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Be a CX Powerhouse Through Personalization

Updated: May 10, 2023


With all due respect to movie classic The Godfather, the line “It’s not personal, It’s strictly business” isn’t the best approach in today’s marketplace. Today everything starts with personalization.

Customers have come to expect personalized experiences that cater to their unique needs and preferences as the stakes for hospitality continue to increase. As a result, organizations are discovering the power of data and technology to deliver these customized experiences at scale.

So, what can you do to harness the power of personalized experiences to build loyalty (and sales) within your brand?

Understand Individual Needs

Customers come from all manner of diverse backgrounds with even more diverse preferences and expectations. That means that using data scraped from all Voice of the Customer (VOC) channels and stored in a dynamic CRM system can help gather insights into individual preferences and behaviors.


From there it becomes incumbent to tailor experiences to meet their specific needs. That means creating service methodologies and steps of service that bring the brand to life, curating products that meet the specific needs of each segment, and delivering it all in a way that feels “just for me” in nature.


Customize Experiences Across the Customer Journey

Not too long ago, the idea of knowing customers’ names was a unique way to set yourself apart from your competition, but now it’s ubiquitous in the marketplace. Everyone is recording names on coffee cups, at the point of sale, or on your sub wrapper before they start making your sandwich.

Now, let’s be clear – learn people’s names and use them. Just don’t think it is the end of the personalization journey.

Businesses must look for ways within all touchpoints to create personalized experiences across the omnichannel experience.


Think about how Amazon suggests items to buy based on past purchases or what you currently have in your cart. When we recently adopted a new King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, as I was buying new collars and leashes, Amazon reminded me to get another dog dish and walking harness. Personalization can also mean ensuring that websites meet the needs of evolving consumer preferences and are ultimately accessible and user friendly.

Customization also comes in the form of live interactions with your team. Whether in a contact center, chat, or in person environment, teams have the opportunity to customize tone, conversational style, and complementary suggestions to the customer in front of them. That personalized approach ensures that customers always have what they need.


Data-Driven, Tech Enabled Decision Making

As mentioned earlier, data is a key enabler of personalizing experiences for customers. Whether through surveys, market analysis, interviews, or observations, the more you know about your customers, the better you can customize experiences for them. There are a host of tools available to gather and implement data with your customers each day. Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots can provide simple self-service type tasks for customers and will continue to handle more complex operations in the future.


Surveys and feedback mechanisms continue to evolve based on customer preference to allow for mobile friendly or even SMS text-based questions that are easy to answer and quick to complete. Moreover, AI continues to automate the review of survey information to show sentiment analysis and trends by market segment. This is crucial as each generational purchasing cohort has a distinct set of preferences as they take their journey with a brand. This analysis and application of data will lead to experiences that resonate personally with customers of all backgrounds.

The power of this work is only beneficial if you take time to learn about your customers, train and coach your employees, and align your brand with consumer preferences.

Without that effort you’ll just spend a lot of money on shiny technology with nothing to show for it.

When companies create personalized experiences:

  • It creates a welcoming, inclusive, and connected experience for customers

  • Customers feel understood with a sense of trust and loyalty

  • Customer satisfaction increases

  • Overall customer spending increases

  • Customers engage more frequently with brands across all channels

  • Customers become brand advocates and defenders

Now this all comes with a set of potential challenges inherent in the age of data and analytics. Every organization must address privacy concerns when it comes to protection of confidential and sensitive information.


This could be credit card security compliance, health privacy, or consent when it comes to harvesting and using data. This is a measure of trust, and you only need a quick google search to find financial, healthcare, government, and retail organizations that have lost the faith of their customers when they allowed personal data to escape into the universe.

It is truly all about balance. It is about collecting data, using data, and being judicious with data for the good of both decision-making and your customer satisfaction.

Experience will continue to be driven by personalization and customization of service and experience. By applying the right data at the right time and coaching your team to apply the learnings without coming across as a creepy stalker, you can create moments tailored for each segment of your customer base.


This will drive the unique, welcoming, and inclusive service that will bring your customers back again and again – and share your brand story within their sphere of influence.


Until next time,


Tony.


*Hand crafted by a real person, not AI

 

Tony Johnson is 4xi’s Chief Experience Officer and leader of the Evolving Experiences© practice. Before joining 4xi, he was the Customer Service Officer for Aramark, a global food and facilities organization. Tony is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP), award-winning speaker, and globally recognized employee and customer experience expert.

Tony is the author of 3 books on leadership, employee engagement, and customer experience and hosts an industry-leading weekly podcast, Customer Service Academy.


For more information about 4xi's Evolving Experiences©, you can contact Tony directly at tonyjohnson@4xiconsulting.com



 

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4xi Global Consulting & Solutions is a team of talented leaders from both the client-side and service provider side, creating an impact on the Human Experience (HX) for people at work, in education, rest, and at leisure.


We believe in a people-first, experience-led philosophy; whether client, employee, or guest – their experience is the fundamental foundation of success.

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