In a world where information holds increasing value and where human connection is increasingly important, creating personalized experiences is the key to building a loyal customer base.
by Alex Selwitz
Despite all that, you might be shocked to hear that while 85% of brands believe they offer a personalized customer experience, just 60% of their customers agree with them.
If you want your customers to be part of the 40% that believes you provide a personalized customer experience, this guide is for you. This guide covers why personalized experiences are so important, plus how to implement personalization successfully in your organization.
What does personalized customer experience entail?
Personalized customer experience has been changing how brands strategize and market with their clients to make them return and stay loyal. You can find various businesses getting better at delivering excellent personalized service. Hotels can instantly remember the pillows you desire or the type of newspaper you prefer reading.
A personalized customer experience means businesses develop services, products, and interactions that will meet the preferences and requirements of individual customers. These can be anywhere from using your clients’ names to greet them to establishing offers that meet their interests.
Businesses can no longer neglect the fact that personalization is essential. A report from Accenture even revealed that 33% of customers ended their relationships with brands that did not cater to exactly what they needed.
Personalized customer experience makes everything faster and more convenient. Together with customer data analytics, it’s easier to monitor the following:
- Purchases and returns
- Interactions in various service channels
- Customer’s preferences
When you have the data you need, it becomes easier to resolve customer issues that could improve their overall experience. Moreover, a personalized customer experience can help you meet customer expectations. Let’s take the COVID-19 pandemic, for example.
The pandemic led to shoppers relying on online shopping to get their needs met. It was challenging to achieve a personalized customer experience at first, but brands were able to create better strategies through customer data analytics. Skyrocketing customer expectations were met, and more people were happy.
Why is personalization so important to customers?
Personalization is essential for three main things: trust, customer engagement, and loyalty. When customers receive personalized messages from brands, they feel impressed. Even when it’s a small gesture, it makes your customers think you know their needs exactly. Moreover, it also reveals that you prioritize your clients to give them well-deserved attention.
Personalization also helps with boosting your customer engagement. When customers feel they can establish connections with your brand, they are likely to keep returning and purchasing or avail of your products and services.
Moreover, remember that customer engagement equals effective marketing strategies, which can boost your brand’s overall sales and profitability. Finally, personalization is important in improving your customers’ loyalty to your brand.
Businesses that are used to the culture of always prioritizing their customers can help raise their expectations. And when your brand meets the demands of your clients, you increase customer loyalty.
The recent global health crisis also leads to customers realizing the importance of customer experience. Additionally, a report from the 2022 Regional Customer Loyalty revealed that emotional loyalty and personalization are the front-runners of customer engagement.
Customer experience can also be broken down into three essential phases: assessment, declaration, and affirmation. These aspects will help you understand better the psychology behind why customer loyalty depends on personalization.
Assessment involves an individual establishing his expectations and impressions of you. The assessment stage is generally when companies select thoughtful and generous client relationships.
One way to establish a good image from the beginning is to send personalized gifts to your prospects. Giving discounts or exclusive access to product launches can also work.
The declaration stage is when a customer’s emotions skyrocket. He feels a combination of excitement, productivity, and hopefulness. During this time, you must also recognize your client’s feelings so that positive emotions keep coming.
Affirmation is the last phase. During this stage, the positive emotions felt during the declaration stage start to come down. Euphoria starts to wear off, and your customers are suddenly filled with worry, confusion, and doubt. It’s during this time when you can ease your customers’ doubts. Reassure them that relying on your brand is a good decision.
How to implement personalization in your offerings
Now that you know what personalization is and why it matters, it’s time to talk about how to implement it.
Although there are several different ways to personalize your customer experience, here are a couple of tried and true ideas that work.
1. Create custom eCommerce offerings
eCommerce personalization strategies can help boost your brand’s visibility and reputation. One way of personalizing those strategies is by customizing your eCommerce fulfillment to ensure that it meets and exceeds client expectations.
Fulfillment involves things like inventory monitoring, logistics, and establishing strong relationships with eCommerce fulfillment providers. When you employ these strategies, you make it easier to go above and beyond for clients and to provide exceptional services.
On top of that, remember that you need to personalize every aspect of the eCommerce buying process for your customers. The following are some of the most effective ways to customize eCommerce strategies:
- Creating personalized homepages
- Create personalized guides
- Display a customer’s recently viewed items
- Product pages are personalized based on location
- Establish unique campaigns according to your customer’s shopping behavior
- Personalize your email marketing
2. Offer support through multiple channels
Multiple channels exist for a reason. Why not leverage them to create better customer support, communication, and experience? Omnichannel benefits customer experiences, making them more personalized for a brand’s success. This also means you don’t need to limit marketing strategies to one channel.
Regardless of how customers reach out to your brand, always ensure everything is seamless with their experiences.
3. Get to know customer expectations
Your customers’ experiences are nothing if you don’t take the time to understand them. Getting to know their demands and expectations is essential to creating a compelling customer personalization strategy. It also helps you understand better how your customers’ minds work.
The following are effective ways to understand your customers’ expectations better:
- Conduct polls or customer surveys
- Track customer performance and what they post online regarding your brand and your competitors
- Monitor online reviews posted by your customers
4. Put a focus on segmentation
Customer segmentation refers to dividing your customers into specific groups. The classification depends on common characteristics, allowing companies to establish marketing strategies depending on the groups created. This makes a brand’s marketing more appropriate and effective.
In personalization, customer segmentation makes everything easier. It helps you ensure personalized messages are created to target the right groups. Separate online and offline shoppers so you know the customers who will likely visit your shop.
It also helps to segregate your customers based on their gender. This makes it easier to group products that cater to men or women. Different age groups will also have different buying habits, so segmenting them is also a nice strategy.
5. Build customer profiles
Building customer profiles allows you to get to know exactly what your customers want. Identify their demographics and intent in checking out your brand, and establish personalized messages depending on the information obtained. Customer profiles also help with dynamic personalizations.
Always make sure your brand’s marketing department is proactive in supplying customer information and demographic data. After achieving the details you need, community with your service representatives to classify and identify customers. Doing this allows you to sort out your customers’ wants, needs, and expectations.
Having a good customer experience is the key to business success, particularly in our increasingly digital society. One way to create strong customer experiences is through personalization.
A few ways you can implement a personalized customer experience are through custom eCommerce fulfillment, getting to know expectations, offering omnichannel support, focusing on customer segmentation, and building out customer profiles.
By taking these actions, you can strengthen your customer relationships and build brand loyalty. The result is boosted business success and an enhanced bottom line.
Alex Selwitz is the Director of SEO for Red Stag Fulfillment, an eCommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of eCommerce. He has years of experience in eCommerce and digital marketing. In his free time, Alex enjoys playing guitar and learning about new trends in the digital world.
Photo by Ioana Cristiana on Unsplash.