Walker, a trend-setting customer experience consulting firm, recently did a study that asked professionals: Which changing customer expectation will have the greatest impact on your business in the future? While “speed” would seem to be the biggest customer pleaser in today’s “get it now or else” marketplace, it was edged out by “personalization.”
For customer experience folks, personalization is the one customer expectation they predict will grow the most between now and 2020. The reality is we all want to be treated like an individual. We want the companies we do business with to value us as a person, not a number. And, it doesn’t just apply to customers. It’s also about employees, partners, investors, our community, and so on.
Offering a personalized experience isn’t easy. It requires a complete, integrated view of the customer, which is challenging for most. But it’s not impossible. That’s because it’s not the responsibility of just one department. A move towards personalization needs to involve everyone in the company—sales, marketing, account teams, product development, factory production, invoicing, and not just customer support.
Put simply, personalization is about humanizing the experience of working with your company. To do this, it is important to have an intimate understanding of customers and the companies they serve. This is just one of the many reasons we listen closely to the voice of our customers, which influences everything we do. After all, customers are taking note of companies that focus just on bottom-line profits and those that focus on people and profits.