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Tinou Bao, Flickr (CC license)

Small business personalisation for big business customer service is where it’s at, writes Wynand Smit, CEO of INOVO

Remember the little shop on the corner where the owner knew your name, your family and what you liked to buy? Those mom-and-pop stores have been largely squeezed out of business by mega malls that offer a wide selection of goods for competitive prices under one roof, but it’s far harder to build relationships with the customer service teams that come and go with their shifts. Go beyond the retail experience, however, and it’s possible for big business to adopt that corner shop personalisation in customer service.

Customer Experience 101

At the local hardware store or town butcher, you’d be seen looking through the window, you’d walk in, look around at a few products, get help from the owner or assistants and make your purchase. If they didn’t have what you wanted, they’d commit to making sure you could get it. They’d have your phone number, and you’d get a call to ask you to collect it – perhaps they’d even deliver it by bicycle to your house: seamless service across multiple touchpoints.

In Customer Experience (CX), every single touchpoint your customer has within an interaction is an opportunity. While they are browsing your online store, for example, you can learn more about their interests and preferences, and through regular feedback you can gain a better understanding of their contact choices (chat, email, voice or online) as well as the best times to contact them via your contact centre or service department. It’s not about how fast you can get them in and out of an interaction, but the quality of the interaction, and whether the query was resolved efficiently at the first point of contact.

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