How customer experience can become personal

Lots of things are changing in today’s world of business. The position of companies with an established name and reputation is being challenged, and disruptive start-ups are beginning to dominate the entrepreneurial landscape. Making customer experience more personal is key to surviving and winning the battle with your competitors. Steal the customer’s heart and then start bonding. How? Make sure your data is organised.

Make hopping customers loyal

Customers are no longer attached to a brand or organisation for their entire life. They ‘hop’ from one supplier to another and maybe back again. For this reason, creating ambassadors is quite a challenge for many companies. Offering a substantial discount may attract a customer but it will probably not result in a long and satisfying relationship if the service is not as expected. In fact, price discounts do not create loyalty for organisations. Providing service does. The foundation of this approach is to have high-quality and accurate customer and market data. This is the only way to ensure that companies achieve excellent customer experience and give hopping customers a home base. Businesses with well-organised data have a successful future ahead of them.

Data: the key to good customer experience

You can really make the difference if you put the customer at the centre of your activities and build a 360-degree customer image. This can only be successful if the quality of your data is good: incomplete or, even worse, wrong data can never produce good service. It’s essential that you know who is the decision-making unit (DMU) for a particular project and what he expects from a service provider. Only then can you turn a prospect into a customer. By updating and enhancing customer and market data on a continuous basis, you can obtain a better view of your prospects and focus your service-providing efforts accordingly.

Start with really getting to know the market you operate in and the customers you serve. Collect personal preferences and save data systematically. This will make interactions more natural and more relevant. Always validate contact details, job changes and requirements you received previously from customers. By continually fine-tuning data, your customer predictions will become more reliable. The analysis of available data will lead to new insights which in turn create better customer experience.

Organisations with a 360-degree customer image can build a foundation for the future. It’s the starting point for personal communication and customised services, enabling you to stand out from your competitors in the future. Because if you know each individual prospect, and you know what he expects, you can be more focussed in your approach with relevant and personal offerings. And it’s more likely he’ll choose you instead of your competitor. Know your market and your prospect, and create long-term, valuable, and sustainable customer relationships!

Katleen Antonissen, managing partner at Computer Profile