The Power of a Personal Touch

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Have you experienced another person noticing something unique about you? Perhaps someone you do not even know made a comment, however brief, about a color you wore or your smile. In an insanely busy day of hassles and stumbles, did someone pick up something you unknowingly left trailing behind stating, “I think you dropped this.” Personal. Considerate. Service.

Think back to the feelings created in those unexpected moments. Can you recall feelings of being cared for, special, even a bit de-stressed or lighter in mood and step? Small, human gestures create positive emotions, connect us to others, and demonstrate the power of personal touch.

The worth of customer service

In the realm of customer service, personal touch factors reap benefits for consumers and businesses alike. According to Harris Interactive in 2010, nearly nine out of ten U.S. consumers report that they would pay more to ensure a superior customer experience. This statistic speaks boldly to the value customers place on service.

The cry for customer service

Genesys Global Survey reported in 2009 that the most requested improvement from customers was “Better Human Service.” Human? Other studies indicate the cry for live agents, efficient problem resolutions and customers feeling as if they are being treated well. Live person-to-person interaction which addresses the customer by name providing the relationship-building, powerful, personal touch fills a need in the marketplace.

The cost of customer service

In 2011, the Harris Report found that 86 percent of consumers quit doing business with a company because of a bad customer experience – just one bad experience. In “Understanding Customers,” Ruby Newell-Legner states that 12 positive experiences are required to overcome one unresolved negative experience. Generating these experiences requires resources and manpower. Also, 59 percent of Americans would try a new brand or company for a better service experience, even a promised one, according to the American Express Survey in 2011.

Be on guard. Eighty percent of companies say they deliver “superior” customer service. Unfortunately, eight percent of customers believe the same about the same companies (according to Lee Resources). Brutally assessing a company’s personal touch and making improvements reaps benefits. According to the Genesys Global Survey, competent service representatives and personalization create happy customer experiences. Knowledgeable. Personal. Service. Kate Zabriskie sums it up well saying, “Although your customers won’t love you if you give bad service, your competitors will.”