Right globally, wrong locally

When I walked into my local Starbucks yesterday afternoon it was 104 degrees out (nothing like a balmy September day in Dallas!). So you can imagine my delight in being greeted with the promotional signs proclaiming that “Pumpkin Spice Lattes Are Back!” Naturally I bought a Venti one, headed home to put on my sweater and curl up in front of a warm fire with a good book.

In recent weeks I’ve gotten various promotional emails encouraging me to redeem loyalty points I don’t have, as well as numerous e-mails marketing products or locations that aren’t remotely of interest to me. All of this despite these retailers having enough data about me to know better.

Or maybe you’ve had the experience of being prompted by your bank’s ATM screen to choose the language you wish to use (what the heck, after 20 years of choosing “English” maybe now is a good time to start practicing my high school Spanish!).

Sure it’s easy to take the one size fits all approach. I’m sure you have plenty of seemingly good reasons why even some basic customization is too complicated and/or expensive to execute.

And yes there are situations where you can get away with the mass approach. Just realize that what is right for you often doesn’t work for your customers. Sometimes it’s just annoying or amusing. But sometimes you are missing great opportunities or losing out to competition that truly gets and implements customer-centricity.

Like politics, all retail is local.

Treat different customers differently.


3 thoughts on “Right globally, wrong locally

  1. So true. The disconnect is sometimes minor – an irritant mostly. Then sometimes, the disconnect is so major that I have not purchased that brand again. Sometimes you have to walk away because it feels personally insulting.

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