How to Tailor Your Services to Give Customers What They Really Want

John Krautzel
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In order to stay competitive, it is essential for companies to tailor their services to their targeted audiences. Customer service strategies must be in line with what your customers not only need but also what they want. Tailoring your services involves getting to know your clients. With advanced technologies, this tall task may be easier than you think.

Uncover Your Customers' Personality Types

Customer service strategies must be flexible to accommodate the different needs of clients. It is no secret that different techniques appeal to different customers. Get to know your customers' personalities to identify how to serve them. American psychologists Roger Reid and John Merrill assert that most people possess one of four different personality types: amiables, expressives, analyticals and drivers.

In a customer service environment, amiables expect representatives to be friendly and considerate. They crave small talk before solidifying a purchase. Expressive personality types, however, like to take their time when making buying decisions. They want to focus on the big picture when making a decision versus focusing on details. Amiable and expressive personality types rely on clear-cut examples of how a product or service benefits them and appreciate testimonials from satisfied customers.

Analyticals and drivers are less expressive and incorporate logical thinking into their buying decisions. For example, these personality types need step-by-step procedures and clear and detailed responses when troubleshooting problems or seeking services. Offer analyticals and drivers data-driven responses so they can make their own decisions regarding what your company has to offer.

Utilize Data-Driven Technology

Beyond getting to know your customers' personality types to tailor your services, it is also important to incorporate feedback from current and former customers to determine how to improve customer service. Create feedback surveys, poll existing customers about their satisfaction level, and reach out to clients on social media to gather information about what types of products and services they desire. Add a personal touch to your strategies by making connections with customers at every step of the sales and support process.

Businesses should rely on customer data to customize their services as well. For example, know your demographics by including surveys as part of the buying process that uncover the gender, age, marital status and occupations of your current customers. Identify who is requesting your services to further tailor your product and service line to this demographic. Create a clear-cut plan to appeal to what your customers want and need to improve your customer service strategies on a regular basis.

Businesses must know not only who their customers are, but also how they use the company's services and products. Investigate the satisfaction level of your clients, and identify how your services have improved their well-being, productivity and profits to ultimately gain repeat business.

Photo Courtesy of Eurobase Fulfillment at Flickr.com

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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for those comments. @Jane good for you. Stick to that. We all should. In today's world of social media everywhere you turn, it's so easy to just give them what they need so that you can move on with what you were doing. We don't stop to think why they need our physical address or why they need our age or why they need our birthdate and so on. We need to guard all of our personal information as much as we can. Sadly the best way to protect ourselves is to just not be on social media but that can have negative results for our job search. So just use your best judgment.

  • Jane H.
    Jane H.

    One thing I think more people need to be cognizant of is that their personal information, including their demographic information, is inherently valuable. It doesn't just define who we are, it's also something that's worth money. Whenever companies ask me for information like that, the first thing I want to know is, what's in it for me? Am I going to get paid for providing this information in the form a cash payment, or a gift card, or a valuable coupon? I'm no longer willing to fill out customer information surveys without an exchange of value attached to it.

  • Hema Zahid
    Hema Zahid

    I don’t think I’d be willing to hand over personal information to a company through their social media pages. I can see how information about their customers is helpful for a company, but the company needs to be vigilant about protecting the information they collect. How can I be sure that the information I provide as a consumer won’t be misused or lost?

  • Mike Van de Water
    Mike Van de Water

    Jacob, I agree with you to an extent, but data collection is an important part of customer service. It determines how you handle your marketing, the employees you need to hire to deal with your target, and what additional products or services can be added to the business. However, I do agree with you that AFTER all that information is considered, the "personal touch" aspect of the business needs to feel organic and not derived from some spreadsheet. I lost track of the number of customers from my old business that would shop with my store simply because of the friendly service and personal attention they received. Even just calling a customer by his name when he comes in is a powerful customer service tool.

  • William Browning
    William Browning

    Repeat business is definitely what should drive companies to have the best possible customer service. Even if your corporation has 10 million customers, it just takes one bad experience for people to start leaving for the competition. Smaller businesses tend to have an advantage by delivering great, personalized customer service that outplays the competition. That's how businesses grow quickly and earn a reputation.

  • Jacob T.
    Jacob T.

    It seems a little contradictory to exhort the use of data-driven result and encourage adding personal touches to every step of the sales and support process. If the touches are the result of carefully gathered and analyzed data points, it isn't really a personal touch at all, rather it is an attempt to engender generic customer satisfaction without the hassle of knowing an individual customer.

  • Jay Bowyer
    Jay Bowyer

    Can anyone suggest a set of resources to help me learn more about the businesses I intend to work with? I'm keen to find out as much as I can about prospective clients before I begin working with them, but I'm not sure where to turn to gain reliable information.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for the comments. @Kellen with a smaller business, many times word of mouth is the best way to drive traffic in. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. can give you the option to contact more customers with minimal time and cost. @Lydia I have never met anyone who has won a shopping spree either. It's just a way companies have of getting you to respond to their surveys. Companies just seem reluctant to offer much of a incentive to respond to surveys and questionnaires anymore. Maybe they figure that, with social media, they don't need to offer anything up any longer. Not true of all companies of course. My local supermarket will sporadically give me a coupon for $5 or $10 off my next shopping trip. Now that I can use. Also, having a rewards card is a great benefit - money off on gas and other items makes me more of a loyal customer than if they never offered anything.

  • Lydia K.
    Lydia K.

    I think companies of all sizes should have a goal of getting feedback without annoying or alienating customers. For example, I think most of us are familiar with the supermarket receipts that invite us to call a number give feedback with the promise that we might win a shopping spree. But I don't know anyone or of anyone who ever won a shopping spree. I think it would be a better idea to make everyone feel happy about giving feedback. Perhaps give everyone a coupon or a freebie instead.

  • Kellen P.
    Kellen P.

    Larger companies are lucky enough to have consulting firms that do much of this work for them. They spend quite a bit of time and money surveying the community about their thoughts on the company. But what can small businesses do to get to know their potential client base? Polling and surveying is time-consuming and potentially costly.

  • Tara Avery
    Tara Avery

    Although I understand the appeal--and the usefulness--of using customer data, I think it's important to remember that many people are increasingly familiar with data mining, and are justifiably reluctant to start handing over information. If requests for feedback are too intrusive or demanding, a business risks losing customers, which would be the exact opposite reaction desired.

  • Abbey Boyd
    Abbey Boyd

    Knowing your customers is key to business success. I really like the idea of getting feedback from current and former customers. This helps to get an idea of how your company is performing, and what you can do to improve. This information also helps to ensure you are offering what your customers actually want. Without hearing from the customers, you could be way off in terms of what you are offering. Always listen to the customers.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for the comments. @Shannon how do you feel when you make a call to a company and it takes 20 minutes and countless "hit X number if you blah, blah, blah" to reach a live person? For me - it means I will not be doing business with them any longer. I truly detest the automated systems. @Katharine getting to know a client is important and demographics don't always give you the true picture. Taking the time to actively listen and answer the question should always be the number one priority for customer service.

  • Katharine M.
    Katharine M.

    Getting to know clients is definitely important, but the idea of doing it through date-driven technology doesn't make sense. Demographics are helpful, but can lead the employee to make assumptions about the customer rather than getting to know/trying to understand the particular customer in question.

  • Shannon Philpott
    Shannon Philpott

    These are really solid suggestions. It is so important to make a connection with your customers in order to build relationships and retain the business. However, I see more and more businesses utilizing automated systems and this seems to create a distance versus a connection. Do you think that automated systems and self-serve options do more damage than good?

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