Put yourself in the shoes of a consumer. When they go shopping, they’re greeted the same way in a dozen different stores. It’s friendly, but impersonal; there’s no touch of familiarity in a nameless greeter saying, “Welcome!” The checkout is the same way. Friendly, often forced smiles await them. Small stores are different. When customers frequent the same establishments on a regular basis, they become known by name. The proprietors know a bit about the customer’s lives and are able to ask more intimate questions. This provides a level of comfort that normal retail establishments don’t have.
How to Implement Personalization
Of course, it’s easier said than done to personalize a customer’s experience when you sell a product that doesn’t require multiple visits. One of the easiest methods to build a relationship with the customer and add that personal touch is through a mailing list. Software can automatically input the customer’s name at the front of the email, adding a personal touch to what might otherwise be a form letter.
In addition, if you sell products that must be customized before delivery, personal touches can be implemented in the way of notes. For example, an RV dealership may be able to leave a small basket of RV-related supplies, as well as a personal note for the customer inside each vehicle. If the customer requests specific changes, the dealership can offer engraving as a potential option.
While these sorts of touches may not bring repeat business from a single customer, it encourages the consumer to spread the business name via word of mouth. Studies have shown businesses that have excellent reputations due to small touches like this are far more likely to succeed in the long run.
Other ways to personalize interaction with customers is through excellent customer service. Making yourself available to them all the time means they can reach you when they need it most; this also works to improve a company’s reputation in the eyes of consumers.