Identifying and Complying with Customer Preferences

customer service on a call

Photo by Jep Gambardella

“A brand is no longer what we tell the customer it is – it is what customers tell each other it is.” – Scott Cook

The quote hits the nail directly on the head! Can any company afford to neglect customer preferences and instead, try to force endless choices on the customer? This is no longer possible. Customers have enough information and ample ways to access it. They do not need to rely solely on the word of the company they buy from.

Any company that tries to use the ‘umbrella approach and messages, finds that customers hardly respond. They do not have a long-term engagement with such companies. One way companies can identify customer preferences is by using tools. For instance, with an interactive decision trees tool, customers can have a self-service experience that is similar to interacting with an agent.

Personalizing customer preferences

Identifying and complying with customer preferences no longer only means offering products and services to suit the customers. It also means personalizing these offerings, sending relevant content, and allowing customers the flexibility of moving between channels. In addition, it allows customers to connect with the company when it’s convenient for them and respond at the set timeline.

This is the true meaning of understanding customer preferences. It can be a genuine expression of wanting to deepen and enhance the relationship with the customer. Producing offerings and sending content and messages that are not customer-centric tells your customers that your company would rather keep control of the communication. It believes in one-way transmissions rather than engaging.

Having access to customer information

Companies may invest in customer relationship management tools and software. They can gain valuable customer information without violating customers’ privacy. In fact, as companies make the effort to get more data, they are better positioned to provide personalized content, service, and offerings by taking customer preferences into account. These efforts at personalization make customers happier, as they gain more value from the relationship.

They also get drawn closer to the company and have enhanced affinity with the brand. Multiple studies show that when customers perceive value and can trust a company, they readily share personal data and information. It is from this information that companies can enhance their customer service and provide better products. This is a true and genuine attempt at not only understanding customer preferences but also keeping those preferences at the core of everything a company does for its customers.

Engaging customers

Prudent companies set forth to engage customers at the very start of the relationship. It is at this time that both the customer’s needs and interests are at their peak. Getting valuable personal information at this stage is beneficial. It would be helpful to let customers know how you plan to use that information. To send them relevant content, personalized offers, which communication channel you would use, and other such uses.

The company can also suggest other relevant information that could benefit the customers by using their data. They can be able to send this additional information as well. Customers can then have the choice of whether they wish to continue receiving the information or unsubscribe from it. It would be based on customer preferences. Companies that don’t focus on customer preferences are only faking an interest in their customers.

Customer preference gives you loyal customers

Placing customer preferences at the center of your company’s operations is challenging. There is time, effort, and financial investment involved. This may seem like a waste since there is no immediate and apparent ROI on these investments. However, nothing is further removed from the truth than this.

When you place customer preferences on a pedestal, give the customers a variety of choices and keep them engaged. They will remain loyal. They give you repeated business and also speak highly of your company. With this kind of reputation at work, companies can only benefit from it. There is never a downside to happy customers. They are not only willing to continue doing business with you but also attract other customers for you. A massive saving on promotion and marketing costs.

Understand the customer’s emotional need

When keeping in mind customer preferences, companies must remember to take into account the emotional need for which a customer is buying. When you address the emotional need, you discover why the product is needed for the customer’s business. Also, you know what you can do to help the customer succeed. It is a common phenomenon, that while customers may know why they want something, they may not know what that something is and which problem they wish to address through it.

This is where understanding the customer becomes crucial for a company. Identify the customer preferences and needs. Give the customers products and services that even they didn’t know they were looking for. Keep the standards of quality and customer service high. You will soon be in a position to command a higher price point than anyone in the market.

Knowing customer expectations

Knowing customer preferences means knowing the expectations customers bring with them when they first begin doing business with you. Their expectations could be based on past experiences. It could also be their perceptions of your company based on market intelligence, and information gained from your current customers. 

Also, it would benefit your company to understand that with expectations comes unsaid desire. The desire would be satisfied continually if not always exceeded. However, from a company’s perspective to have a competitive edge and create true value for the customer and gain their loyalty, it would be best that you aim to consistently exceed your customer’s expectations.

Increase in a larger customer base

Identifying and keeping your customer preferences in focus will gain you a larger and more profitable customer base. It allows your company to be in control of pricing and produces personalized offerings that will appeal to customers. They spend more, and in the long run, provide great testimonials and referrals that bring down your company’s overall cost of attracting new customers and also retaining the current customer base.

Customer preference helps to segment customers

As mentioned earlier, it’s essential to divide your customers into segments. It can be depending on their needs, preferences, demographics, and other such criteria. The more detail and preciseness that companies can put in place to make these segments, the easier it would be to focus on a particular segment of customers and their preferences. The whole idea of segmentation is to get a clear and more detailed analysis of the customers. That is knowing why they buy, what they buy more often, how they prefer to buy, and other such metrics. Once you are able to understand each segment based on customer preferences, it becomes much easier to put strategies, operating standards, and offerings in place to meet their individual needs.

Accurate marketing strategies

The closer you get to customers and the more you know about their preferences and needs, the more accurate your promotional and marketing strategies will be. The chances of success and sales will increase since you will be selling to the customer what they helped put together. They will be able to more easily identify with the offering. Not just for selling.

As customers perceive the zest and precision, you would be able to build stronger and longer-lasting relationships with them. The stronger the relationship with your customer, the higher the probability of customers bringing more customers and doing more business with your company. They will recommend you to others on a sustained basis.

That’s it

Companies need customers to remain in business. They would need to adapt to customer preferences. That means giving the customers what they want, when they want, and how they want. It is about reducing customer effort and being the most dependable and indispensable business partner the customers could ever have.

Create interactive decision trees for customer service management, cold call scripts or self-service. Improve sales performance metrics and customer delight across your call centers.

Interactive Decision Tree