Do you treat your lifelong friend differently from how you treat your third cousin twice removed? Of course you do. Now, do you treat your best, most loyal customers differently from how you treat potential customers or new leads? That question may be a bit harder to answer.
Most local business owners would like to think they are personalizing the customer experience for each individual that walks through their doors, visits their website or calls to book an appointment. The reality is that’s really hard to do.
- 89% of businesses are soon expected to compete mainly on customer experience.
- 67% of customers mention bad experiences as a reason for churn, but only 1 in 26 unhappy customers complains.
And the big one…
4 Ways to Make a Better Impression
- The first part of personalizing the customer experience isn’t differentiating between customers, it’s making sure the overall experience you offer blows your competitors out of the water. Scope out your direct competitors. Here’s what to take note of:
– Do they have brick and mortar stores? What’s the ambiance like? Study their lighting, any music playing, the furnishings, paint on the wall – everything.
– What about their website? Where does it show up in search results? Is it easy to use? How easy is it to interact with them or book an appointment?
- Once you’re miles ahead of the competition, refocus on current customers. Customers who shop with you regularly, or even more than once, should feel like VIPs. If you see your customers in person, make an effort to remember their names. If your business is based more on online interactions, make sure those are personalized as well. If it makes sense for your business, your website should recognize individuals by name (through their logins) at the very least. If customers can book a service through your website, ensure you’re remembering their prior purchases so you can speed up the buying process by recommending these services again.
- Send the right offers to the right folks. Are you a salon and spa owner who provides multiple services to both men and women? It’s probably best not to recommend “Sport Your Best Beard” grooming packages to every customer on your email list. Use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to personalize the customer experience by knowing each individual’s unique preferences. If you don’t have a CRM in place, a customer survey could get you pretty close.
- Always follow up. After interactions with customers or leads, tell them you value their business, and invite them to engage with you on a deeper level. This could be in the form of following you on social, subscribing to your newsletter, filling out a feedback form or attending an upcoming event. All these things help you get more embedded in their buying process. In turn, they’ll choose you more and more frequently.
Did you make it through this list thinking, “How on Earth am I supposed to customize each experience for hundreds of customers and leads?!” Sounds like a customer service nightmare! Take a deep breath. It’s all about automating how you connect with customers to get them in the door and keep them coming back.
One of the best ways we know to accomplish just that is Thryv. Want to learn more? Conversation’s free. Let’s chat.