‘Tis the Year of Personalized Customer Experience

Customer experience is the number one priority for many businesses.  

Seventy percent of all business decisions are made based on customer experience.

Whether we recognize it or not, the traditional customer experience path is already being disrupted –  with the adoption of digital technology. Today’s rapid pace of disruptive change is reshaping customer experience in ways that pressure brands to keep up or get left behind.

Offering the right products at the right place and at the right time is no longer what the doctor ordered.  Customers’ expectations are evolving.  What they expect from brands are pretty much based on their individual experience; and the products must be readily available, at any time, from anywhere, and from any device.

2020 is, without a doubt, going to be the year of the personalized customer experience (PCX).  A study by Walker Consulting Group places customer experience as the key driver in increasing brand value, even overtaking the benefits you get from your products and prices as a brand. Businesses will have to find new ways to connect the dots to give their brands the edge, in order to communicate and engage with customers across multiple channels and devices. It may seem like a tall order but not if you’re ready.

Personalization is integral to the customer journey which, in turn, helps to build customer loyalty. Customers are more likely to buy from brands when offers are personalized.  They are also interested in purchasing more personalized products and services because they know what they want and are not willing to accept average offerings.  They see customer service as part of the product they purchase.  Brands will need to take a more targeted approach in their strategy – to deliver personalized offers to customers at the physical point of sale.

So how do you approach personalization the right way?

1. Man versus machine: Automation has helped to reduce labour and operational costs, and also streamline processes. While we are all hyper-connected in more ways than one, customers still crave human interaction.  Automated chatbots can be a turnoff.  So, unless there is a real human at end of the line (when all else fails!), you’re going to lose the connection. Humans are key when it comes to customer service. Time and space can be constraints in this fast-paced world we live in.  A healthy balance of real people and chatbots will keep customers happy and ensure the best customer experience possible.

2. Know my name: How many of you remember the theme song from the hit comedy series, Cheers? Remember the line… “sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name..” That pretty much sums it up except it’s no longer sometimes but rather at all times.  Research shows that customers are more likely to purchase from a company that knows their name, purchase history, likes, etc. Enter big data.  With big data, you can tailor and drive your marketing campaigns based on consumer trends, behaviour, and preferences.  Using data analytics, you can boost hyper-personalization for the utimate customer experience.  For e.g., when I browse through items on an online clothing store, and place items on the cart and choose not to buy, I get an alert to say I’ve not completed the purchase.  Or if I’ve completed the purchase, I see pop-ups on similar lifestyle portals I regularly log in to, or receive personalized emails with my name, welcoming me back and alerting me to check out new items or discounts. 

3. Premium on transparency: No matter how hard you try; you just can’t escape the onslaught of fake news. Customers these days are a pretty well-informed and savvy lot (thanks to the web).  They demand honesty and authenticity and place a premium on transparency.  Make these values a big part of your marketing strategy, taking into consideration, advertising, price, business practices, etc. To improve customer satisfaction, you’ll need to ensure that each touchpoint leads to a good customer experience, and that the journey, as a whole, delivers on the brand promise and customers’ expectations.

4. Turn on, tune in: Customer journeys are dynamic and occur across many different channels. The younger group of millennials and GenZ’s, as you already know, tend to favour text messaging and social engagement. These group of people are no longer tied to a single channel. They like to browse in-store, shop online, and share feedback through apps before making that final purchase.  The more channels you expand, the higher the possibility of getting the potential  customer to connect with you.

Last but not least, reach out proactively to increase customer traffic towards your brand, with a rock solid marketing strategy that flows through every stage of the sales funnel.  Leverage digital technology across multiple channels to accommodate and adapt to changing customer behaviours and preferences.  Integrate interactions across all channels. Review and learn from past interactions to improve, enhance and deliver the ultimate customer experience.

From all of us at Corporate Media, here’s wishing you a very happy, healthy and fun-filled year ahead!  Cheers to 2020!

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