The Benefits of Personalizing Your Customer Experience
It can be difficult to meet the expectations of today's typical customer. They want you to understand their needs and respond in like kind almost preemptively. They want what they want at full quality yesterday, and they want it delivered to them where they’re at. They want security without effort and a relatable (not salesy) experience.
Basically, they want it all at the lowest possible cost as quickly as superhumanly possible. What you may not know is there are now tools available due to technology which will help you to personalize each customer’s experience and help you meet these demands more thoroughly. The problem is, not enough companies are utilizing these tools and customers are noticing the gap.
A report from Segment indicates that only 22% of customers are happy with the level of personalization they’re receiving. The common excuse for this lack revolves around privacy issues, however another report from Salesforce suggests this concern is unfounded. Their findings showed:
The takeaway is easy to see – over half of your potential customers would prefer a personalized experience and are willing to share their information to get it.
There are very clear benefits to personalizing for your customers. Segment also found customers are more likely to become repeat buyers after a personalized experience, 44% of them in fact. Other responses indicated that after receiving a personalized recommendation, 49% purchased when they didn’t intend to initially and 40% have spent more than they planned.
An Omnichannel Experience Your Customers Will Love
If you want to achieve the level of personalization your customers crave, it’s important to understand the omnichannel experience. Omnichannel provides a single, integrated experience across all platforms and locations where your consumers might possibly make purchases, from your brick and mortar location to their mobile device, in real-time.
Personalization today requires more than simple product recommendations on your website’s checkout page or an email of coupons for items left in your customer’s online shopping cart. Instead, you’ll want to deliver a fully scaled, personalized, omnichannel experience which engages your customers and compels them to support your brand.
The challenge, however, is figuring out how to make this a reality for your business. Best-in-class personalization considers three key elements:
Three Key Elements to Personalization
Data Drives Personalization
Without the right data, you will never be able to achieve personalization for your customers. You need their permission and you need to understand their pain points and desires. You’ll also require insight into their shopping preferences, past purchases, past behaviors, and how they’re interacting with your brand.
Data comes in three primary forms—first party, second party, and third party.
First-party data: Data you own. Some is explicit - expressly stated by the customer, such as a quiz to capture their preferences. Some is implicit - derived from actual behaviors like purchases or their browsing history on your website.
Second-party data: Data belonging to someone else, such as company partners, which is then shared with you. For example, a supplier may get sales and customer data from its retailer or distributor.
Third-party data: Data you can buy. Just as an example, you might buy data about new car purchases in your local area so you can sell them insurance.
Your business can now develop innovative personalization tailored to your unique customers’ needs based on the data you’ve acquired about them.
Creative Content Transformation
To deliver personalized experiences for your customers, you need to be able to output a huge amount of creative content. A customized homepage or email, for instance, may need to be reproduced in hundreds or even thousands of different versions in order to be individually specific.
This creates a real problem for businesses due to the amount of manpower, time, and storage space this kind of output would require. Fortunately, this problem is now only theoretical if you consider using technology to alleviate the issue. Your creative teams need to evolve from traditional output methods and use technology to automatically and dynamically create content.
An example of how this works would be to utilize content blocks in your designs instead of building a completed homepage or email as you may have in the past. With this method your content could be created once, then personalized using metadata and tags. Your sites and emails would maintain consistency and your content could be reused across several channels.
Content blocks are an effective way to deliver new information and personalized experiences faster, while simultaneously making sure everything your customer encounters is accurate and true to your brand.
Omnichannel Marketing Checklist
Your free checklist of the first steps to take toward omnichannel personalization for your business.
Evolving Your Business and Orchestrating a New Experience
So you’re collecting your customer data and you know you have to find an effective way to use it for creating dynamic content, but how do you do that exactly? There’s a ton of information to sort through and organize, then you have to apply it correctly. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are your most effective tools since they can automatically recognize and process vast amounts of information accurately.
AI and machine learning programs can turn massive amounts of data into dynamic, highly relevant experiences and use predictive models to target and deliver one-to-one content. This eliminates your need to rely on gut instinct to acquire new customers and ensures a personalized, seamless, consistent experience across the multiple touchpoints in their journey.
Your business must evolve from traditional, manual, and segregated processes to embrace a centralized and technologically advanced operating model. This will likely require restructuring your team and your budget, as well as improving collaboration in your organization so everyone is on the same page. A seamless experience for your customers requires a seamless experience for your employees.
If you have separate online and onsite teams operating under separate profits and margins, you should consider consolidating them. Similarly, your digital and print teams should be integrated with any other marketing touchpoints at both the leadership and staff levels. Your business can set an omnichannel strategy and effectively execute it best in an omnichannel structure. Then, through technology, you can build a singular and brand specific experience using your customers’ data to personalize their journeys.
Omnichannel Personalization at its Best
Building out an effective omnichannel personalization strategy takes some work, but it can also present a wealth of opportunity. The numbers show your customers are hungry for a personal experience. Catering to their needs will ultimately impact your bottom line, improving day-to-day results and bolstering campaign performance.
While the process can seem daunting, the good news is you can start small and build improvements in steps before scaling across the whole organization. Advancements in marketing technology are making it easier to offer more personalized experiences, to strengthen brand loyalty, to increase customer engagement and retention, and improve a host of other key performance indicators.
To learn more about marketing technology and how it can impact your customers’ experience, contact us today! You can also download this FREE checklist of simple first steps to take toward omnichannel personalization in your business, as well as some ideas for omnichannel marketing.