Today, customers aren’t just looking for a great product or service. Instead, they want an authentic experience; one that is unique to the company and goes beyond what they may receive from an otherwise faceless, bland chain or monolith in an industry.
This kind of authenticity means injecting what you have to offer with a local flavor or vibe. You need to create a sense of uniqueness and even intimacy, ideally using personalized touches that create a semi-customized customer service experience for each and every person who interacts with your business.
Often, the concept of local authenticity is most highly associated with certain service-oriented sectors, like hotels and restaurants. However, it can actually be applied to any business in any industry when the right techniques are used.
Creating Authenticity Through Your Values
Most companies have values statements that highlight characteristics they deem important to their operation. While these touchstones vary from one business to the next, the statements often impact customer expectations and employee actions.
By aligning your customer service experience with your core values, you can create something that is uniquely your company. The approach supports authenticity by ensuring you back up your written values with your actions, creating a stronger connection between what you state as your priorities and what customers experience.
When there is a disconnect between the customer experience and the tenants your company says it follows, customers will automatically question your authenticity. For instance, if you tout that you value each of your customers, but don’t make an effort to address them by name or adjust their experience according to their needs, you may come off as inauthentic.
Offering a Personal Touch
You can augment the sense of local authenticity through personal touches as well. Often, this involves viewing each customer as an individual and adjusting their experience to cater to their needs and preferences.
Relying solely on rigid scripts to address customer issues can be detrimental. This approach doesn’t take various aspects of the customer into consideration, particularly their level of personal understanding of the subject, product, or service.
For example, if your product or service is technical in nature, not adjusting the conversation based on the customer’s level of tech-savviness can have repercussions. Those with a high amount of technical knowledge may believe that the customer service representative is being condescending if they don’t adjust their approach to respect the customer’s degree of understanding. In contrast, those without any technical expertise may feel that the representative isn’t being clear enough or expects them to understand concepts that they don’t, which can be frustrating.
If you want to improve customer service, you need to personalize the experience to the customer whenever possible. Understand that every customer is unique and not just one of the masses. Learn what you can about who they are and what they need before your customer service representatives try to jump into offering a solution. At times, even the smallest effort can have a lasting positive impact, transforming the customer service experience in a fundamental way.
Ultimately, local authenticity can differentiate your company from the competition. Plus, it ensures your approach aligns with your core values and that each customer is treated as an individual with unique needs and preferences, ensuring they get what they require from every interaction and has a positive experience overall.