Being personal

Customer service is a person-to-person interaction.  Computers have a hard time resolving problems and that is why when we are faced by the dreaded robotic answer tree we get more upset.  People can respond immediately, not only because they are thinking about what we are saying but because they are able to pick up cues from our voice, our tone  and put it all together.

The more personalized your customer service is, the happier your customers will be. As Aileen Bennett discussed in her article “Customer service should be more personalized“on TheAdvertiser.com, a bit of personal attention can go a long way.  Bennett says the following:

It’s amazing how these days a little bit of customer service that seems personal rather than corporate can really stand out. I understand that policies need to be put in place, and as companies get larger, they are even more important. But there must be a way to still let people be themselves — to use their personality.

I don’t want to feel as though I’m a generic customer, a number or a statistic. I want more, and I notice when I get it.

On the subject of personalization and customer service, many companies think the answer is social media. While social media certainly allows for more immediate response, it may not be the cure-all many think it is. Bridget Carey writing in the Miami Herald says:

Our weekly column strives to help the business community practice good online etiquette and use social media effectively. But when you just hear about good business examples from Twitter, it can give a false impression that Twitter alone can save your sales numbers.

The truth is, balance between real world and online solutions is key.

In effect, what Carey is arguing is that although Twitter can help, having people to handle customers directly can be more helpful in the long run.

Customer service IS about people. No sense forgetting that.

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