Is Customer Experience Exempt from “One Size Does Not Fit All?” Not Really!
I’ve written about this experience before, and amazingly, my experience hasn’t improved in the past couple years. It’s the coffeehouse slow and inefficient service that I’m talking about.
On Saturday mornings, I frequently go with my son to grab a quick breakfast before we get to his early-morning music lesson. He always orders the same thing, and I don’t vary from my usual order much, either. I come in, clearly in a hurry, telling my son “Go ahead and order, hurry”, as opposed a casual laid-back look that says, “We would love to have a relaxing time drinking coffee, let’s see what we should have this morning”. I also use my reward app and pay with it. So, technically, they should know some info about me and what I order. In other words, there are many signs about me that the coffeehouse staff can see and act on: both by observation of body language and by looking at the reward system data. But I don’t see such tailoring of experience based on this available information. Like I wrote a while back, I still get the slow and inefficient service, which always makes me nervous about getting to our music lesson on time. A feeling that becomes visually apparent as I start getting antsy in front of the cashier or have to specifically request the staff to get me my cold-served pastry out of the case, which is right next to the cashier who took my order.
You may say that I’m expecting too much! There are hundreds of people that go through that coffeehouse each day. How can they tailor the experience in hundreds of different possible ways for each customer? You are right, that would be too much to expect. But isn’t there a way to to the least common denominator of a set of customer types? More specifically, can’t we group different customer types into a few manageable categories based on their characteristics and needs, then enhance the customer experience based on the information about those few categories of customers? Yes, we can. The practice of grouping customers is not novel in marketing, it is called Segmentation. A term almost all of us are familiar with. What is relatively novel is that Segmentation isn’t only for Marketing, it can also be beneficial for Customer Experience!
Customer Segmentation for Better Customer Experiences
Traditionally, when colleagues in various industries talked about Segmentation, it was mostly for the purposes of Marketing or Sales. To optimize products and services, to promote them, or to organize sales efforts towards these identified segments of customers. Segmentation involves understanding the different types of customers—their characteristics, their needs, attitudes, and their preferences—in order to determine the most meaningful “unique” groups of those customers. These identified groupings of customers would be unique in the sense that, in aggregate, they have a distinctive set of characteristics that make them a “different type of consumer” from each other, even though some of the individual characteristics may be common across multiple groups. Most …read more
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