The hospitality and service industry is in a period of transition as customer demographics, tastes and preferences evolve. Accelerated technological changes and an increasingly interconnected global marketplace has allowed consumer opinion, beliefs and desires to shift. Perfectly pressed uniforms, scripted responses and an immaculately kept environment are no longer among the most sought-after factors in providing customer service. Consumers today are looking to feel unique and connected. Personalized customer service is about coming alongside clients in order to provide an authentic and memorable experience.
Obtain & Utilize a Customer’s Name Frequently
Think about it, your name represents many of the deepest aspects to your individuality and identity. By consistently utilizing a person’s name, a deep level of respect, recognition and connection naturally develops between both parties. The use of an individual’s name throughout any context of communication – including in-person, over the phone and through email – is a sure way to provide personal recognition. Despite the ease of this concept, consistent use of an individual’s name throughout and beyond their involvement with the brand is arguably the number one missed opportunity in building a personalized connection with clientele.
Understand Your Audience
Those that are successful in providing personalized customer service have an exceptional understanding of their clientele. They spend time researching their career interests, hobbies, and background in order to offer a product that is intrinsically connected to a client’s system of values and beliefs. Recognizing and accommodating to your client’s needs prior to them ever having to ask is at the core of providing a personalized level of care.
Simplify and Streamline the Process
As a hospitality professional, it is your job to make the lives of your customers as simple and convenient as possible. Sometimes providing the highest level of personalized service is recognizing that a client does not want to deal with repetitive or monotonous tasks that do not directly add to the overall experience he/she is seeking. By actively streamlining the service process for a client, they will immediately feel important and cared for.
Never say “No” Without Offering a Solution
Simply denying a client’s request is not providing personalized care. While there may be situations in which you may not have the ability to accommodate to a certain request, personalized customer service is immediately offering up an alternative option. This shows that you authentically desire to develop the client’s overall experience. Offering an alternative solution is a great way to keep a positive mood established rather than initiate a negative attitude that can often last the remainder of the experience.
Perform the Unexpected
We all experience some level of customer service on a daily basis. We have grown accustomed to the language, environment and tone that is established in a service environment. However, customer service becomes blended amidst the hundreds of other organizations that provide the same surface level feeling. Organizations need to provide the unexpected; something extra-ordinary that a guest or client never forgets. However, it is the unexpected and genuine gesture that enhances a client’s overall experience. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company is one example of an organization that embodies this principle and inspires a culture of providing the extra-ordinary. As a result, the brand has earned its name as synonymous with luxury. This is not due to the material items provided, but because of their dedication to providing an unforgettable guest experience.
Be Accountable To Yourself
You cannot provide authentic personalized customer service without caring for yourself. In the hospitality and service industry, we often spend a great deal of time caring for others without acknowledging our own needs. The circumstances going on in your personal life bleeds into the service you provide clients. Acknowledging your need for self-care and relaxation can have tremendous benefits to the way you feel and act while interacting and providing personalized customer service to clientele.