Customer service is a key piece of a brand’s relationship with consumers— it can entice unsure buyers to make their first purchase or encourage one-time buyers to become repeat customers. And like every interaction between a customer and a brand, customer service is more effective when it’s tailored to each customer.
In the context of customer service, personalization means that the customer service rep has access to information about the customer’s history with the brand and adjusts their service accordingly. That means knowing what they’ve purchased, what problems they might have had, and what sorts of products or offers might appeal to them.
Years ago people might have been put off if a customer service rep knew details about them, but now it’s expected. A customer might reasonably think, Well, if I’m letting them have that information about me then it’s their responsibility to use it to make my experience smoother. The good news for the brands is that when they make customer experiences better, customers want to come back.
CDP + CRM = Happy Customers
Customer Data Platforms (CDP) and Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) share the goal of improving customer experience. Combining a CDP with a CRM gives customer service reps access to all the relevant information about a given customer. Attributes like value tier, lifecycle status, and number of purchases made give the customer service rep the insight they need to treat each customer like the unique individual that they are.
On the other hand, without a CDP feeding the CRM, customer service reps have to toggle between multiple systems to get information about the customer they’re helping. Not only does this make things take longer, but pulling from separate systems that aren’t necessarily talking to one another puts the customer service rep at the risk of working from outdated or contradictory information.
Regularly feeding a CRM from a single reliable source of customer data makes it so that when reps are serving customers they have fresh information that’s accurate and ready to go.
“Everything we do revolves around improving our runners’ experience, and that means leveraging customer data in every interaction. At a technical level, that means having our CDP and CRM systems work in lockstep. When a runner contacts us with a question or an issue, the additional customer data now available enables the Brooks team to serve them even faster.”
Using Customer Data for Customer Service
For best results, a CDP will populate a CRM with both historical data and predictive attributes. Historical data gives the customer service rep a complete and up-to-date picture of the relationship between the customer and the brand, including last order, info on shipping and tracking, loyalty status, satisfaction survey results, and purchasing preferences. Predictive attributes include lifetime value, churn likelihood, product recommendations, and next best actions.
With this information at their fingertips, customer service reps can adjust their approach based on who they are helping and what the situation calls for:
Levels of treatment and types of resolution can vary for high value customers. This might include offering special perks like free shipping for a next purchase, not requesting verification in the case of a quality issue, or replacing an order with no questions asked.
One Time Buyers
Reps can increase purchase frequency through tailored service like coupon codes and flexible return policies.
Customers at risk of lapsing need extra measures to keep them around. This could be in the form of a discount if an order was delayed, free shipping, or just providing an overall more personalized experience.
Understanding a customer’s predicted product preferences allows reps to make custom recommendations for cross-selling opportunities or future purchases.
Setting up the customer service operation with a foundation of organized, accurate, and accessible customer data makes it possible to personalize every service interaction. That way, reps can provide the right kind of service that keeps customers happy and leads to great outcomes for the business. Top-notch customer service that speaks to the specific situation of each customer can make all the difference in turning customers into superfans of your brand.