Personalizing the Customer Experience: How to Deliver and Drive Loyalty
Talk about a powerful argument for personalization: Industry research shows that after a customer has a personalized shopping experience, 44% are likely to become a repeat buyer, 39% are likely to tell friends and family, and 32% are likely to leave a positive review.
Personalization isn’t exactly a digital marketing buzzword; it’s a proven, data-driven strategy. And those who leverage it are reaping the benefits. Personalization is a key element in increasing both revenue and customer engagement because it allows a brand to segment its buyers and prospects and target them accordingly.
Yet, just 22% of shoppers say they’re satisfied with the level of personalization they receive — meaning the majority of brands are failing to create customized experiences that compel them to buy.
Data: The heart of personalization
Modern technology opens the floodgates to an abundance of accessible data, allowing marketers to take advantage of personalization like never before for their multichannel campaigns. This is where your customer relationship management (CRM) software plays a critical role.
Your CRM holds the secrets to your customers — who they are, what they buy, how much they typically spend. And if you’re not using this information to segment your audience and create tailored experiences, you’re behind the digital curve. To make the most of your CRM data, consider the following strategies:
- Track and store interactions in a centralized place. From email to social media to live chat, every customer interaction should be integrated on your CRM at every stage of the sales process. This keeps your customer information current and allows you to target them with the right messages at the right time.
- Segment your customers. Build segments based on factors like: demographics (age, gender, location, marital status, etc.), psychographics (interests, values, hobbies) and purchase history (previous orders, amount spent, product preferences).
- Keep your data clean. If you’re not keeping up with data hygiene, your personalization efforts can backfire. Regular data hygiene is recommended to make sure that accurate data is supporting your marketing personalization strategy.
- Implement automation based on customer experience. If you notice a segment that orders the same products every month, offer them an exclusive subscription. If you have customers who routinely leave a full cart abandoned, use that trigger to send them a shipping discount to incentivize them to follow through.
Getting personal with your buyers
There’s a reason why companies like Starbucks put so much emphasis on calling customers by name. A recent report reveals that 66% of consumers believe that customer service is the biggest spending motivator. And arguably, the best customer service is personalized.
The good news for brands is that consumers are willing to work with you to receive personalized experiences. In fact, 63% of millennial consumers and 58% of Gen X consumers are willing to share information with companies if it means receiving more personalized offers or discounts. So, when they fork over the personal details, it’s up to you to make the most of it by implementing personalized direct marketing strategies in your customer acquisition and customer retention efforts:
Personalize your email communication. Personalized emails have a 29% higher open rate and 41% better click rate compared to non-personalized emails. The best part? Personalizing emails is easy once you have the data. Include details like names, noted preferences and past purchases, but steer clear of leveraging financial information or anything that can be viewed as intrusive or outright creepy.
Tailor your calls to action. When it comes to CTAs, personalization matters. After analyzing 330,000 CTAs over a six-month period, Hubspot found that personalized CTAs converted 202% better than default versions. Think about your customer profiles, what you want them to do and the best way to get them to do it.
Make smart recommendations. Using information about customers’ past purchasing behaviors can make it easier for you to recommend new products they might like. For example, you know a customer just purchased a baby stroller on your website. Why not email suggestions for stroller accessories, or other children’s products to complement their purchase?
Offer personalized promotions or discounts. Who doesn’t love a gift or discount? Birthdays and customer anniversaries are ideal milestones to use personalized offers to stay connected. By using special dates to reward people for shopping with you, you can assure them that you value their business.
Incentivize valuable feedback. Did you know that 97% of consumers are more likely to be loyal to a company that implements their feedback? Encourage customers to share their brand experiences (good and bad), so you can make changes to improve your services. And when they do, give them a personal shout out on social media or send a thank-you note, and be sure to pair it with an offer you know they’d like.
Offer multiple customer service channels. This one may not seem as obvious, but when you offer multiple touchpoints for accessing customer service, you’re allowing customers to personalize their own experience using the methods they prefer. Some customers like to get help via live chat, others would rather send an email, and still others want to talk to a live person on the phone. Give them options.
Hubspot says it best: “Personalization is like someone giving you a fitted baseball cap with your favorite team’s logo on the front and your initials stitched in on the side.” And when you have the right data and the right partner in your corner, personalization comes easy. Find out how the Specialists and d3 team can help.
Are personalization and customization the same thing?
While both tools help enhance the user experience, personalization and customization should not be used interchangeably. Personalization typically uses data and follows customer journeys so brands can create highly-tailored omnichannel customer experiences. Customization, on the other hand, is done by the user, allowing them to modify an experience to their own liking.
What’s an effective way to use personalization in a remarketing strategy?
Customer behavior data offers an excellent advantage when it comes to re-engaging lapsed buyers. Typical strategies include:
- Digital retargeting to get back in front of a prospect who left your website or didn’t completely view your webinar before taking the next desired action
- Direct mail, including thank you, anniversary or “we’ve missed you” offers
- Geotargeting to drive foot traffic to specific retail locations
- Trigger programs to send highly targeted messaging that’s “triggered” by a specific action or behavior like an abandoned cart reminder or a personalized offer