There’s this cafeteria in my city which can now be aptly named as my ‘second home.’ Not only have I dragged all my friends there with me, people are tired of my regular check-ins to that place as well. Though I would love to review that place, but this is not one of those reviews.
I am sure you might have seen movies where a guy enters a restaurant and the waiter shows him to his favorite table asking, “Sir, would you like to have the usual or do you want to go for our special tonight?” We would be lying if we haven’t wished the same would happen to us whenever we go out for dinner, especially if we want to impress our dates. Well, I am that guy (only not a GUY). It amazes me that not only do the waiters know my usual order, they even remember the way I like my sandwich…. NO CHEESE.
Apart from their tummy-filling-soul-tempting sandwiches, it’s their ‘know-how-to-make-your-customer-feel-special’ skills I am great fan of.
Imagine if every brand you have ever loved would treat you the same. While it is still the stuff of dreams for most of us, we wish that big business owners could somehow use their AI bots to hear the whispers of our longing hearts.
That’s the art of personalization for you. Be it remembering about that cheese stuff or handpicking products for the customer on their shopping app, little things go a long way in establishing an exclusive relationship between your brand and the customer. There is one thing that you can do which almost guarantees that your customer will come back and do business with you, and is beyond providing kickass customer service. It is delivering a personalized customer service. Personalization can easily be touted as one of the major reasons every organization is actively investing in data analytics technology. Having the ability to better meet the needs of customers by understanding and anticipating their behaviors is something everyone wants to get their hands on.
With shorter attention span, surplus supply for demands and less time on hands spent for making a purchasing decision, customers today aren’t so easy to impress. Because the internet makes it easier to scope out a product or service from businesses across the globe in a matter of seconds, even I, as a customer would consider the following matrix before clicking on ‘PLACE YOUR ORDER; ’
- Past experience
- Ease of purchase
- Customer Service
Most people choose a company based on just one of these aspects if it is on a higher priority to them than anything else. For instance, you could’ve set up a meeting with the CEO of a company to sell your product. Now that the time to follow up arises, would you pester him with calls each hour or would you set up a following meeting and drop him a gentle reminder if needed? If it’s not the latter, then you’re definitely doing something wrong. Not only would that make your client break up with you, it could lead you into digging yourself a deep grave that you can’t get out of. To survive in today’s competitive market and build relationships with your customers, you need to deploy the highest level of customer targeting and reach your customer at the right place at the right time.
Just the other day, my friend had placed a request with a real estate website to help her look for a house in the city. Unfortunately, she didn’t realize she had just signed up for her own doom. Since she was bombarded with calls all day at work, she was bound to miss out on quite a few. However, the ones she spoke to didn’t have much calm either, they still called her up in every two hours. Among these incessant, non-stop and bothering agent calls, there was one agency however who understood the words, “Please call me on the weekend.” What’s even more surprising, THEY ACTUALLY DID. Cut to today, she’s found her forever home and ready to move in a month.
With the increased number of articles stating the importance of personalization doing the rounds on the World Wide Web, you would think that businesses would realize its significance. But, alas, so few actually do. The only saving grace is that at least, few are doing so effectively. There are, of course, many reasons for this, but none more so than the mistaken assumption that personalization is a science. If I say that it is without science that we now know what our customers want to buy or can predict when our customers would require our product, I would be lying my ass off. Certainly, science plays an enormous role in any successful personalization initiative. However, you cannot automate creativity. Data, big or small; the creativity required to deliver smartly personalized services, content or marketing offers to customers still comes from the creative minds within your organization.
The goal here is to create a humanized personal touch, which is engagement at an even higher level. Be it a hotel chain, product retailer or ecommerce; regardless of the type of business you are in, there is always an opportunity to personalize the customer experience.