There was once a famous saying “if you build it, he will come” from the movie ‘Field of Dreams’.
However, although it might have been the case in the movie, nevertheless it is not always the truth in real life scenario, especially when we are discussing customer service with the help of all-in-one easy to use CRM in the modern marketplace.
It is very convenient to seize upon a trend or attack on an alleged gap in customer service, be it chatbots, self-service options, or AI (Artificial Intelligence).A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well. - Jeff Bezos Click To Tweet
Moreover, your competitors might be offering customer service in a way your business does not, along with the ever-escalating pressure of rising customer expectations, which all combine to make it easy to jump in and build solution channels, and new engagements for your customers encountering problems.
But what can you do, even if you had done all the work to offer new customer service options and they are not being used despite the mountain of reasons that led you down this path?
What could be happening?
Is it possibly that this fall in your service is occurring because you failed to consider the personal angle while trying to offer your service to the customers?
What are Personas?
Personas appeared very first in the areas of product designing in the 1990s, which served as a more fictional representation of customers and prospects.
In fact, all personas have a defined “biography” that not only typifies their desires and goals but also represents their limitations and challenges. Those are traits which helped the development of offerings that would make the products and services interesting and useful to its users, ensuring greater success of selling the offerings to the consumers that match these personas.
Personas were created by examining the existing users of the products or services for their traits (appending data with surveys and interviews) and also by interacting with prospects when a new offering for a different target market got introduced for selling the offering.
The required qualities that were required for creating personas included skills, patterns, attitudes, environmental details of the existing customers and more.
At times fun fictional personal details (including names and pictures) were also added to the personas to make them more relatable.
How personas can affect customer service?
Using personas in customer service does not differ much from its use in sales or in product design. There just might be some extra details to add that are not captured from the product design perspectives, since the nuances of customer service can be slightly different.
For example, unlike factors that does not influence the creation of persons in product design like ‘languages’, traits like this are necessary for creation of personas to be used for providing enhanced customer service, and also in sales, since customers might be more adept in another language, and so if the service that is provided via chat, telephone or the knowledge base is not available in a language that is used by most of your customers in a specific demographic location, they will naturally struggle to resolve their issues, which will consequentially lead to lower customer satisfaction, leading to higher churn rate along with no positive referrals.
Similarly, access to and familiarity with technology can be another important factor while building personas for customer service. For example, someone from the “Boomer” generation might prefer to use and avail service over the telephone rather than visiting a website, whereas “Millennial(s)” or the “Generation Z” might expect availing service anytime and hence prefer mobile-optimized experience from their brands.
The key over here is to determine how the challenges and expectations of each personas impact which channel and methods are available in customer service.
Now, it is most likely that there will be common grounds in how traits of personas overlap and drive what type of customer service to offer. For example, although all customers might get along fine with telephone-based services, however, some customer personas might rank it higher than others.
The trick over here is to remain sure that when you are looking at the available service options through the eyes of each persona in your easy to use CRM , there should not be any lack of options that would make users to remain happy with your services.
Now, if your customer support personas are not carefully crafted, they can do as much harm as good for the reputation of your brand.
Therefore, here are three things that you must ensure while creating support personas with information stored about your customers in your CRM database.
Firstly, always remain extremely careful about stereotypes. Therefore, perform adequate research to determine the true attitude, behavioral patterns, environmental details, and skills of your customers before selecting their personas so that they can engage with your customer service team is a manner that makes them feel comfortable while finding answers for their pain-points and issues.
Secondly, always keep in your mind that personas do not remain static like other aspects of your business.
This is because, since personas represent humans, they evolve in slow progression over time.
Now, changes in your offerings and changes in the attitude of the customers both drive this, for which it is advised that you must periodically check-in on the real customers that the personas in your easy to use CRM represents, for updating their individual preferences, likings and skills.
Lastly, do not overdo, as it is best to have just two to three support personas created in your easy to use CRM that represent the bulk of your customers as a multitude of personas can easily create greater confusion lead to a fall in your customer support efforts.
Therefore, if you are finding despite what seems to you like a great service your customers are struggling to find answers to their issues, it can be possible that your service options are not matching the real expectations of your customers and hence you need to develop personas to look at your service from their perspective and find boost in customer retention and rapid business growth.