Big Data and Analytics, for example, can empower businesses to turn the tide. A blend of such technologies with a bit of "humane understanding" the customer, it's possible.
Something remarkable happened in the 1940s. The US Air Force had a serious breakdown. Many of their best pilots died unable to control their planes. It was a mystery for everyone. So, the air force made an investigation. They hired Lt. Gilbert S. Daniels, a Harvard University scientist to do it.
Lt. Gilbert made a deeper and scientific investigation and cracked the case. His findings amazed everything, including himself. The reason for so many deaths was an excruciatingly simple neglect: cockpits had never been redesigned in 30 years.
Why that's a problem? Because, since the 1920s, the physical dimensions of the average pilot increased...but the cockpits kept the same.
Pilots were dying and so the Air Force pressed Lt. Gilbert to redesign the cockpits.
Lt. Gilbert's research had proven that the reason for those accidents was the increased physical dimensions of the pilot since 30 years when that cockpit was designed. So, he plans to find out the new average.
As the Air Force expected, Daniels took the measurements of 10 physical dimensions of 4,063 US pilots. He had averaged all the measurements and built the cockpit design.
Celebrations!! Everyone lived happily ever after.
But not exactly. In fact, the result was a devastating opposite: the new cockpit fit none of the 4,063 pilots.
Long story short: Lt. Gilbert Daniels had to come up with an Adjustable Seat for the cockpit. And that was how the Adjustable Seat, which saved the lives of many and comforted their trips, was born.
Expecting every pilot to fit in one seat doesn’t work. The seat should accommodate each individual pilot, or it's a seat that can kill the plane and everyone in it.
THE CRUCIAL LESSON
We all the entrepreneurs and to the last team member of an organisation should learn and practice
We should not expect customers to come under a Customer Persona category. Rather, we need an Adjustable Customer Persona to accommodate each individual.
Each individual. Yes, you heard that right. Either we do that or we fail...sooner or later. Mostly sooner.
Now, if you’re a business, you’ve customers and other audiences whom you should treat like they’re the policy-makers of your venture. If you treat them any other way, you better watch out.
So, here I present you 4 deep insights on how to (and how NOT to) treat your customer:
#1 Never interfere with the uniqueness of your customer
Once someone gets into your network of influence, don’t chase them all over the web. Don’t show them the pointless ads they don’t want to see. Spam won’t work, because people are becoming aware of the tricky spam stuff. The magic wand is with them, not you!
Instead, use all the clues to learn what they want and what they consider important to them. Personalization is supposed to be doing this, as some of the most customer-centric businesses have been setting us examples.
#2 Go beyond demographics and census data
Like we saw in the Lt. Gilbert and the US Air Force example, mere physical measurements can't create a significant impact.
Demographics and census data may help businesses find a way to narrow down the customer base. However, it’s not enough. A customer’s world changes constantly and gets influenced by a lot many metrics than we think are sufficient.
Our opportunity to go beyond demographics and census data, as Seth Godin points it out, is one of the biggest unfilled promises of the digital era.
Use one extra tool. Give an extra hour to the team. Or, hire someone who can do it for you. Just find a way.
#3 Don’t reserve special treatments for just a few
Suppose one customer gets only a few hundred rupees into your bank account, whereas another spends few lakh rupees. Would you serve them differently? I mean, would your way of serving them, your treatment, vary the amount of money they give you?
If yes, just think about this possibility: what would happen to your business if you reserve special treatment to everyone?
Don’t reserve ‘special treatment’ only for a few elite customers. Rather, reserve it for every single one of your customers in their own way. Do this and you have no idea where this can take your business.
#4 Create something for everyone. within who you serve
It’s not like creating something for everyone and lack speciality. It’s rather like creating something for everyone within a speciality.
In case, if all your customers see the same email, you have trouble. If you want all your customers get the same service, you have trouble. If you give them the same thing to read, you have trouble.
Not the same shoes fit everyone, as Seth Godin remarks. The slightest variation in your customer's behaviour matters. It's an opportunity to delight them.
In the world where everyone has a choice, the businesses have no choice but to serve different people differently. When a business can’t make it happen, it misses the opportunity. Plain and simple.