There’s a rise in customization and personalization products for customers. However, there are also ways that this trend can benefit your business. At the heart of customization is the idea of providing unique value.
It isn’t necessarily obvious how to achieve this, though. Like any business strategy or approach, it needs to be effective and affordable. The ironic truth is that there isn’t a one size fits all customization tool for every business.
It needs to be applied with your customers and objectives in mind. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some success stories to learn from, or some key places to start looking. There’s no need to shoehorn customization into your practices. However, if you’re considering new solutions and tools to help you implement your strategies, then it’s worth keeping customization in mind.
Building customization into the way your business works is when it can be most effective. Here are three ways to harness that power for your business.
Present Your Company
One of the best ways to use customization is to focus on it instead of standing out from the crowd. Many markets are competitive, some are saturated, and for businesses to thrive, they need to get a customer’s attention.
Instead of focusing on a marketing strategy that makes you stand out from other business, focus on customization that suits your customer. The first place to do this is to position your business where your customers can find you. Technology is at a stage where businesses can create an online presence that function in just the way a customer needs.
The best way to use customization for your company website is to gather analytics data about how customers use your site. This information can tell you what your customers like and what they need. The next step is to work with a custom web design agency so that they can put the information and tools exactly where your clients expect to find them.
Identify Customer Needs
As you’ll have seen in the example above, customization takes data about how your customers interact with you and uses it to adapt your business processes and tools. One of the most powerful ways to equip a company to do this is to customize your approach to CRM or customer relationship management.
What your business needs to know about your clients to help solve their needs is likely to be different from many other companies. That’s why choosing a database or system for customer information is so important. It doesn’t need to be fully customizable, but it should have the right fields and functions for you to get a clear picture of your customers’ needs.
Your customers’ requirements will change, and your best source for market research is the relationships you have with your existing clients. The key here is the flexibility to listen and adapt without it costing thousands of dollars every year.
Consider Mass Customization
Mass customization, as explained by the Harvard Business Review, is a way to “customize goods or services for individual customers in high volumes and at a relatively low cost.” It doesn’t aim to reinvent processes for every customer request.
Since the days when businesses first started adopting mass customization, new lessons have been learned. There’s more than one way to approach it, and your company could use a mix of all four types, but it might focus on one.
The four approaches are adaptive, collaborative, cosmetic, and transparent. Adaptive means providing one product or service, but including options for the user to make changes. The collaborative approach is similar but means working with the customer to identify their needs when shaping the product.
A cosmetic approach would mean presenting products or services differently to a range of customers. Finally, the transparent approach means adjusting to customer needs without requiring them to state what they want. Depending on your product and your customers, you can focus on one or two of these to deliver without complex systems or excessive cost.
However you choose to apply customization, it’s essential to keep in mind that the goal is to provide value for the customer. You can look for cost-effective ways to use products that aren’t off the shelf, but they should always be providing better solutions than the standard service.
The same goes for the service or product that you provide. It all starts with the data. The most obvious place for customization is in your information gathering techniques. That, in turn, can help you apply customization through the rest of your business. You can meet your customers’ needs and streamline business practices by choosing the best mass customization approach for you.