We’ve already covered why customer experience is important and the difference between customer experience and customer service, but to deliver an effective experience that your customers will remember, you need to personalise their journey.
In the age of GDPR, personalisation has become a tricky subject – 28% of marketers say they are “kept up at night” by the challenge of personalising customer experience without violating their privacy. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to tailor your customer experience without being invasive. Let’s take a look at them.
Knowing who your customers are is the first step to personalising their customer experience. Look at your marketing data and draw up some key personas. We’re not just talking age and gender, either, you should know what they want, need and, most importantly, expect from your business.
Don’t just rely on your data for the answers– talk to every single team that interacts with your customers, from sales to customer service, to learn more about who your customers are, what they expect at different stages of their journey, and any issues that pop up time and time again.
Reviews are also a great source of information when it comes to your customers, especially in terms of whether your customer experience is hitting the mark, or if there are bumps in the road that need to be fixed. Collecting reviews at every touchpoint will help you personalise each stage of the customer journey, so make sure you’re not just collecting reviews after purchase.
Long gone are the days when you can call addressing someone by their name in an email “personalisation”. Thanks to the rise of customer experience kings such as Amazon, today’s consumer expects a much deeper level of personalisation. In fact, just 8% of consumers say they’re encouraged to engage with a retail brand when they use their first name in digital marketing, and only 7% would engage following a happy birthday email.
So, what do consumers respond to? 50% say they are likely to engage with a brand when they receive an interesting offer. Personalisation is about being relevant: anticipating your customers’ needs. A customer who’s just bought a sofa, for example, isn’t going to want to be targeted with ads and emails about other sofas they could have bought, but they may be interested in an offer on the matching armchair.
To be relevant, you need to tailor content to your customers’ wants and needs. From your website and social channels, to your marketing emails and pay-per-click (PPC) ads, everything they see from your brand should be personalised. This is where segmenting and understanding your customers is key, because if you don’t understand them, you can’t tailor their content.
Dynamic content is web-based content which changes depending on a number of factors, such as the visitor’s preference, their location, time of day, and much more. It can help increase conversions by making content much more relevant and personal. For example, if someone visits a clothing retailer’s site and it’s raining where they are, the content they see may direct them to clothes suitable for wet weather. Alternatively, you may just want to show returning customers their personalised recommendations on what to buy next, related to what they’ve previously purchased.
Netflix is an obvious example of a brand that uses dynamic, personalised content well. Not only do they use machine learning to suggest what you should watch next, they even change the images used to advertise each film and TV programme based on your preferences. If you watch a lot of Sandra Bullock films, for example, Netflix will not only suggest more films starring that actor, they’ll also make sure she’s included in in the thumbnail image for those films.
As your business grows, so will the volume of consumers getting in touch with you, whether that’s via social media, email or live chat on your website. Replying to each message, query and complaint both quickly and personally can be tricky, but resorting to scripted or automated responses isn’t always the best solution.
ASOS’s customer service Twitter account, for example, automatically replies to anyone who mentions @ASOS with a pre-generated ‘we’re sorry’ message. While in some situations this will be the most appropriate response, it shows consumers that ASOS must regularly receive complaints about their service, because this automated account assumes there is a problem with the customer’s order, without checking the context of the tweet.
Of course, chatbots and other automated systems can be extremely useful, especially when dealing with easy-to-solve questions and issues, but they need to be smart, relevant and helpful to your customers.
There’s so much you can do to improve and personalise your customer experience, but understanding who your customers are, what they care about and how they feel about your business, is vital. Before you start wowing your customers with dynamic content, focus on the areas you’re weakest in as well as what makes you special and sets you apart from your competitors.
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