I went into a store the other day and I was greeted by a request for my email address or mobile number – this was who I was to them - my identity. I have had this same experience several times recently. In today’s Society it’s easy to feel no one sees us any more for who we are – we don’t even have a name - we are now just a mobile number or email address.
Smart businesses are recognising this feeling and building their experience around demonstrating they see you as a real person and know you. Personalisation is a great way to differentiate your business in a crowded market.
In a number of cases personalisation is being driven my technology and data insights – many of which miss the mark because they are driven my algorithms, assumptions and generalisations and therefore don’t feel personal at all.
I believe in businesses adopting practices that are practical and fit for purpose to their business. There are other alternatives to technology driven insights that are less costly and give an even more personal experience than alternatives. Some options are:
· Employ the right staff and look after them, they are gold - employ people that like people and are engaging – recruit for will and teach skill. These people will relate to and engage your customers. A great recent example is my local coffee shop - they not only know my name but also how I like my coffee. Keeps me going back not just because of the coffee but the experience also gives me a real boost first thing in the morning.
· Going back to “old fashioned service” – know your regulars and their names, take the time to talk to them, listen to what they say when they talk, know what is happening in their life and ask them about it on the next visit – do they have significant family events or trips they are planning
· Be visible in your business – spend time with your staff and customers
Technology can be great and have some wonderful outcomes but remember to consider fit for purpose solutions and other options to the new competitive advantage of “knowing me” as part of your business strategy.