7 Easy Steps To Creating A Personalized Customer Experience
If you want to be successful as a brand, then you need to always put your customers first.
You must find ways to monitor their behaviors and use their needs to enhance the buying process. Optimizing your customers' experience will also help you boost your sales and revenue, and one of the best ways of doing that effectively is by focusing on personalization.
When you properly personalize your customer experience, you not only advance your relationship with your valued customers, but you also see a measurable improvement in many other aspects of your business.
Unfortunately, when it comes to implementing effective customer personalization techniques, a lot of marketers fall short because they don't have the right tools to help them in this regard.
In this article, we are going to look at some of the best tactics that you can use to create a customer experience that is more personalized in your business.
So, if this is something that you've always wanted to do, but you just didn't know where to start, or if you want to try and improve your current efforts, then read on to find out exactly what you can do starting right now to accommodate your customers' needs and make things better for them while increasing your sales at the same time.
How To Personalize Your Customer Experience Effectively
Step 1: Encourage Customers to Create Profiles
This is one of the basic things that you must do. Make it possible for customers to fill in their profiles on your platform. These profiles will be very useful in helping you implement other tactics that we are going to discuss later on in this guide.
Once the customer accounts have been created, you will be able to keep track of your customers' behaviors based on each of their profiles.
If you're concerned that this is a bit 'stalkerish', don't worry. Customers are happy with your tracking and monitoring their behaviors so long as it is to improve their customer experience.
Here is How Monitoring Your Customers' Activities Can Benefit Them:
You can give each customer offers that are relevant to them
They are presented with an experience that is much more personalized
It improves their overall experience on various channels
In fact, customers aren't just comfortable with you tracking their behaviors using their profiles, they actually expect you to do so. Recent surveys have shown that the majority of consumers want brands to anticipate their needs and display relevant suggestions to them.
As your business grows, and as you collect more and more data, you will eventually have the ability to recommend relevant products to your customers based on their browsing and shopping behavior. But that is something that we will discuss in more detail later.
The very best way of encouraging your customers to fill out their profiles is to make it as quick and easy as possible for them.
No one wants to take a lot of time or go through a lot of unnecessary steps just to set up an account. Ensure that your form fields are limited to the basic information that you need for the creation of the account.
Focus only on the information that you need to help you personalize the experience for your customer. Any information that they provide you with during a checkout process that is optimized will be enough to create a basic profile.
To accomplish this, you could simply add a checkbox saying 'create your customer profile' or something like that.
This option benefits both you and your customers since that personalized content on their customer profiles improves their experience and drives more sales for your business.
Step 2: Segment Your Email Subscribers
This is an important step to follow because even though everyone who signs up for your emails has an interest in your business, not all of theme have the same wants, needs, or preferences.
Collecting emails is a priority for most businesses, but if you really want to personalize the experience for your customers, then you have to make sure that you're giving them content that is totally relevant to them.
The most effective way to do this is through email list segmentation.
When you group your subscribers into separate lists, then you ensure that the information that they receive in your marketing emails is relevant and therefore more valuable to them (and that lessens the chance of your email being marked as spam).
Using customer profiles as an example, if your customers create profiles while checking out, you will know their address (from the shipping and billing info) which means that you are now able to segment them.
If you're advertising a winter sale, as an example, your customers in California won't get the same email as your customers in Massachusetts.
The ones in California won't care much about your awesome discounted winter jackets and ski pants. This is one of the reasons why marketers see a massive increase in their revenue when they start running properly segmented and targeted email campaigns.
The Difference Between Segmented and Non-Segmented Email Campaigns
According to recent data, segmented emails have:
98% more clicks
14% more opens
4.6% fewer bounces
9.3% fewer unsubscribes
With higher clicks and open rates, and with fewer unsubscribes and bounces, your business will be in a good position to increase sales significantly.
Step 3: Achieve Faster Checkouts By Storing Customer Information
This is yet another way in which customer profiles are vital.
You must ensure that you ask your customers for all the information that is needed to complete their purchase only once. After collecting it, store the information so that you can expedite the buying process the next time your customers want to make a purchase.
For each step that you ask your customers to take when buying something from you, it increases the chances that they will not complete the entire buying process.
If they have to enter their name, address, email, and credit card information every time they want to make a purchase on the same platform, it can become tedious. So creating a customer profile helps to improve this part of their experience as well.
By saving their credit card information right in their customer profiles, they can easily check out even if they don't have their credit cards on hand. This strategy is particularly important for all e-commerce businesses to incorporate.
By making it possible for your customers to add stuff to their carts and complete the transaction in just a few clicks, you will not only improve your conversion rates, but you will also see a huge rise in your sales.
Step 4: Employ Geo-targeting Practices
As previously discussed, it is possible to use the location of your customers in personalizing their overall experience. In addition to using their location to segment your email list, you can also personalize the content on your site based on which countries your customers are browsing from.
If you have customers in Canada and the US, even though these two countries are similar, you may still want to offer experiences that are tailored to the customers in each country based on their location.
For instance, your customers in Canada use the metric system which means that they may want to see their clothing measurements in centimeters, but those in America have not yet adopted this system so you might want to use a different system for them.
Even some spellings of words (such as 'color' and 'colour') can make a world of difference to your audience depending on where they are in the world.
Because of this, you might find that while any English-speaking person easily understands American English, not having your site optimized for the different locations could still hurt your business's sales.
So if this is applicable to your type of business, then it may be worth your while to allow visitors to your site to choose the country that they are from so that the right content will be shown to them.
Step 5: Offer a Customer Loyalty Program
In order to be successful in the long term, your customer personalization strategy should not be aimed at only generating a one-time sale. Your efforts should lead to customer retention which results in many recurring sales.
That is why you need to come up with a great customer loyalty program.
Research shows that most consumers are way more likely to buy from businesses that offer loyalty programs. Also, loyal customers tend to spend more money. Those customers who previously bought products from you have higher conversion rates and they generate a lot more revenue during each shopping session.
There are a few different ways in which you can set up your customer loyalty program, but the most basic method is to give them a reward after they reach a predetermined number of purchases.
You may have seen this type of loyalty reward at your local food truck or coffee shop. They probably have a punch card allowing you to get rewards of a free coffee or sandwich on your tenth visit or some other similar reward scheme.
The best loyalty programs reward the highest spending customers. So set your rewards based on your spending tiers and this will provide your customers with an incentive to spend more money.
Step 6: Encourage Customer Feedback
Most customers simply abandon a brand if they feel that they are not being heard or that the business doesn't care about them.
This is why you need to show your customers that you value all their opinions. You can use interviews and surveys to achieve this, but in addition to merely asking them for their feedback, you should also make actual changes based on their suggestions.
The first thing you need to do is to analyze all the data that you get from the feedback. It's not a good idea to implement changes just for the sake of doing so. If you do that, you likely won't see a positive return on the investments you make.
But, if your results show that a significant portion of your customer base is providing feedback that is similar, or if they are making the same suggestions as to how you can improve your process, then you should take it very seriously.
When you implement those kinds of changes in your business, it lets your customers know that they are an important part of your process, and that helps them create a strong bond with your brand.
Step 7: Recommend Relevant Products To Your Customers
This is something that was briefly mentioned earlier, but now it's time to take a look at it in more detail.
It's already clear to you how important it is to use the information that the customers provide you to give them a better, more personalized experience.
But, there's other valuable information that you won't be able to get from the form fields in their customer profiles.
Information such as what they are looking for, as well as what they are buying. This type of information you can get through your customers' purchase and browsing histories and it will make it possible for you to suggest more products that are relevant to them.
By doing so, you make it more likely that those customers will buy more stuff from you.
When you recommend products to your customers you also narrow their options. People feel overwhelmed when presented with too many options, so help your customers out by suggesting similar options to their previous buys.
For example, if one of your customers bought a wet suit and a surfboard, you may want to suggest paddle boards, sunscreen, or any other relevant product based on their purchase history.
Your customers yearn for a more personalized buying experience, and it is up to you to provide it for them.
As you have seen, there are a lot of tactics that you can implement to help your customers make the most of their time on your website.
Personalizing the customer experience is something that you should do whether your business is big or small and it helps you create a powerful relationship with your customers which ultimately leads to increased revenue for your business.
So, choose one of the strategies outlined in this article, and begin today to enhance your customer experience to drive more sales.
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Updated: Originally published October 2nd 2018