Unhappy Customers

Your customers aren’t happy with your personalization efforts. Sorry, someone had to say it. What they really want is customization. So what’s the difference? Well, here’s a good start (as well as a link to an article with some data on this shift):

…a distinction between personalization, based on aggregate user attributes, and customization, based on such data as past transactions. (From a recent CMSWire.com article)

That means that you can’t just drop an %fname% into your email to make people interact. That’s fine, because as social media folks know, talking one-to-one is the best way to build relationships and interact. Woah – hold the phone, you missed the point.

The point here is that whether automated or personal, using their name doesn’t make it more effective. You need to understand who a person is and what they have done recently – and then tailor the meat of that communication to give them what they want.

Your audience is looking for you to provide them with a service when they interact with you. That service is a response that is relevant to their current needs and is informed by their history. So here are a few things you can do to provide that customized response they are craving:

  • Look through their recent tweets to see what they’ve been talking about – it might give some insight into questions they have been asking in this area
  • Check if you’ve interacted with them on any social network before, this may be difficult, but it’s worth a look.
  • Look at their profile on twitter, G+, or LinkedIn – understanding who they are and their level of knowledge or experience can help you speak to them at the right level.
  • Take a look at your customer records, find out if they are a customer, a prospect, or perhaps an ex-customer. Have that context before you respond. If it’s hard or impossible for you to check that, then you need to fix that. You’re a first line of support for many people and you need access to that info.
  • Don’t be afraid to take the conversation offline so you can provide exactly the level of service, sales, or support they need without the confines of a social networking interface.

Social Media is a conduit to reach out to your audience, but it shouldn’t be an excuse to drop the ball on talking to people in an appropriate way. Take the time to understand who you are talking to and your customers will appreciate you for it.

By the way, if you are interested in doing a better job of understanding who your clients are, Argyle Social has a great Social CRM integrated with our engagement dashboard – and we integrate with Marketo, Pardot, and Silverpop to provide you with all the customer and prospect data that you need.

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