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Personalising the customer experience

The rise of social networks and digital devices has given consumers the means to dictate what, when and how they want things. Consumers have higher expectations; they want their interactions with businesses to be personalised.

Deloitte research shows that 1 in 5 consumers who expressed an interest in personalised products or services is willing to pay 20% more. Offering personalised customer experiences allows businesses to demonstrate the value consumers get from their personal data being used. The same study highlighted that 22% of consumers are happy to share personal data with brands in return for a more personalised service or product.
Campaign–based approach vs a customer–centric approach
A campaign–based approach focuses on analysing demographic data (age, gender, location, language, status) and behavioural data (new or returning customer, visit frequency, device, channels, purchased or didn’t finalise the purchase, etc.). These are the most used parameters when creating a paid campaign. As an example, we can all agree that Prince Charles and Ozzy Osbourne have very different personalities, but if we only use demographic and behavioural parameters, our campaign will be targeting such different people. Let’s have a look at some common traits these two persons share:

  • Demographic:  Both are male and born in 1948, both are famous and wealthy, have remarried, have children and live in London.
  • Behavioural:  They both travel a lot, are dog lovers, and have common hobbies such as sports cars and fine wine.
When running campaigns, relying only on high level demographic and behavioural data is not efficient, therefore a detailed segmentation and real-time personalisation solutions can help us deliver a superior customer experience.

A customer–centric approach
Many companies have a customer-centric way of doing business, but what does it mean to be customer-centric? Customer-centric businesses realise that their success depends on a happy customer, and they will put in a lot of effort to provide the best possible experience for them, starting from the sale to after the sale.
The best strategy to adopt to be customer-centric is to understand customer needs. With this in mind, one can always take steps in the day-to-day operations to ensure that the highest level of service possible is being delivered.

Netflix and Amazon are great examples of the customer–centric business model. Their commitment in delivering value to each customer can’t go unnoticed. At Netflix more than 75% of views come from recommendations and personalised ranking.

A customer–centric approach is affected by context elements such as:
  • Device type
  • Time of the day, day of the week, weather and season
  • Geolocation (travelling, commuting to home, weekend break)
  • Popular news
  • Social media type of activities
  • Level of engagement
  • Search history
Deloitte research found that customer-centric companies were 60% more profitable compared to companies that were not Customer focused.
How can you deliver personalised customer experience in your organisation?
For a long time, mass communication was the only way for companies to send information about their product to a wider audience. Technological barriers made it impossible to distinguish between groups of people and therefore everyone received the same message.

The first step to transition from general messaging to personalisation is to split your customers into broad segments based on business principles and context elements. Personalisation at a developing level is a very detailed segmentation. Of course, delivering a more personal message to a large audience requires sophisticated analytical models that take time to implement and test. Segmentation is a good start to the journey into the maturity of personalisation.

Those who wish to continue the journey towards full customisation need to invest in self-learning algorithms. These algorithms have the ability to adjust the results when new information about the client becomes available; the more information you have about a customer, the better you can serve them.

How to tailor a message at scale and at an individual level?
Websites are considered to be the most influential channels when making a purchase decision. Knowing that 98% of website visitors are anonymous, how can you deliver a personalised customer experience to a user about who you only have high–level demographic data available? This is the moment to speak about real–time personalisation marketing solutions.

Real–time personalisation is a marketing automation solution that gives you a 360-degree view of customers across all touchpoints of the customer journey and different channels. This is an open pandora box that allows you to prepare contextually relevant content for each customer/user and present it in real-time at any interaction point. Real-time personalisation solutions gather information from anonymous visitors’ IP addresses making it possible to prepare segmented buyer personas and relevant content for each and pushing it when these visitors land on the website again.

How can personalisation benefit you?
Personalisation can be used to improve the customer journey by creating a better online experience that stimulates revenue per visit, for example:
  • for customers who appreciate tips while browsing a website, popups and chat options can be helpful as the Next-Best–Action (NBA);
  • by providing relevant product recommendations in your online store, the average order value increases as visitors are tempted to add more products to their cart;
  • by sending tailored emails at the right moment, your click-through rate will increase, attracting more visitors to your site.

According to the Harvard Business Review, when customers receive transparent ads based on their activity on a site, the revenue of the product grows by 38%.

Join our webinar on 26 January at 12.00 CET to learn more about building segments and buyer personas, successful customer journeys and delivering a personalised customer experience.

To register for this free webinar, click here.