Tip 42: Let your customers customize their experience

Your customers are unique. As such, if it is possible for them to build something that suits their needs exactly, why not let them? Your customers will love the product they designed the way they wanted, and will be thankful to you for allowing them to have it their way.


  1. Brands like Mini Cooper, Chipotle, and Build-A-Bear do it. They let customers customize their ideal product by choosing what they want included from that selection of options.
  2. When I bought my cozy condo in downtown Philadelphia, I was definitely in need of some space saving options that also looked nice. Ikea saved the day by having available a modular closet system that enabled me to customize the way the closet was set up based upon my needs and wants. It was exactly what I needed.


  1. Don’t let customization overwhelm you. As you begin offering various options for your customers, start small. And then once you are able to manage the variations your customers come up with, you’ll be able to expand where it makes sense. Besides, giving your customers too many options to choose from may paralyze them, thus preventing them from choosing you.
  2. Listen to your customers. Over time, they’ll be able to tell you both in their actions and words which features and areas of customization are most important for them. Over time you’ll be able to find some clear winners in terms of which customization points will produce the most bang for your buck.

Application for your business

  1. Make a list of at least three things you can allow your customers to customize in your business based upon what you’ve heard them say or observed them doing.
  2. From your list above, choose one thing you will allow your customers to customize. Now brainstorm at least five ways to enable your customers to customize this option to their liking.

Previous tips

1-22. Build a relationship with your customers (series)

23. Solve your customers’ problem

24. Know your stuff

25. Add value

26. Do what you say you’re going to do

27. Exceed your customers’ expectations

28. Be a purple cow

29. Be consistent

30. Be accessible

31. Always be one or two steps ahead

32. Give your customers what they didn’t even know they needed or wanted

33. Give your customers an easy button

34. Make common inconveniences more convenient

35. Respect your customers’ time

36. Be simple and intuitive

37. Automate

38. Educate

39. Teach your customers something new

40. Share helpful information

41. Be relevant (evolve with the times)