Personalised service goes a long way towards building an emotional connection - since customers are people with needs, they want to be acknowledged, feel valued, know that someone is listening to them and most of all, be recognised as an individual. Personalised service is a really powerful way to show your company cares and, ultimately, build a lasting relationship.
In fact, aiming for personalisation can improve customer service by prompting front line staff to use names, ask questions and engage quickly to pick up on personal details like favourite hobbies, lifestyle, family life and other insights which can be drawn upon to make a follow up connection using a personalised gift that recognises individuality.
With a quick and easy-to-use platform, agents can creatively reach out to customers who have called with a query, experienced problems or been part of a memorable transaction. The idea? To help the positive feeling last longer than the length of a phone call, or a brief in-store interaction.
Once the basics are in place, sending a personalised gift can be the key to establishing and maintaining customer loyalty. The basics - qualified staff, efficient service, consistent problem solving - create a service environment where a certain amount of the emotional connection is already made.
Following already great service, sending a personalised gift so delights the customer as to secure their repeat custom and promote brand advocacy, positive word of mouth reviews to friends, family and shared praise on social networks.
A personalised gift is not a mug with a name on it. Personalised gifts are flexible, relevant and thoughtful items which reference customer interactions, include a sincere message and are signed off by an appropriate staff member - ideally the one the customer dealt with - to create a memorable moment driven by surprise and delight.
Staff empowerment is incredibly important; ask them to combine insight with emotional intelligence to pick up on their customers' life moments, thereby showing sensitivity and making meaningful connections on behalf of your brand.
The best example is an Act of Random Kindness, or ARK, which is a unique gift selected specifically for the customer by the staff member they spoke with, who has also written an accompanying, personal message. It's inspired by a life event, a shared story or a passing comment, and it shows the customer that your company listens to, and remembers, the things that are important to them.
Gifts from a fixed catalogue also afford the personalisation that creates a memorable spark - empower staff to send a pre-approved gift with a message in writing, or invite customers to log in to a personal account, create a profile and choose their own gifts. People love to be offered a choice.
Though a personalised gift strengthens customer relations as part of an ARK scheme, service recovery or a drive to improve retention, the influence of a personalised gift is best applied companywide, as a consistent solution that improves customer relationships at every opportunity.
The aim is to create a connection with everyone who uses the service and build personalisation permanently into service standards. Where your company is privy to personal information, why not use it effectively? Wish happy birthday, say congratulations on a wedding day or welcome customers to their new home.
Thoughtful, truly personalised gestures are still rare, and this is part of their appeal.
A personalised gift - significant in its selection or timing, and of a high perceived value - hints at time, money and effort dedicated to the customer, which makes them feel truly valued. A gift also presents the customer with more than they expect, leading to true delight, and can show an element of fun, creativity and imagination which makes your company seem more human than ever, creating a lasting connection.
It's a myth that personalisation is exclusively a tool for small businesses - a personal interaction can be offered by any company, and does not have to be time consuming. Simply Thank You provide quick fill forms and staff- or customer-facing websites to make sending a personalised, brand-wrapped gift simple.
Start empowering staff today to reach customers on a personal level, and watch customer loyalty boom.