Personalised Gift – vs – Personalised Service

Raw WorkRetailWorking Practice No Comment

That’s a bit personal!

It started for me, with an engraved iPod, over a decade ago. A shiny engraved message on the back. It looked classy & felt personal and added a little justification to the big purchase price. I think after that, it was some initials on a luxury handbag.

Yet, this Christmas – it felt as if we were in a personalisation meltdown. My daughter’s Nutella spread came proudly bearing her name, we were gifted tea towels with our pet’s names on (but they have never ONCE helped with the domestic chores) and my new diary gleamed with my full name embossed in leather.

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Whilst businesses seem to fully grasp the opportunity, extra revenue possibilities and novelty of sticking your name on something – many seem to loose sight of where the real benefits of a personal service can add value and customer loyalty.

In truth – whilst my daughter is delighted toys can now arrive from Disney with a personal stitched nametag – I feel as if I have enough material goods reminding me of my name. What I am looking for in a personalised service is still to be offered by many.

Two independent businesses have offered me the luxury of a real personalised service for years – a travel agent & a florist – but don’t actually sell the benefits of how good they are.

My travel agents have flown me around the world many times, and in doing so have developed knowledge of my preferences, from my seating & eating preferences through to when I can cope best with the obligatory jetlag. I would not even think of starting an online search to go anywhere – too many forms, too many tickboxes. One call in and I have all the choices and selections I need at my finger tips.

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The florists went above and beyond the call of duty when, not only did they give me a personal mobile number to text 24 hours a day (as I tended to remember birthdays & anniversaries in the early hours of the day) but they also kept a full database of when flowers where sent, colours, prices ranges and addresses.

Making a time pressured customer’s life easier, and tailoring an offer to their requirements is a more preferential than simply applying someone’s initials on an item.

Customer’s key desire is to feel respected by the companies they trade with and yet with the growth of technology & automation – many businesses fail to engage with their customers fully, missing valuable feedback. Offshore call centre’s that struggle to even use the customers name correctly and having to repeat information and complaints many times are just a couple of the issues cited by customers who miss a personal touch.

To deliver real customer satisfaction, organisations need to realise and research the different segments of their customer base, what works for them & how to tailor a service to meet and exceed the desires.

Nearly half – 49% of customers* feel personalised service is important – with many different examples being offered as greatness – Harvey Nichols new Reward app is an example of a more relevant loyalty programme that allows the customer to select the benefits that matter to them.

Yet with over of 75% of bad service experienced in-store, especially unhelpful, unknowledgeable and unseen shop assistants – we have major improvements to make in our person-to-person interactions.

The irony is, in-store is the most effective place to create and deliver tailored service, a real time environment to meet and interact with the customer. And with 80% of communication being non verbal, the nuances than can be picked up face to face will outwit the patterns used by technology, for many years to come.

If you want to gain support for one of the biggest wins for retail stores, the RAW team can help you with personalised training packages from leading experts. Enquire today & we will help you make it personal…

*Oracle Reports

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