In our post-modern society, we are lost in systems. Most of the time we feel lost in the crowd. Very few people actually care for us. That is why we desperately need attention and consideration.
Actually, we only trust brands, suppliers and service providers who build a true personal relationship with us !
As marketers, we know that we should use the technological tools that help us better understand the specificities of our customers, but we must not forget that
relationships should be from human to human ! Having a good CRM system is fine but not enough to create the emotions that drive our customers.
So here are 5 ways to personalize your relationships and create emotional value:
It is difficult to understand all the specificities of your customers if you do not take the time to listen to them at first. It is thus important to let them express themselves, to gather feedbacks and insights to understand their concerns and satisfaction levels, to understand how they feel about you and what could be improved. I recommend that you use active listening, a technique created by American psychologist Carl Rogers.
If you really want your customers to feel special and valued, you have to let them know their voice is being heard.
2. Use data analytics
Today’s technology offers a number of ways to record information about your customers. This is now also available to small companies at a reasonable price.
Because the goal is to personalize as much as possible your offer and the relationship you have with your clients, it implies collecting as much as possible data to come up with the most appropriate solutions.
This raises however some ethical concerns: how far should you go? How transparent should you be with regard to it? My opinion is that you should be totally open with regard to data collection and you should let several options to customers to choose from.
Now that you have actively listened to your customers and gathered data about their preferences, you are able to understand their specificities and you can start to offer them tailored solutions.
But customization not only comes with the product or service you offer. You should also customize your relationships! You heard that customers wanted to feel special so make them feel as such!
Our society is becoming more and more individualistic. People are more than ever emphasizing the “I”: they want personal attention. They want to exist with all their specificities in the eyes of the world. They want to be recognized as individuals and not simply as customers. They expect the relationship with brands to be built not only around the product or service and the problems they can solve, but more importantly around their own person.
So, find ways to show them that you really care, prove them that you truly respect them and deliver empathy !
5. Be transparent
Would you trust someone you don’t know ?
If you want to instill trust and foster engagement and loyalty you should let customers know who really is behind your name. You should personify your brand.
Don’t be afraid to show who you are, with your good and bad points. Don’t hide your shortcomes. Be honest ! Don’t portray yourself as perfect ! Who is perfect anyway ?
This will help humanize the relationship you have with your customers. By the way, putting forward the people behind the curtain is an additional way to differentiate and capitalize on your uniqueness.
A great example of personalization is offered by Park Hyatt trattoria-style restaurant Opera in Saigon, Vietnam. see their website
I happen to go there from time to time quite late after teaching. The Maître d’h has been there for years. Even if I’m coming after a few months, he calls me by my name (important !). He remembers where I like to sit, in front of the open kitchen. He asks news of my family that he only saw 5 years ago or so. He remembers that I like to open my meal with a glass of Pinot Grigio.
How can he remember all that ? I don’t know but he does. I feel important, relaxed and pampered and… it makes me come back.
Could Park Hyatt Opera restaurant still improve ?
Not much ! They’re close to perfect.
Is it linked to the 5 star-ranking of the place ? Certainly not.
Is it linked to the corporate culture of the hotel ? Certainly yes.
But it’s for sure linked to staff selection, motivation and training.
Actually, all information about customers habits can be recorded in computer systems today. What we lack in most cases is real empathy by the staff ! That’s where Hyatt is superior !
Care for your people and your people will care for your customers !
On happiness at work and performance , see
Sir Richard Branson’s 5 billion reasons to make your employees and candidates happy
Be inspired and Spice Up 🌶 your relationships