“Personal Customer Service” is a relatively simple concept, used in broad applications and proven to be extremely valuable. Most customers would agree that when dealing with a company, having a live person on the other side of the conversation is preferred. Automated menus and attendants have the ability to report information quickly, but the general consensus is that live personal customer service is the preferred alternative.
Most would agree that a happy customer buys more, and more often. Companies that offer a more personal approach to standard business dealings have a greater connection to their customer base. The simple use of a name as opposed to a generic title can go a long way. Dale Carnegie is quoted with saying “A person’s name is to him or her is the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” When names are used in conversation, the connection can transition from customer and representative, to a pair of individuals working to resolve an issue or for a common goal.
Another personal customer service approach would be to learn about a customer. This works in two ways. One is learning about a customer’s history and experiences with your company. A simple thank you for being a customer for a certain time can show that the company is paying attention to them as an individual and appreciates they have chosen to do business with that company. The second way is to learn more about a customer outside of the business interaction. While many customers contact a company with a certain end result in mind, a brief conversation regarding their hobbies or family can leave the customer with a much more positive feeling about their interaction.
Live personal service is about letting a customer know they’re doing business with an individual who cares, not just a company. Many companies delegate their phone lines to an automated system where it is a challenge to get to a human being on the line. The word of mouth generated by a positive customer experience is worth the costs associated with staffing a live customer service team. Most companies depend on a customer’s reliance and loyalty to their product. When the products themselves are only marginally different, the decision comes down to the level of personal customer service provided.