It’s Time For Professional Services to Embrace Hyper-Personalization
“Old truth: Customers hope you have what they want.
New truth: Customers expect you to have exactly what they want.”
– Harvard Business Review March 2020
Web and app delivered services are creating expectations that creep into professional services and B2B companies. Web/app service companies have an abundance of data that allows them to gauge customer preferences and make rapid adaptations perpetually, thereby increasing personalized value. There is a web-delivered solution for practically every human need, from insomnia to tracking stocks, even apps that tell you when to drink water or feed your plants. This hyper-personalization effect trains our clients to expect increasingly tailored offerings from all their business relationships, including professional services.
New truth: Courting customers is just like online dating
– Harvard Business Review March 2020
Remember when the only way to compare, analyze and choose insurance required an appointment and person to give us the information and execute the policies? Apps like PolicyGenius.com and eHeath.com allow us to compare, select, and build our custom policies quickly and conveniently according to our budgets and delivered precisely how we prefer they are delivered. These are not examples of how people need to be replaced by apps but rather examples of how professional services can use technology to enable customers to gather information and configure services. This online enablement satisfies customers’ need for personalized control while reserving people to handle things people are better suited to handle: problem-solving, customer service exceptions, and advisement.
Finding a business consulting firm is rapidly moving from a who you know network to who’s the best person to solve my specific problem.
Once considered a reasonably safe harbor from disruption, general business consulting has splintered into a thousand specialized niches focused on solving increasingly narrow customer problems. As a result, it’s common to see small niche players or even a single SME knock off a big consulting brand because the depth of specialized experience was considered far more important than big brand reputation or relationships.
Customers who can access help in all facets of their personal life with the touch of a button are becoming trained to look for similar help with their business problems
I predict hyper-personalization will change the marketing function from blasting messaging campaigns to engineering personal journeys and experiences based on a better understanding of values, preferences, and priorities. Marketing will be more baked into product development vs. its traditional place as a separate campaign generating function.
If you are in professional services, the answers to these questions can help you understand your readiness to address hyper-personalization:
Have you found what worked for years with your customers doesn’t seem to work anymore?
Are highly specialized competitors encroaching on your traditional business?
Do you have systematic ways to assure you are in touch with your customer’s values and real-life situations? (do you know what it’s like to be your customer?)
Are you embracing data and new technologies to increase your services’ personalization, value, and convenience?
The level and style of personalization for each professional services business will be different for different companies. Still, it is a safe bet you will be affected by hyper-personalization because your customer’s expectations are in training as we speak.
#digital marketing #hyperpersonalization #salesmarketing #consulting #professionalservices #cmoinsights