With technology and automation booming in the service industry, personalization has become one element that will humanize your employee and customer service and differentiate yourself from other people, organizations and brands.
Your people, both internal and external, want fast, friendly, hassle-free experiences. They want authentic human-to-human interactions that they can’t get from a robot, app or kiosk.
It’s important for your company to have a personalization strategy or plan in place in order to continuously have fast, friendly, hassle-free, personalized service interactions and compete with growing technology and innovation.
Getting Started with a Personalization Strategy
When beginning to develop a personalization strategy, first ask yourself these questions:
- What does your company currently do to personalize your internal service with employees?
- What does your company currently do to personalize your service with customers?
- How have these practices contributed to better service inside and out (faster, friendlier, hassle-free)?
- What can you do internally to improve service cooperation and make it more personalized and authentic? (See 7 principles below for some tips)
- What can you do externally to improve customer service, loyalty and retention by making it more personalized and authentic? (See 7 principles below for some tips)
7 Guiding Principles of a Personalization Strategy
If you do not yet have a personalization plan or strategy in place in your organization, here are 7 principles you can follow to guide you in creating a plan that will make both your employees and customers stay longer, buy more and positively refer others. We believe that these 7 principles are mutually exclusive and that you need to have all 7 principles in place in your organization in order to have exceptional service inside and out.
- Authenticity. Are you real and genuine in everything you do? Authentic people speak the truth and communicate openly with their colleagues.
- Hospitality. Do you make your colleagues and customers feel welcome at every touch point? Start with a positive attitude.
- Empathy. Can you understand and share the feelings of another human being? When you have empathy for your colleagues and customers, you are better able to make decisions that are fair for both parties.
- Commitment. Are you willing to do whatever it takes, no matter what? Being committed means living your values each and every day, even when it’s uncomfortable or inconvenient.
- Competency. Do you have the skills and ability to excel in your role? Being competent means you are enabled with the learning and skills to do your job well and solve your customer’s problems.
- Friendliness. Friendliness is learned at a young age. Being nice and friendly to your colleagues and customers can create decades of loyalty.
- Fun. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Having fun at work can de-escalate stressful situations and make interactions with colleagues and customers much more fulfilling.
Making a Plan
Start your personalization plan by going through each of the principles above for both your internal and external service.
- Take stock in how you might already do things great in your organization and what areas could use improvement.
- Use the principles to brainstorm with your team about how you can improve in these 7 key areas. For example, if you find your service lacks competency, perhaps you might look at implementing a formal learning/training program or manager coaching.
- Create a plan of action for the next quarter for how you will begin implementing these ideas in your organization. Put steps in place that will make your employees accountable for providing this personalized service with both their colleagues and customers. Perhaps that takes the shape of a formal recognition program whereby you can recognize and reward your employees for positive personalized behaviours. This will reinforce a company culture of personalization.
You can read more about these principles in our latest book, The Seven Personalization Principles: Learn the Principles to Thrive in These Disruptive Times or read more about it here.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can put these principles in place with a learning or recognition program, get in touch with me to set up a quick discovery call to discuss your organization’s engagement goals and objectives at firstname.lastname@example.org.