Personalized customer service is often the most effective approach. Customers like to feel heard, understood, and catered to when paying for products and services. But with the rise of automation, there is a clear disconnect. The gap between personalization and automation seems to be too wide to mend without losing on either end. If your customer service costs rise too much, is personalization worth it? If your customers are feeling neglected or unsatisfied with the support you provide, will you lose them quicker?
Here are our top five ways to make automated customer service more personal than ever before, so you don’t have to miss out on efficiency or creating the best experience.
Personally Vouch For Your Brand
When considering a purchase, your prospective new customers may be weary of trusting your business. Despite great product reviews and a competitive price point, there is the nagging question of “Is it worth it if I have to return it?” This common objection can quickly be overcome with an automated email or pop-up on your site offering free return shipping. Today, product support software is built to facilitate this at the click of a button – integrating with all major carriers such as FedEx, UPS, and USPS.
As soon as a return is initiated, a return label can be generated and emailed to your customer. You can even customize these emails to include a special offer toward future purchases or a quick survey to assess the reason for the return more closely. By leveraging automation for this, you don’t even need to get involved in the returns process anymore, making it easier for everyone involved.
Preemptively Address Customer Service Inquiries
Setting up a personalized online customer portal with FAQ’s, easy links, tracking, and more can really make customers feel at ease when making a purchase or return. This type of preemptive customer service tool can give your customers the information they need to avoid common customer service issues they may face with other businesses. This is a great way to reduce call volumes and improve customer service simultaneously.
The faster their problems are resolved, the more positive the customer experience is. Staying on top of product defects and failure trends is also important. You can use your RMA software to set-up automated emails notifying customers of a recurring product issue related to a recent purchase. This level of customer service will surely demonstrate your care for each customer and your belief in selling top-quality products. If that does not make them want to purchase from you again and again, not much else will.
Get Customers More Involved
When your customers make a purchase or even wish to return an item they’ve recently purchased, they should be aware of the process. With the proper systems in place, you can easily help your customers navigate and understand each stage of your customer service process. Sending custom, personalized emails with tracking numbers, exclusive discounts, and suggested related items for purchase will improve customer service and sales.
This level of transparency is valuable, going beyond standard personalization. It shows your customers that you appreciate them. It makes the shopping process stress-free and even more enjoyable in many instances. Your customers may even share their discount code with a friend if they don’t need anything else but love the brand.
Reward Loyal Customers Regularly
Best-in-breed product support software makes reporting easy, helping you to identify trends and improve various business processes. Instead of using this data defensively, try using it to offer customers rewards for their loyalty. Generate a report of purchases made in over ninety days ago and offer a discount to those customers. If any customer makes more than three purchases in a 12-month timeframe, offer them a coupon or free item. Develop a great referral program for loyal customers to send their network your way!
When you reward customer loyalty, you’ll not only capture ongoing interest but also see spikes in sales. Upselling an existing customer or their friends or family members is a much easier and cheaper sale than finding new customers on your own. Integrating social media sharing into these programs is even better. Adding a share button to new purchase emails will help customers share their great experience and purchase with their network. This is free advertising and great for building brand awareness.
Use Analytics to Keep Customers Informed
Analyze your data to find your most popular customer service or product-related issues. This can identify and help you stay ahead of your most common customer issues. You can then use this information to fix current products and update your customer service portal to reflect these issues. Flagging customers with repeat issues can help reduce long-term problems as well.
Great customer service isn’t just about timely responses and good tracking. You can also use automation to send emails to customers about new product releases. Offering them a pre-order or exclusive first-look at new products makes them feel special and helps you sell more. Even just sending a periodic email asking how they like their recent purchase of if they need help is a great way to keep them engaged and happy long-term.
In this growing marketplace of formidable competition, you need a way to stand out. Automated customer service with a personal touch may just be what you need to set your business apart and retain customers longer.
SupportSync has all of the tools mentioned above and more built into our software for easy product and returns management. Try it free today at supportsync.com!