Treating Different Customers Differently is No Longer Enough

We have all read the discussions: customer expectations have skyrocketed, customers are more empowered to share their opinions than ever before, and your company is no longer the top information source for your products and services. The question is what can companies can do to more effectively engage with their customers?

There still seems to be a basic divergence in the market when it comes to delivering customer service. On one hand there are companies that strive to be the masters of efficiency. These folks attempt to get the customer off the phone as quickly as possible and avoid calls at all costs (pushing self-service; mobile, self-service, IVR, etc. potentially at the expense of a good experience) On the other hand, there are the stewards of customer delight. These are the companies that are willing to spend hours on the phone with each and every customer, giving everyone the best possible experience, going above and beyond to ensure each and every experience is the best ever, and filled with rainbows and hugs. (I am sure many of you are familiar with the Zappos customer service stories).

Companies need to be more sophisticated than just selecting efficiency or delight in all cases and they need to go beyond basic customer segmentation (platinum, gold, silver). Companies should intelligently leverage their data, their process, and their KPIs to not only determine who to treat a certain way, but also when to treat a given customer in a certain way, and where (over which channel) to best engage them. The bottom-line is the age-old adage of treating different customers one way or the other is no longer enough. In certain situations the same customer needs to be treated differently. In one situation a customer wants to be pampered and is very open to a cross- or up-sell. In other instances the same customer may just want the fastest way to stop the pain. Inquiry. Resolution. Done.

Many successful businesses have now matured their service objectives to the point where they can effectively apply this situational approach. They are the ones reaping significant rewards. The supporting technology is now available to ensure companies can continuously optimize their customer treatments, in which they’ve effectively taken feedback from their customers, employees and systems, and then refined their approaches to interactions. Today’s technology not only empowers companies to tap into the incredible amount of customer context that is being generated every second; now, they can mine that “big data” for previously undiscoverable patterns and take far more intelligent and impactful actions. When companies take this approach, their return on investment can be staggering Not only can a company maximize the value of their customers over the long-term, but they can optimize each individual interaction. And the customer feels equally rewarded for the time and effort they have invested in the relationship.


Marketing today is about delivering the most relevant offer that will ensure the maximum margin for your business over the long term – it's a continuous conversation with the customer. Getting that conversation right creates loyal customers. That means giving each person the right product, at the right time. Learn how with our new eBook, 5 Ways to Maximize Customer Value.