In this always-connected Digital Era, exceptional customer experiences requires reaching individuals on the channels they prefer at the precise time that they’ll consider your brand’s information the most useful.
Many businesses find the challenge of managing customer experiences to be daunting, and it’s easier said than done. Transitioning from segment-based approaches to ones that are customer-centric and holistic doesn’t happen overnight.
Yet a large percentage of marketers believe they have a much better handle on customer experiences than they actually do.
Let me shed some light on that for you:
A recent study conducted by Econsultancy revealed that 81% of marketers believe they contextually understand their customers. However, less than half of customers agree (a mere 38%) that the communication they receive is relevant to them. That’s a significant disconnect – more like a chasm.
Overestimating their understanding of customers signifies how the lack of a personalized marketing strategy makes these challenges scary for many marketers.
Rising up to the occasion necessitates customer journey mapping. Marketing professionals now have access to sophisticated types of data visualization that enables them to develop a comprehensive grasp of where individuals are on their journeys, and how to provide them with the omnichannel customer experiences they expect.
You Better Think
Analyzing customer data turns these challenges into opportunities, and you should think of them as just that – opportunities for more lead generation and to increase customer loyalty – not just as ways to get customers to spend more money more often. That is, opportunities to provide customers with highly relevant, contextual information that lead to meaningful relationships. That means utilizing CRM best practices and social listening – not just to know who they are and what they’ve purchased – but to develop an understanding of their likes and dislikes, their sense of values, and what matters to them.
Marketers need to make good use of their company’s data sets to comprehend the history of customers, how each of them interacted with your brand, and to identify their preferences.
Personalized Marketing Enables Exceptional Customer Experiences
Personalized marketing entails content personalization for each channel. Delivering content that’s been tailored to provide individuals with the information they want at the time they need it is essential for engaging customers.
What’s more, predictive analytics enables personalized marketing so you can anticipate a customer’s next waypoint on their customer journey, which allows the delivery of the relevant information they’re about to need – without being intrusive.
The behavior they demonstrate is extremely important.
- Which pages did they visit on your website?
- Did they encounter ‘struggle points’ on your site?
- Did they utilize online chat from your site?
- Were their questions or concerns addressed rapidly and in a courteous manner?
- What purchases have they made?
- Were the purchases recent?
- Did they initiate a purchase online, then abandon their shopping cart?
- If so, do you have any idea why?
- Which explainer videos did they watch? Did they watch the entire video? Just the first 20 seconds?
- Have they downloaded any of your whitepapers?
- Do they open the emails you send?
- Do they ever respond to the Calls to Action in your emails? For what types of offers? How often? Do they only respond to coupons or discounts?
- Do they use your mobile app? Which features do they utilize? Are their touchpoints always via mobile devices?
- Have they phoned your company for customer service or technical support? Was their issue resolved satisfactorily? In one phone call? Two?
All of these activities are indicators of their inclinations, partialities, interests, etc.
Their activity isn’t random; it’s very telling.
Their actions speak louder than words. But are you really listening?
With all this information available for the type of personalized marketing that fosters outstanding customer engagement, content personalization is necessary for each channel.
The content an individual sees on your website should be tailored to them; as should the content of the emails they receive from you, and so on.
Are You Talking to Me?
Isn’t it off-putting to receive correspondence that’s addressed to you, Frank, then refers to you as, Jennifer?
It’s annoying and feels disingenuous, doesn’t it, Amy?
You don’t want to be the marketer that sends beautifully designed, very well-written emails about the new line of women’s wool sweaters to men who live in Miami, or an offer for a 30-day free trial for enterprise software to a sole proprietor who works from the den in their home.
When content personalization completely misses the mark, you probably just alienated a customer – possibly an excellent, long-time customer.
There went your chance for them to open the next email you send them – and there loyalty probably just went away too.
Right Message. Wrong Channel?
In addition to delivering the relevant content at the time it’s needed, it needs to be provided via the communication channel preferred by each individual.
Some customers only want to access content via mobile – most rapidly growing channel. That means the emails you send these individuals need to be optimized for mobile devices. Sending the right message at the perfect time on the wrong channel, or in a format meant for a different channel miss the mark. Omnichannel customer experiences are required for success. Over time, patterns will emerge that indicate which forms of customer engagement individuals prefer.
Besides, being “just good enough” will no longer cut it. In fact, meeting customer expectations is not enough either. Their expectations must be exceeded to the point of being exceptional.
Keep in mind that obtaining a solid assessment of a specific aspect of your customer’s tendencies doesn’t mean one single attribute is symbolic of their preferences as a whole.
Personalized marketing enables exceptional customer experiences and the types of relationships each individual wants to have with a brand. Developing these relationships leads to exceptional customer experiences.
Gone are the days when marketing was all about branding. Customer-centricity is crucial, as is obtaining holistic views of customers as individuals. Personalized marketing is the great enabler for exceptional customer experiences that are proven to increase revenues, and develop loyalty that turns customers into brand advocates.