You’ve got the traffic, you’ve got the product, and you’re making a decent amount of sales. Job done.
What if you can get more from your business?
The customer experience is high on the agenda for many online businesses today. Competition online is fierce, and now more than ever customers have a great deal of control over their buying decisions. The truth is, they don’t have to buy that product from you, so HOW do you convince them to do so?
According to Oracle, personalisation is more than winning that customer, it’s about reaching more of the right people, enhancing brand recognition, and increasing the value of existing customers.
“74% of customers say they have spent more with a company because of a history of positive customer service experiences. ”- Oracle
Ever-advancing technology today means that customers have high expectations. Unless you give your customers a pleasing experience, you’re going to lose them to the competition.
This is so much easier to approach when a customer enters a store. The sales staff are trained to make the journey personal. They can build a relationship with the customer and make recommendations based on information they gather in conversation. Online, it’s slightly trickier to mimic this humane personal experience.
Personalisation comes from how much you know about your customers. Do you know who your customers are? What do they want / need from you? Are you offering products / services that fulfil their needs? Are you making use of social media and email marketing to extend the experience? The reality is that customers’ needs change. To get personal, you need to cover all bases and focus attention to every step of your customers journey.
The starting point…
Your fate is in the hands of your customers. That’s the bottom line.
Speak to your customers in their language. The key here is to create a humanised, streamline experience that accommodates the customers needs throughout.
Data is your best friend…
Data is invaluable. Every customer is different and gathering data will give you invaluable insights into who your customers are and what they want.
- Delve into the behaviours of your customer – trends in purchasing history, the products they buy, and the future purchases they make following the initial buy.
- Keep a close eye on your website data analysing best performing landing pages, demographics, and traffic.
- SEE exactly what your customers are attracted to on your website, and what they’re not, by utilising a heat mapping tool (HotJar, Crazy Egg, or something similar are great, and cheap as chips)
- ASK your customers. Don’t be afraid to simply ask the question. This is where you can utilise social media channels and gather information via surveys for a quick and simple solution. Encourage your customers to participate by offering an incentive such as a small discount. (SurveyMonkey, and Typeform are, again, simple to use and cheap as chips!)
Let’s Get Personal
Once you have an understanding of who your customers are, you need to decide how best to personalise their experience.
“Improved experience can grow revenue by five to 10 percent—and cost 15 to 20 percent less—over a span of three years.”- Vision Critical
- Customers need to know they can get in touch if they need to and offering various ways of getting in touch is easy, and essential. Of course, by phone and through the website is okay; live chat on your website and social media channels are better and add value.
- Customers appreciate being addressed by name more than you think. It gives a much more personal experience when a customer’s name is at the top of any correspondence.
- Personal random acts of kindness will get your everywhere. This could be the offering of discounts through email out of the blue or on their birthday, offers, or a loyalty program.
Tailoring recommendations and addressing your customers by name makes a customer feel like you are interacting with them. Personalisation builds trust and makes the customer feel at ease, if you can gain this early on in the customer journey; don’t throw away the opportunity to retain that customer…
What’s the situation?
Imagine you were shopping online for new clothes with a budget in mind of around £50. After checking out a couple of retailers looking at similar items you abandon your cart and think no more of it.
A few days later you receive an email from just ONE of the retailers reminding you of your cart. The link in the email contains a discount code off your first order offering you 20% off if you spend £75. You click the link and no doubt bump up the basket to £75 completing your order with the other retailers a distant memory. That’s it, decision made with slight persuasion and a friendly gesture.
The customer feels satisfied as they have received a discount and their order is in progress. This is a common marketing method offering a personal touch reminding them of items they had added to cart and reminding them that you are there. The journey doesn’t end there…
Don’t just let the customer go! First of all, thank them for their purchase via email and invite them to make contact if any assistance is required. This is essential to make the customer feel valued and appreciated.
After the order has arrived, you don’t want to just disappear into the background. A quick personalised email containing suggested products relevant to them should be sent out just a few weeks after. The opportunities of this follow up email are endless; you can tailor the recommendations to the weather at their location, previous items ordered, previously viewed that’s now on sale or even to the change of season.
After putting all the work in to perfect the customer journey, should personalisation really be at the top of your list? The answer is yes. Every single stage of the customer’s journey should be come personalised. This includes inviting them to stay in contact if they require anything else after the order or even before they have completed their purchase.
- Be personal and address your customers by name
- Say Thank You
- Follow-up everything and give your customers to remain loyal, and a reason to come back – discounts and offers
- Keep reviewing that data for trends – customers change
Each business has its own goals and priorities. Personalising the customer experience should be a priority whether you want to increase the value of customers, increase sales, or streamline the customer experience.