Buying a decent product is now much easier than it used to be. Customers can reach dozens of similar offers and make a purchase within minutes.

How do you make your business stand out from the crowd?

There will be always someone who can undercut you or provide specific products a bit faster. You need to provide something that can’t be copied to remain competitive.

One of such things is a personal connection with the customer.

By making your customer service an added value to the products or services you sell, you can not only increase your bottom line but also acquire customers who will keep coming back for more.

Just look at Zappos and how they made amazing customer service an integral part of their offering. It almost reached the point where the amazing service overshadows their original purpose: selling shoes.

Want to have long-lasting relationships with your customers, know them by name and have them drop by your website to buy something time and time again? Read on to see what you can do to make that kind of relationships possible.

1. Making an Introduction

One of the easiest things you can change to make your service more personal is the way you call yourself in emails, tickets or chats with customers.

To make an impression, you want to use your real name, just as if you were introducing yourself to someone for the first time.

When customer service don’t use their names and simply introduce themselves as “Representatives” of a company, it’s hard to make a memorable moment out of it.

Make the first step by adding your real name to your email signature. In the same way, you can provide the real name in your tickets or when you are using live chat.

Make sure to include a photo too. You want to reach the state where your returning customers will want to contact a specific person instead of the whole company. They should want to contact that guy named Peter who was rocking a mohawk when selling them their last pair of Air Jordans.

2. Getting To Know Your Customers

If you don’t plan on using the same, scripted and boring answer for all customers (you don’t, trust me), you need to learn something about your customers.

You need a way to first gather and then store customer data. For example, if a customer bought that pair of Air Jordans from you in the past, you want to know about it and reference it in a conversation, asking how they are liking them.

You can use CRM solution like HubSpot, Salesforce or SugarCRM to do that. It allows you to create customer profiles that include the customer’s name (and it is important to address the customer by their name), previous transaction history and more. Whenever the customer comes back to your website, you can quickly know who it is by accessing these profiles.

Many customer service tools come with built-in customer monitoring capabilities. For example, when using LiveChat you can see where the customer is from or what is the current time in the customer’s area. If the customer used Facebook to log in to your chat, you also get to see their picture and can access their profile to learn a bit about their interests or preferences.

Just imagine how much you can do with that kind of data. You can surprise them by telling them how much it would take for the order to arrive to their location, even though they didn’t provide it. You could wish them a good night if the hour is late on their end. These may be little things but they make all the difference.

3. Using Personal Language

When using chat or email to contact customers, it’s easy to forget that we’re dealing with real people and not simply a computer interface.

Agents tend to fall into this overly formal tone and lose out on personal service possibilities.

A useful technique you can employ to avoid that is mirroring. Instead of sticking to one, pre-set style, you change your way of talking according to the style of the customer.

This way, a very formal customer won’t be offended because you used informal language, while more casual customers will enjoy a conversation where you use both casual language or even emoticons.

Make customers want to come back for more

With a few changes here and there, you can make personal service a competitive advantage for your company.

By changing the way your customers see you and the way you talk to them, you can make a lasting impression and make customers for life.

Don’t get left behind and make every customer service moment matter.

Jarrud van der Merwe

Jarrud van der Merwe