If your goal is to provide personalized service, you have two options. Get it right, or forget it.
We’ve all fallen victim to personalization done poorly. It’s the robot operator’s nine options, none of which fit your situation. It’s asking Siri about Colombia Machinery and getting directions to Columbia, Missouri. It’s the email that botches your name.
To the customer, the fact that you tried is no consolation. The reaction is always the same.
“You missed it. You didn’t get me. You wasted my time.” And the more of a customer’s time you waste, the less likely she is to trust you again.
Personalized Service Takes Data … and People
The inverse is when you nail it.
You offer what they’re looking for, exactly when they’re looking for it. You’re the precise solution to their unique problem. It’s the kind of service you can only deliver when you listen closely.
The irony is that, while personalization requires data analysis only a machine can do, real service requires care and attention only a human can give. Nailing it takes both.
We rely on data to hyper-target because nobody likes a generic call from a telemarketer. And we rely on people because a real conversation beats the robot operator every time.
In the end, customers aren’t impressed with the sophisticated way you guessed their need. They’re impressed that you cared enough to get it right.
The question for experiential marketers (and one we’ll explore in posts to come): How do you craft an experience that offers personalized service to everyone? How do you treat every person in a crowd as though they were the only one there?