Posted on January 22, 2018 by Dennis Snow
One of the many challenges businesses face today is this: Customers (for the most part) want things fast. At the same time, customers (for the most part) want things personalized. It’s a real challenge for an organization to deliver on both of those wants. Many companies choose one of the two. In effect they’re saying, “If you want it fast, it won’t be personalized. If you want it personalized, it won’t be fast.” The result, of course, is that because only 50 percent of their wants are satisfied, customers end up disappointed, or at least indifferent in regard to the company’s efforts. And customer disappointment or indifference are loyalty killers.
So what to do?
With some thought and creativity, there are ways to satisfy both customer wants. It just takes a commitment to dedicate thought and creativity to the issue.
Here’s my new favorite example of a company dealing with the speed/personalization challenge. I’ve been an amateur magician for most of my life. I’m aware that magicians are often portrayed as “geeky” on TV, but I’ve always loved the hobby. And now that I have grandkids, I’m able to practice my craft again – it’s pretty easy to fool a four-year-old (although my granddaughter has been known to say, “Papa, it’s in your other hand”).
Lack of skill notwithstanding, I sometimes order magic tricks from online magician supply stores. They pretty much operate the same as any online retailer; go to their website, choose a product, check out, then wait for the product to be delivered. Pretty standard stuff in today’s cyber-driven market.
One online magic shop, however, did something that impressed me. Penguin Magic did a little personalization of the experience. During the time gap between ordering the product and receiving the product, they emailed me a short video of my order being packaged for shipping. And it wasn’t just a stock video that they use for every order. It was a video of my purchase being prepared. My name was on the packing slip. It made me feel special, and also let me know that my purchase was on the way. I was impressed. Click here to check it out.
Yes, filming the packaging process took some effort. But it’s obvious from the video that a simple smartphone camera was used. There are no video production bells and whistles, and it’s only 29-seconds long. And since many online retailers send a notice anyway when the product is shipped, it was a pretty simple matter to attach a link to the video. But I’d never seen this before, and I was impressed. Impressed enough that my next order will likely go to Penguin Magic.
My Penguin Magic experience got me thinking about other ways I’ve seen companies personalize a transaction:
Personalization in a fast paced environment isn’t limited to the online experience:
These examples, and many more, demonstrate that with some thought and creativity it is possible to satisfy customers’ wants for speed and personalization.
Something to think about: How can you take the impersonal aspects of your business, and make them personal?