“Have it your way” is the old slogan we’re all pretty familiar with from the fast-food industry—and the idea behind it is making huge waves in business. Letting customers leave your business with exactly what they want is one of the best things you can do to boost sales and keep customers coming back, especially if it’s difficult to find the product they really want anywhere else.
For example, a washer and gasket company that offers special order options in which customers can order custom-sized products is especially appealing to customers since they may not be able to find what they need elsewhere. Such a service is extremely valuable to customers, and it will entice them to use the service in the future and tell their friends all about it.
What Customization Does for Your Business
An article sponsored by Bain & Company says, “A Bain survey of more than 1,000 online shoppers found that while less than 10% have tried customization options, 25%-35% are interested in doing so.” And that number is rising all the time. That’s a large number of people you can help through customization, and it’s a major chance to boost your business. Here are some of the things that customization can do for you.
Encourages Customer Engagement
The same study led by Bain & Company showed that customers who asked for customized products were much more engaged with the business, both during the customization process and after. They spent more time on the company website and were more likely to return to the company for other products. If you’re struggling to truly engage your customers with your brand, customization may be what you need to get out of that rut.
Increases Brand Loyalty
As mentioned earlier, customers who participate in customization tend to be much more loyal to that brand than those who don’t. There is a matter of trust that accompanies the customization of products, and if you do everything you can to make it a good experience, your customers will remember that and return to you for more.
Widens Your Audience
There are some consumers whose tastes and preferences are changing very quickly, making them a very difficult audience to target. With social media and online publications, it is almost impossible for companies to keep up with the ever-changing nature of current trends. Customization makes your products much more appealing to that very audience. It helps reduce the amount of times you have to shift your merchandise to keep customers happy.
Raises Your Profits
You can always charge more for customization, whether it costs you more to make or not. On average, customers are willing to pay 20 percent more for customization than regular products, allowing you to raise your prices without complaint and in turn gain more profits.
Customization Steps to Take for Success
Since so many companies are using customization, there is a certain standard associated with the customization process. In order for the customization you use in your company to be a success, you must meet these standards, and there are some steps you can take to do that.
Define Your Goals. What do you want to get out of customization? Are you seeking customer engagement? Higher profits? Brand loyalty? Knowing exactly what your goals are with customization will help you set up the platform you’ll use to deliver it. For example, if you’re looking to raise customer engagement, you’ll focus largely on ease-of-access for customers on your website.
Know Your Limits. There’s always a limit when it comes to customization, and if you’re wise, you’ll know what yours is. Offering too many customization services will result in lost profits. Think about the customization services you offer and decide how much you actually need to offer to raise profits. There’s no sense in spending the money on a service that won’t pay for itself.
Make It User-Friendly. If you offer customization in which customers use a platform you provide to create their own custom designs, the customer needs to have a good experience. If you have a user interface that has too many steps or logs out at inconvenient times, your customers won’t be happy. It’s worth the extra expense to purchase user-friendly technology and have tech support available when it goes down.
Use Social Media. Social media is an exceptional advertising platform no matter what, but it’s especially good for advertising customization. Putting a sharing option via social media into your user interface software gives your customers a chance to share their creations with their friends and family, showing off your customization services and inviting more business.
If you take the right steps in your customization endeavors, it shouldn’t take long for you to see major differences in your customer loyalty, engagement, and profits.