2013 Customer Service Trends – Part 2 of 4

Data Mining Done Right Leads to Personalization

What company sends you customized mailers or e-mails with information or offers that were clearly tailored to you as an individual?

Sure, you might get the e-newsletter from your local sports team, the dividend miles notice from your airline, or the coupon of the week from your local restaurant.  But which of these truly are sending a message personalized to you that is different from virtually any message they send to any other customer?

Google personalizes the information they present to you based on location and searches, and Amazon provides custom messaging based on what you bought or viewed last, or based on other information they have about you.  But those are the big boys, the ones with doctorates in data mining.  What about the typical small-to-mid sized business?

We address all 4 Key Trends for 2013 in our Stepping Up Service Podcast, but here’s Trend #2 for 2013…

Trend #2 – Data Mining Goes Mainstream

Some companies already utilize your personal and purchasing data to tailor messages and offers.  Our local grocery chain does this well – sending weekly specials based on only the items we buy.  But in 2013, more organizations are going to view sales growth with existing clients as a priority and mining their own data as key to doing so.  That’s because the bad economy has taught us the value of customer retention.  The technology of today has taught us how easily we can aggregate information on customers as well as how much information is available already.

In 2013, you’ll begin to see “mainstream” industries and smaller businesses strategically acquiring and using information on customers.  Online surveys will be feeder tools for personalized contacts with customers.  Smaller businesses will see how relationship development doesn’t just have to occur when the customer enters your door.  Companies in general will learn more about how to systematically nurture relationships with customers – even if the customer rarely enters your door.

What’s the Answer?

Right now, start identifying the key intelligence you need to have on your customers to personalize messages, to build relationships, to keep customers, to sell more to them, and to professionally acquire referrals.  Create client-specific checklists of these data needs, implement research to fill gaps, and target service and relationship-building efforts based on the intelligence you acquire, using customized content.

Personalizing a relationship isn’t just for Mom and Pop shops any more than leveraging technology and research to retain and grow business isn’t just for Fortune 500 firms.  Data mining is going mainstream in 2013.

We’ll be back next week with Trend #3 for 2013.

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