In a customised world - a cost-generating strategy or meeting customer’s needs?
Customization is becoming an increasingly popular term used in various areas of business. In practice, it refers to crafting the product or service accordingly to the individual needs of the customer. From the perspective of the business, it might concern an addition to the standard offer or allowing the user to create his own product by using a given type of tool.
However, many consumers are not aware of customisation in their everyday life. Whether it is a possibility to choose the seats in a cinema (or even a type of the seat), or a double espresso in a cafe - this is customisation working. It’s also present in social media or during the Christmas time, when we all prepare presents. Even though customisation is often related to the start-up boom in the recent years, it has been utilised before. And nowadays it has become crucial.
The reason for it are constant changes, both in the customer needs and preferences as well as in the shape of the markets. As for today, it is not enough to “just” use any kind of email box or order a product from a limited offer. Consumer usually expects the company to meet more complex expectations, whilst in the long run perspective - help in building his vision of the product. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the vision of the best coffee in the morning or a service that determines his company’s performance. We are supposed to be a helpful partner - not a cold, distant corporation.
Therefore, customization allows to attract clients. The modern consumer lives in a world of an excessive surplus of offers, he is literally bombarded with a huge number of products. To find the one that suits him best, he is armed in search engines, price comparison engines and other users’ opinions. It all means, that such a customer is not an easy target.
Customisation changes the relationship between a company and its customers too. One can see it as an invitation for cooperation, which further allows to understand the client. Treat is as an opportunity for a dialogue. If it works out, the possibility of gaining a loyal customer raises.
A good example of an industry where customisation is beneficial for both sides of the transaction, is production of boxes and packaging - the specialisation of Packhelp. Based on our experience, more and more companies decide to use branded packaging as one of the marketing channels, because it is the only channel that provides a 100% of reach. Furthermore, it is the first moment to “wow” the customer. And from our side - the producer and service provider - a customised offer allows Packhelp to meet the expectations of our customers more precisely.
Considering it all, a question pops up - if customisation is such a great tool, then why there’s plenty of companies that do not customise their offer?
The reason is simple - customisation is not a flawless strategy. Let’s take an example of a mobile app. Usually, customisation is a natural way to develop such product. However, in some industries, customisation might be responsible for many additional costs - especially in the businesses that include a complex distribution channels.
Quite frequently, customisation is rentable only under certain circumstances. Some companies use strategies like diversification (with a premium or custom version of the product) or bundling in order to implement successful customisation. And the fact is that a clearly targeted, special offer, can be like hitting a jackpot.
Apart from financial costs, custom requests are more time-consuming. If the user is solely depending on a certain tool in the process of placing an order, it is usually automatised and from the perspective of a company, it’s easy-peasy. However, custom requests are less automatised, which causes them to “cost” more time.
- You should follow the trends - if your consumer expects customisation, it might be a good idea to meet these expectations
- Watch out for costs of customisation - is it going to be rentable?
- Consider diversification of your offer - even the basic distinction of standard and premium offer can be beneficial