Years ago, the concept of personalized customer service in the digital realm took on a new meaning when companies like Barnes & Noble and Amazon began offering “just for you” recommendations on their websites. Through technology, these early web pioneers added a “human touch” on a mass scale, even though sales were taking place completely online. Their efforts were designed to add value to customers’ choices and enhance their experiences the result of which was increased sales and customer loyalty.
Fast-forward to today: technology-based personalization is heavily integrated with e-commerce and companies are now also able to use site visitation and transactional data to provide customized experiences. In fact, customers have come to expect personalization, so retail stores, hotels and stadiums are undergoing major transformations to respond to this new requirement.
Personalized service can make or break a relationship
Personalized buying experiences, be it marketing or during the actual transaction, is a relationship builder that makes customers feel less like sales figures and more like individuals. It is this type of service that builds brand loyalty, establishes repeat customers and grows natural brand advocates. (And who better to advertise your business than happy customers?)
According to a recent Salesforce survey, 72% of consumers expect businesses to understand their needs and expectations. Quality customer experience matters — more today than ever before because public feedback is literally a few keystrokes away. Today’s savvy customers don’t want to be viewed as account numbers or dollar signs; they expect to be treated as individuals. They want their preferences remembered and their choices respected. With multiple buying options, it doesn’t take much to jump ship and swim over to a competitor who meets these needs. Remember — 66 percent of consumers will walk away from a business to find the purchasing experience they desire. By growing your customer relationships, you can stand out from the crowd.
So how do businesses achieve optimal service and offer personalization to each customer? The answer lies in a combination of traditional sales & marketing techniques and technology. Detailed, long-reaching memory combined with predictive analysis can be used to provide meaningful value to consumers. The trick is finding the right balance between tradition and technology, and this can be a challenge for many businesses.
Here are some tips on doing personalization right:
Don’t be creepy
When looking at tech solutions, it’s important to assess which of the available systems will truly improve the customer experience. Customized service should feel natural, not artificial. It’s vital that software solutions don’t offer a generic or “creepy” personalization experience.
Keep it relevant
Don’t collect data for the sake of collecting data. Only drill down into the data you actually need and use it to enhance customer experiences. Any more than what you actually require becomes annoying and increases information security risks.
Respect communication requests
Offer multiple channels of communication so customers can select the one(s) they are comfortable using. Additionally, the technology should be capable of personalizing live and automated responses.
Mobile is a Must
Make mobile a priority. It’s no big secret that mobile commerce has been steadily growing, but did you know a whopping 84 percent of consumers turn to their mobile devices to help them reach purchase decisions while shopping in the store?
Take it easy…
While you want to provide excellence as you strive to personalize your customer’s experience, you also want to give them some breathing room as they ponder their buying decisions. Being too aggressive with the data you have can deter customers and send them to a competitor.
Get Personal — Tegrita can help
If you’re not already on the personalization train, it’s time to board. By 2020, it is anticipated that upwards of 70 percent of consumers will expect businesses to know their needs before they buy. All aboard!
Here at Tegrita, we can help you make personalized customer experiences a reality. By implementing customized Oracle Eloqua and Responsys automated marketing solutions, we provide you with the knowledge and technology you need to support your own business. Contact us to learn more about the personalization journey. We’re happy to provide more details and answer any questions you have.