The answer might seem obvious… but it’s essentially the difference between a customer who is just another number in your database and one who feels valued, seen, and heard. It’s what makes them feel special and important. It’s what makes them want to come back again and again because of their personalised customer experience journey with you.
Personalised experiences are more likely to generate positive emotions and leave customers feeling satisfied about their interaction with your business. This means that personalisation also has the potential to improve retention rates and increase sales.
Personalisation can have a huge impact on any business, regardless of size or industry. In fact, it could be argued that personalisation has the ability to transform the reputation of business from simply ‘okay’ to best-in-class.
But what exactly does personalisation mean? And how does it affect customer experience?
How does personalisation affect customer experience?
The customer experience is the sum of all interactions a customer has with your business (whether intentional or by chance), including their perception of the service or product they receive.
It is important to recognise that personalisation is an important component of customer experience; used to improve the customer journey and the overall customer satisfaction.
Personalised experiences are more likely to generate positive emotions and leave customers feeling satisfied with their interaction with your business. This means that personalisation also has the potential to improve retention rates and increase sales.
Ways to integrate personalisation into your customer experiences
Personalisation affects every stage of the customer journey. With customer data you can optimise your site to be as helpful as possible to your customers.
If you want to learn more about the customer journey and how to personalise it, check out our other blog here!
If you know what interests your customers, you can use it to tailor messages and offers that are relevant to them.
For example, if you know one customer loves festivals and another loves pop music, you could send them information about upcoming events in their local area related to these topics.
Recommendations are an excellent way of increasing sales without spending more money on advertising campaigns or promotions. Optimise your website by using data from customers’ buying habits, purchase history or browsing behaviour.
You can tailor recommendations so they’re relevant for each individual customer. For example, if one customer keeps buying books about branding while another buys CX books regularly, then you could suggest related titles. Amazon is a good example of monetising this!
However, you must be careful when it comes to using consumers’ data and data analytics. Make sure you are not overstepping the boundaries. Data privacy is an important topic in this day and age, so ensure you allow consumers to make that choice between you using or not using their data, or receiving or not receiving marketing material from you.
Staying on the right side of GDPR regulations is paramount as the fines can be hefty!
What are the main customer expectations and how does personalisation impact them?
Customers expect to be rewarded for their time and for spending with you. A lot of businesses make the mistake of trying too hard to attract new customers, offering them deals and discounts, without rewarding their existing customers – who may have been loyal for many years.
If you want to personalise this experience, you could email your current customers thanking them for their continued loyalty and offer a 10% discount, or even create a reward points scheme.
Customers want to be able to access your business if they need to reach out for help. Be there for your customers by being available face-to-face, through email, over the phone or on social media.
You should always be present on multiple channels so your customers can communicate with you through whatever is most accessible to them.
If you don’t know your customers, you can’t be sure to give them what they want… Personalisation helps you gain insights into their preferences and intent through data, so you can offer them tailored experiences that keep them engaged.
Develop a customer-first approach
Having a customer-centric approach demands that the customer is the focal point of all decisions related to delivering products, services and experiences to create customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy.
In addition, when a change or improvement is considered, the impact on the customer experience must be first and foremost in the minds of the designers, with customer expectations considered at every stage.
Provide immediate assistance when customers cannot locate something on the website or if they have questions about the business. Without making too broad of an assumption, most of us have interacted with a chatbot on a business website. Most of the time, the experience was lacking something – the ‘human touch’.
The issue with chatbots is that they are very impersonal; the exact opposite of personalisation. AI chatbots are beginning to solve that problem by using real-time customer data which allows them to add a personal touch to the interaction.
Develop intelligent chatbots that can enhance the experience your customers have when they are on a website by providing immediate assistance, but make sure a human can be easily contacted if the issue is not resolved quickly. Customer expectations of service are typically that they can access solutions on their own terms and in their own time.
Some people might prefer not to speak with a person at all, but if they can’t find what they’re looking for they will want to make the transition as easily as possible!
Physical stores have the power to make a great first impression when customers enter. For example, when a customer walks into your store, greet them (we’ve all had to wait at a hotel or similar while the front of house person is on the phone and doesn’t acknowledge us…).
Customers will feel seen and valued and it demonstrates your availability to help; increasing the perception that they will receive a positive customer experience. Greetings give you the chance to control the first impression and set the tone for the entire buying experience.
If you receive customer feedback, listen to it. Even if they don’t – ask for it. Customers are usually more than happy to give their opinion. You can send a survey asking customers to fill out a simple questionnaire about how they feel they are treated, their opinion on your customer service or how effective yout services are.
These are just a couple examples of how to improve your customer experience online and in store, and set (and meet) customer expectations.
5 Reasons to personalise customer experiences
If you’re still not convinced that adding personalisation is important for enhancing the customer’s experience, here’s 5 reasons to step up your game:
To build trust and loyalty
People buy from people they know and trust. If you are able to build that trust with your customers by showing that you know them and their needs, then you’ll be more likely to keep their business in the future.
Improve customer retention
When a customer feels valued by a brand or retailer, they are far less likely to leave it behind when they have finished their initial purchase.
Personalisation can help ensure that fewer customers leave your store feeling disappointed or undervalued.
Helps nudge customers at just the right time and place in their buying cycle
Personalising all stages of the customer journey helps to convince customers and drive them to the checkout.
As consumers move from shopping to asking for help, to buying, they want to feel seen and heard along the way. Personalized experiences mean recognizing who the customer is and where they are on their journey.
For example, a good way of personalising the buying cycle is by making it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for on your website. This can be done by using cookies narrowing down search results.
Using predictive search on your website allows users to search for products based on their own needs and interests. This also helps you learn about your target audience and what their habits are. If you’re showing customer products that are unique to their purchase and browsing history then those customers are likely to visit the product page for those products that have been suggested.
This helps customers to quickly compare products and prices, making them more likely to make a decision and checkout faster!
Helps to promote/sell additional services
“Recent research reveals that 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that offers personalised experiences.” (Source: Shopcircle.co)
If you can create personalised experiences for your customers, you’re increasing the number of customers you can promote additional services to.
With a personalised strategy in place, you can increase customer loyalty. Customers are more likely to come back to your business if they felt you were helpful, caring or made them feel valuable.
You could even introduce a loyalty program to encourage to reward your current customers and drive loyalty in new ones, ultimately increasing your customer base.
So, now you know you want to improve your customer experience by integrating personalisation into your marketing spend. At ThinkWoW, our talented customer experience leaders can help you every step of the way to create a powerful solution that targets your customer needs. Get in touch with us today to transform your business!
Check out our recent posts about customer experience: