There are many companies across a range of different industries, each trying to make its unique selling point to attract customers. Given that they are in the right industry for it, some companies have the option to sell altered versions of their product(s). The ability to customize a product is something that goes over very well with the customer base since they are getting a product as close to their personal preference as possible. Who better to provide insight into what the customer might want to add/remove from a product or service than the customer themselves?
Customerization utilizes a deeper, more diverse method of customization of the product to enhance the customer experience. Drawing up a good system for this requires understanding the target market’s preferences and needs and subsequently offering options that cover all bases to ensure maximum customer satisfaction.
The Difference between Customization, Personalization, and Customerization
Following the theme of customizable products, we discuss the different levels of alteration that can be implemented for products.
Customization entails the process of altering an existing product to fit your needs best using the set of pre-selected options. The customizability is certainly limited, but it opens up some options to make the product unique for every customer. An example of customization is when someone purchases a new phone. Upon switching the phone on, there are a few preferences that you are required to go through and choose. Even when the phone’s initial setup is fully done, you can go into ‘settings’ and adjust anything to your liking. However, it is important to note that there is a limit to the customization that can be done since the phone provides a set of pre-selected options to select from.
Personalization refers to a model where there is even more freedom in the changes that can be made to a product. Providing a greater range of customization compared to customization, this model can be subject to application if there is a customer request from an individual customer. This model can be seen in use in the fast-food industry wherein sometimes customers will place an order with special instructions. This instruction can include anything (extra patty on a burger, extra ice cubes in a drink, extra straws or spoons, etc.). Since there is no real pre-selected range of options, the customer can effectively ask for any alteration to the order, hence making it a personalization.
Customerization utilizes aspects of both personalization and customization. In this model, the business and the customer are both given some say in the production of the end product. Essentially the customer has the power to alter the look or contents of a product to a certain extent, after which the company shifts gear to offering pre-selected options that line up with what the customer has designed. For example, self-care products such as hair shampoo/conditioner and beard oil/beard grooming sets may have you fill in some information on what result you would like to see from the product. The website then sorts the most favorable choices for the customer to select from
Benefits of Customerization
- The process of customerization includes some healthy customer interaction that helps flourish business-customer relations
- It results in a unique, brand-new product that the customer themselves has specially designed
- Customerization gives a business a competitive edge over its competitors and encourages customer loyalty
- The option of highly customizable products can result in increased longevity in the relationship between the business and the customer, seeing as how a good portion of customers would be willing to pay top dollar for a personalized service that leaves them happy
Challenges Faced in Customerization
- Obtaining information from customers in some cases may prove to be a hassle
- Customerization leads to elevated customer expectations means little to no room for slip-ups and mistakes
- Pricing adjustments will have to be made constantly on different customerized orders
- Using a build-to-order model to facilitate customerized orders can prove to be a difficult management task as orders may get backed up