by Tony Vidler
An ongoing challenge for any service business is to create “Mass Personalisation”, or something akin to a factory production line that delivers constant quality efficiently, but which still feels personal to the end user.
In professional services it is creating and efficient and affordable business system that allow mass actions to still feel like personalised service to customers.
Being able to correspond or provide a service to 100 clients simultaneously yet making it fee personal to each of them is efficient, and far more profitable than trying to provide individual service to 100 clients singly. Everyone understands this of course….but many still struggle to achieve mass personalisation in their client servicing.
There are a lot of elements that go into developing the communications and servicing systems, and I have covered pretty much all of those elements in past articles. The essential element sitting at the centre of every efficient client service system though is the client database. Pretty much everyone has one of these too now…
So pretty much everyone knows that mass personalisation is the objective, and pretty much everyone has the essential tool inside their business that can drive the results. Yet many don’t achieve the efficiency and personal service objectives because they haven’t gone through the full process of setting the system up. They’ve usually only gone halfway.
These are the 4 sequential steps that are needed to create an efficient and personalised service off an excellent database:
1. Build as strong a Profile of each client as you can. This needs to be a lot more than the factual policy or portfolio data and key contact information. Know their preferences, relationships, interests and aspirations – and be able to store and then search (or mine) that data.
2. A segmentation strategy is essential to creating efficient service systems. The labelling of those service standards matters from a marketing perspective in terms of how they are perceived by clients or the target market. It is far more important though to be able to group similar clients in terms of their value, interests, communication preferences, investing style, type of relationship with your firm, and so on. In today’s CRM systems segmentation and differentiation can be done in multiple layers and ways IF the data (the client profile) is built to begin with.
3. There has to be a communication strategy and a service delivery system working off the CRM system that creates interaction or engagement with the clients.
4. Using the data from client profiles, and aggregating clients from the segmentation strategy, enables the communication (or interaction) to be personalised.
As an example, if all of these are constructed correctly then it is a simple matter to send a beautiful and visual email to 150 clients simultaneously alerting them to the fabulous new coffee machine that will deliver that “non-fat caramel macchiato with soy” that they love when they come into the office … “oh, and by the way…the share markets have been doing quite well in recent months so when we review your portfolio the coffee will probably taste even better than usual”
Good data points in the CRM can be extracted and merged with a good communications system to create what feels like incredibly personalised interaction for the client.
That is how you create a personal service production line.