Of everything a business-to-business (B2B) company must be great at in order to grow, delivering personalized customer support at scale needs to be a priority. You know this. But, knowing something and doing something to make it happen are two different things. Making customer support personalized, then continually improving upon the experience is what truly shows your customers that they are a top priority for you.
To get started elevating your personalized customer support experience (or improve upon what you’re already doing), here are four areas to focus on:
1. Step Up Your Game with Technology
There’s so much new technology available, especially in the world of customer support. Because of this, the way that we use digital systems has changed drastically in the past decade. Business-to-consumer (B2C) brands have taught their customers to expect quick issue resolutions through apps and social media outreach. B2B customers are coming to expect the same timeframes. If they can’t do that with you, they’ll go elsewhere.
According to Forbes, financial start-up Kabbage used technology to approve small business loans in seven minutes. Compare this turnaround with the average bank that takes 20 days to do the same thing. Think about what your company, using technology, can give your customers that they can’t get anywhere else. Instantly you become irreplaceable. Even better, integrations between technologies such as your customer support software and your customer relationship management (CRM) solution can create faster and more accurate responses.
2. You Have Data. Use It.
Given the role Big Data now plays in every aspect of our lives, it’s a small (online) world after all. Putting your customer data to work is now easier—and more important—than ever.
Chances are that you’ve collected enormous amounts of data on your customers. You may even have a designated data specialist on your team that can leverage data like American Express does. According to that same Forbes article, their Merchant Services team uses data to look for customer trends, preferences, and demographics.
They then leverage that information to target specific groups of new customers with strategic initiatives. So, let’s say you came out with an upgraded version of a product you already sell. You can reach out to your customers that already have the first version, and maybe it will align with their replenishment or update cycles. Or, you can use messaging on the updated product to break into a different market segment.
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3) Draw A Map
Before you consider purchasing software or analyzing any data, it’s a good idea to map out your customer support experience in stages from acquisition through end-of-life. This may look like a cousin to the sales funnel, so ask your sales team for guidance. Define your customer support personas, and what their concerns are at each stage of the journey. Find that contrarian in the office (you know you have one) and run your map by them when you’re done. They’ll find all the problems and point out your opportunities.
This map will help you identify every point at which you could potentially reach out to the client, or personalize their experience when they reach out to you.
4) Cater to Your Customers by Being Predictive
Now that you have your map, you can think about how to support your customers every step of the way. One tactic to do this is by being smarter with conversations and not always waiting for the customer to make the first move.
Predictive support, powered by artificial intelligence solutions, accomplishes this and offers a wealth of opportunities for personalization. It also gives your company a reason to interact with your customers after the sale in a more meaningful way than simply pitching the next upgrade. Personalize sending proactive maintenance reminders, user suggestions, and even tips on extending the value of their products. These are all easy to do and make a huge impact on customers.
To summarize, Blake Morgan (author of More is More) says it best: “Staying on top of customer needs can help companies continue to refine the customer experience to stand out from the competition.” That’s exactly why personalization matters, because it’s that extra element to truly make the customer experience stand out.
Neha Tandon is a writer for TechnologyAdvice.com.. She has a Masters of Arts degree in Journalism from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School. With a background in marketing, public relations, and advertising, her true passion is for business journalism.