Training staff to deliver personalised customer service

Personalised customer service means treating people like individuals. It implies not sticking rigidly to the rule book.

“That’s against company policy.”

This is hardly a phrase likely to inspireclient loyalty.

“It’s not something we usually offer, but I’m sure I can find something for you.”

That’s better.

Businesses are realising that what consumers are looking for from a company is not just an efficient response.  What keeps loyal clients returning is a personalised service. And customer service training must focus on how to deliver a differentiated, bespoke experience.

Building client profiles

The first priority is to equip staff with a customised database that enables them to easily input information. The system should allow them to maintain and update client records efficiently and speedily.

There’s nothing worse than addressing a person incorrectly, misspelling their name or sending documents to the wrong address. Accurate recording of essential details is the first step in forming a relationship with the client.

The next step is to build up the database to include more personal facts. Start to personalise the relationship. Find out an individual’s preferences; their likes and dislikes. This gives you a head start in offering them the products and services most likely to appeal to them.

Put facts to good use

Coach your staff in the art of engaging with the consumer in an open and friendly manner. Interactive customer training exercises are especially helpful. Act out various scenarios in the training room. This gives customer service representatives the opportunity to practise their skills in a safe environment.

What you’re training your staff to do is to utilise client data to propel a conversation forward. This is a skill that requires some practice as it’s crucial to avoid being overly familiar or sounding intrusive.

The tone you’re aiming for is one of courtesy and consideration. Greeting your buyer by name and giving them your own name is the start of the connection. It shows respect and establishes a direct contact between the two of you.

Follow this up with enquiries as to how you can be of assistance. Establish what the client is looking for and why they have come to you.

Identify new ways to help

Once you’ve established a rapport with your buyer, listen out for added facts they may disclose. This is not an excuse to be nosey. Instead, it’s an opportunity to find out how you can help them further.

A person may reveal a particular need or circumstance that requires extra attention. Well-trained customer service staff will take this as a chance to offer additional support to the client.

Customer service representatives should be trained and encouraged to look out for these potential occasions. The idea is to assist consumers outside of standard company routine or procedure.

It’s this type of out of the ordinary personal service that’s remembered and appreciated the most.

What do we all want?

We want to feel valued. When a personal interaction with a business provides us with that emotion we respond with loyalty. But a faceless corporation cannot do that. Only people can inspire any sentiment in us – good or bad.

When we talk to another individual we want to feel as though we have their complete attention. We’d like to feel as though that person genuinely respects us and cares about the outcome of the conversation.

If we have a one-to-one experience that leaves us feeling as though we’ve received special treatment, we remember it. An encounter that gives us the impression we were just one of the crowd is soon forgotten.