One of the simplest ways to gauge how well your business is performing is through customer experience.
It is probably one of the easiest ways (and the hardest as well) when it comes to ensuring that your customers have had a great experience while interacting with your business.
It becomes even tougher when the interaction is entirely digital since you can’t ‘read’ your customer altogether.
This is where customer experience management techniques come in handy. One of the elements that effortlessly work in the customer domain is personalisation.
When it comes to building relationships with your customers, personalisation, simply put, works like a charm. Not only does it make your customer feel special and also a valued asset to your business. Elements as minute as addressing your customer by their name can make a huge difference and goes a long way in building the foundation of your relationship with them.
According to a McKinsey report, “Today’s personalisation leaders have found proven ways to drive 5 to 15% increases in revenue and 10 to 30% increases in marketing-spend efficiency—predominantly by deploying product recommendations and triggered communications within singular channels.”
In today’s day and age, your customers hold great power and are in control of their relationship with your business. With plenty of alternatives around, it is the customer experience that holds the power to make or break the relationship.
Personalising a digital customer experience can make your business stand out. Not just retaining your existing customers, but it can also help you win new ones.
Here are 5 ways in which your business can personalise a digital customer experience:
Data collection and usage
One of the most basic ways to personalise a customer experience is data collection.
While your customers might also have concerns about data privacy, most generally do not have issues sharing basic information as long as it is being used only for the purpose of enhancing their experience. And as a business, it is your business to safeguard their data and assure them that data won’t be misused.
The next step after collecting the data is to break it down and understand it in a way that will help you and your business to devise strategies that serve better.
Your customers’ past transactions, behaviours and trends will help you craft a hyper-personalised experience when they decide to interact with you.
Segmentation and micro-segmentation
Whether it is emailing your customers or alerting them about a new initiative via SMS, or targeted advertisement on social media, segmentation is the key. All your customers would not be looking for the same thing.
Their past patterns will help you determine where their interest lies and help you segregate and segment them accordingly.
Instead of cold mailing your customers, segmentation will help you in two ways—retaining your old customers as well as getting new ones on board. Additionally, segmentation will also ensure that your customers aren’t spammed and they only get relevant information.
Sometimes, it might also be a good idea to treat your customers as individuals with personal likes and dislikes, instead of a targeted group that tends to have similar tastes. This is called micro-segmentation and is an upcoming model for a personalised digital experience.
Leveraging cloud-based technology
With the vast amounts of data a business collects, it is essential to maintain security. Your customers’ personal information, preferences and purchase behaviour are of utmost importance and need to be handled carefully.
Apart from security, it is also pertinent to ensure that such data is easily available, anytime and anywhere. This is where a cloud-based storage system comes in handy. Apart from storing large amounts of data at reasonable costs, it also ensures the availability and accessibility of the collected data.
Moreover, businesses should also contribute significant time and financial resources to leverage artificial intelligence (AI).
Not only does it help track and use data in real-time but has also helped in hyper personalising customer experiences. Artificial intelligence and machine learning also aid in crunching big data in a short span of time, thereby allowing your business to act upon the same swiftly.
AI progression in recent years has also ensured smoother customer interactions in the form of chatbots, IVRs and virtual assistance and also helps enhance engagement.
The idea behind omnichannel representation is that your customer has more ways than one to effectively reach out to your business—via their phone, laptop, or tablet. And through different channels as well, be it social media, email or a phone call.
It aims to develop a constant back and forth relationship with your business.
Approaching your customers with an omnichannel representation will help you determine what works best for an individual. It shows their preferred mode of communication and throws more light on the customer journey.
An omnichannel approach will give you more tools than one to predict, understand and gauge customer behaviour—ultimately unify the data and ensure better behavioural predictability.
Multiple channels will also help you understand how a specific customer approaches your business. It will help you decide the best and the most effective way to approach them.
Ensuring relevance and a seamless experience
Let’s elucidate this with an example. If your customer purchased a T-shirt and their next email recommendation includes a pair of sandals, while they have no history of any such purchase, they are most likely to mark you as spam.
When it comes to personalisation, it’s all about ensuring what will be relevant to them based on the data you’ve collected.
It is equally important to ensure that a purchase has actually been made. According to research by Baymard Institute, the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate is as high as 69.80%.
Meaning that your customers will put something in their cart and not end up purchasing it at all. To battle a situation like this, soft reminder emails play an important role. This will ensure that your shoppers keep coming back to your business and interact continuously.
In order to ensure a smooth experience, businesses can also offer certain incentives, customised discounts or recommendations to the customers at the beginning of their shopping journey.
Right from the moment the customer decides to browse through your business till the time they actually make the purchase and receive the product, their experience has to be unique and hassle-free for them to actually come back.
Personalisation should be hard-hitting at every step like it would be offline—where your customers can engage, interact, browse and ultimately make the purchase in tandem with a shopping assistant.
As customers transition from just buyers to smart buyers, businesses also have to figure out ways to keep competitors at bay.
Strategising is one thing but effective implementation is a completely different ball game.
More than just a marketing strategy, personalisation has become an essential requirement for creating a customer experience like never before. By ensuring a seamless journey, relevant and targeted approach, multi-channel presence, collecting, using and segmenting their data effectively, a business can reach its pinnacle and have long-lasting relationships with its customers.
Hence, it is significant to understand how personalisation works and how business can create such an experience even when the two parties are on opposite sides of a screen.
Vanita Arora is a marketing enthusiast associated with Servetel, a prominent cloud telephony service provider. Being greatly in love with music & travelling, she has always been fascinated with technology.