that around 70% of consumers prefer to shop with brands that offer customer rewards. How does this look in terms of personalization?
There are multiple ways you can use personalization in conjunction with rewards. For example, if you’re a skincare brand you might send all the customers that buy a specific moisturizer a coupon code for that product only as a thank you.
Another reward businesses can send to customers is a sample of their upcoming products. Keep in mind to target customers that like certain products. And send them new products that are similar, giving the customer product exclusivity. So if a customer likes a lavender night oil you sell, they might like the lavender night serum you’re about to sell.
Rewards make customers feel valued and encourage them to stay with your brand.
Personalization can be highly effective when successfully implemented. According to Smarter HQ, 63% of consumers stop purchasing products and services from companies that provide poorly executed personalization. While eMarketer says that 63% of marketers say data-driven personalization is the most difficult online tactic to execute. Whether or not these statistics are coincidental, they do show that personalization requires work.
Problems occur when businesses become too intrusive (e.g. recommending products that are sensitive) or recommend products that are not relevant to the customer. The reason that a lot of businesses have problems with it is that the key to personalization is balance. Hyper-personalisation can work, but there is a fine line. Sending your customers wild card recommendations is creative but risky.
Invest in the Right Tools
Automated customer service relies on having the right tools. The issue for most businesses is paying for services that don’t suit their needs. Whether your team uses a call center or largely relies on online channels, you need a software that can support it. With so many products on the market, it can be tough to filter out the correct software. A good place to start your research is a comparison site.
Comparison sites research and relay all the information you need to know in order to make an informed decision. So it’s a great place to start searching for a tool that can support all your automated customer service needs.
The Bottom Line
Many businesses have issues properly implementing an effective personalization strategy. Nevertheless, it can be a powerful tool when done correctly.
Evergage found in their 2018 personalization survey that the top five benefits of personalization include increased visitor engagement (55%), improved customer experience (55%), improved brand perception (39%), increased conversion rates (51%) and increased lead generation and customer acquisition (46%).
As an automated customer service tactic, personalization can bring a lot of benefits for a business. Some of them are the power to nurture more fulfilling customer experiences, a boost of your customers’ happiness, and an ROI increase. If you are ready to take your customer service approach to the next level, personalization is the answer.
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