Personalizing your services... to be more competitive

Consumers are increasingly expecting unique services tailored for them.  Here are some indications that you have work to do to get ready for this trend:

  • If you don’t maintain a database of personal preferences or habits of your customers
  • If you don’t regularly divide up (segment) your customers based on those preferences and address them in your marketing
  • If you don’t train your people to look for, understand, and record unique wishes and preferences among your customers
  • If you don’t yet have the ability to communicate instantly and personally with every past and present customer in multiple ways – by mail, email, text, phone, or in person
Transient

It had to happen sooner or later, and it’s happening now. Consumers are getting tired of buying the same things as everyone else. They are increasingly looking for retailers, service providers, and institutions who treat them as individuals and who can give them something uniquely theirs.Land’s End has 20 different styles of gift cards available – suitable for virtually every occasion and recipient – and you can even record a personalized message into the gift card holder for an extra special touch.

Nike allows you to customize a pair of their shoes with different colors, trims, icons, and team names, according to the Wall Street Journal.

You can buy skins for your computer or your MP3 player to change its color or appearance.

Even the U.S. Post Office, long scorned for its seeming lack of innovation, lets you customize your postage stamps through its website.

Have you started thinking about how you can offer customers more personalized choices – or just more choices than your competitors?

Here are some indications that you have work to do to get ready for this trend:

  • If you don’t maintain a database of personal preferences or habits of your customers
  • If you don’t regularly divide up (segment) your customers based on those preferences and address them in your marketing
  • If you don’t train your people to look for, understand, and record unique wishes and preferences among your customers
  • If you don’t yet have the ability to communicate instantly and personally with every past and present customer in multiple ways – by mail, email, text, phone, or in person

Too much trouble or too expensive, you say? Bologna. These are no longer dreams. They are becoming the basic prerequisites for competing. And it’s never been easier or more affordable to get in the game – thanks to technology.

Virtually every major retailer in America has figured it out and is working on the next generation. It’s no secret – what the market leaders do ahead of everyone else eventually becomes the standard for their industry… about the same time that the bar is raised yet again.

So… are you ready for a customized world?

Carl Francis

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