Looking to differentiate your company from the competition? You need to learn how to create personalized customer experiences. Easier said than done, I know...
But the truth is, modern consumers demand personalization. If they don't get it from your brand, they'll happily support another. I don't want that to happen to your business, which is why I've taken the time to write this ultimate guide.
Keep reading to learn why personalization is so important, how to create personalized experiences for each of your customers, and a few tools you can use to help.
Why is Personalization so Important?
Your company creates amazing, innovative products. Does it really matter if you personalize your customer experiences? I mean, it's not like your customers can get your nifty gadgets anywhere else, right? I'll stop you right there. Personalization definity matters.
First off, modern consumers expect to receive personalized experiences from the brands they buy from. In fact, studies suggest that 71% of consumers are frustrated by impersonal shopping experiences. Furthermore, a whopping 91% of consumers claim that they're more likely to shop with brands who provide relevant offers to them.
By personalizing the customer experience, you'll ensure their happiness and loyalty. This will lead to higher revenue numbers and help separate your company from the competition.
How to Create Personalized Customer Experience
Can we agree that personalization is important? Great, now the question becomes, how do you personalize customer experience without tearing your hair out in frustration? Simple, you just follow the five-step process I've outlined below. Let's take a look...
1. Get to Know Your Customers
Think about it: you can't create personalized customer experiences if you don't know who your customers are. So step number one is to get to know your customers.
To do this, you need to dig into your website, social media, email marketing, etc. analytics and look for general demographic information like gender, age, geographical location, occupation, and income level. You'll also want to pinpoint psychographic details like goals and struggles.
Once you have this kind of data, you can create buyer personas — semi-fictional characters that represent a specific segment of your target audience.
However, to offer truly personalized experiences to your customers, you need to go beyond the standard buyer personas talked about in countless blog posts on the internet. You also need to discover and catalog individual customer information.
We're talking about purchase history, favorite engagement channels (email, social media, the phone), the pages they've viewed on your website, and even notes from previous conversations they've had with your customer success team.
It's a lot, right? Don't worry, there are plenty of software tools that will help you acquire this information. We'll talk about a couple of them at the end of this article. You can also send out polls and surveys to get first hand knowledge of customer needs and preferences.
2. Segment Your Audience Appropriately
According to Alexa, segmentation is:
"The process of dividing a target market into smaller, more defined categories. It segments customers and audiences into groups that share similar characteristics..."
There are four main types of segmentation that you need to be aware of: demographic segmentation, psychographic segmentation, behavioral segmentation, and geographic segmentation. Let's take a quick look at each.
- Demographic Segmentation: This is segmentation based on demographic factors such as age, gender, income, and ethnicity. It's the most common.
- Psychographic Segmentation: This is segmentation based on psychographic factors such as personality traits, personal values, goals, interests, and lifestyle.
- Behavioral Segmentation: This is segmentation based on behavioral factors such as purchase history, spending habits, and brand interactions.
- Geographic Segmentation: This is segmentation based on geographic factors such as zip code, state and/or country, climate, and setting.
If you've created buyer personas as we suggested above, you've already started the segmentation process. Now it's time to go even further. For example, customers that fall under the same buyer persona can be further segmented based on their purchase history, how active they are on specific social channels, and where they live.
3. Adopt an Omnichannel Approach
To create amazing customer experiences, you need to meet your audience on their preferred channel. This means adopting an omnichannel approach.
Most companies are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social platforms. Email marketing has been incredibly successful for decades. Website chatbots have grown in popularity. And, of course, most organizations can still be reached by phone.
The problem? Most companies use these channels in isolation from each other, which leads to subpar customer experiences and inefficient support processes.
Modern consumers expect to receive the same quality on every channel they interact with your company on. An amazing email exchange won't matter as much if a Facebook Messenger note goes unanswered, for example.
But it goes even farther than this. Your customers also expect to, say, email your company about an issue they're experiencing, then call you about it later that day without having to repeat the problem to a different support rep.
The only way to accomplish this is to adopt a true omnichannel approach that stores real-time customer information in an easily-accessible central location. That way your whole support team is always on the same page and can serve your customers appropriately.
Don't worry, your efforts in this regard will be worth it. Businesses that adopt true omnichannel approaches experience 91% greater customer retention.
4. Get on the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Bandwagon
Creating personalized customer experiences is a big task. In fact, it's so big, we don't blame you if you're starting to feel overwhelmed. Thankfully, there's a solution: artificial intelligence.
By letting the robots do most of the manual and analytical work, you can focus more on being creative, developing relationships with customers, and solving their problems. Here are a few ideas to help you implement AI into your customer experience workflows:
- Purchase Transactions: At a very basic level, AI can be used to automate purchase transactions. For example, when someone buys a product from your website, technology can be used to automatically send the order to the appropriate shipping department and shoot a thank you message to the customer.
- Website Chatbots: While chatbots can't handle complex customer questions (yet!), they can be used to engage website visitors, link them to content on your site, and even put them in contact with a representative from the correct department. There are chatbots that can do similar things on social media platforms as well.
- New Opportunities: If you're ready to get a bit more advanced, you can use AI to identify your most valuable customers and send them personalized discount offers based on previously purchased products. This will not only delight your customers, but encourage them to spend more with your company.
- Automated Email Sequences: Email sequences can be automated to an impressive degree. For instance, you can trigger specific messages to send based on customer actions, locations, or time between engagements. Let's say a customer visits your website to look at a new product. This action can trigger an email which offers them a 15% discount if they purchase the product within the next 24 hours. Nice!
5. Analyze and Improve Your Efforts
The final step is to analyze and improve your personalization efforts. But you can't do this until you know exactly what you're trying to accomplish. In other words, you need goals. That way you know what personalization metrics to track.
Maybe you hope to increase company revenue via personalized customer experiences. You'd want to track sales, of course, but you might also decide to monitor nitty gritty figures like your number of repeat purchases and your average order size.
Take some time to identify why you want to create more personalized customer experiences. Then choose a few metrics that correlate with this goal and track them over time.
The Personalization Tools You Need
As mentioned, technology makes it possible to offer truly personalized experiences to each of your customers. With that in mind, we want to highlight three tools that just about any business can use to improve their personalization efforts.
HubSpot allows its users to personalize almost every aspect of their business.
Use this tool to trigger behavioral pop-ups on your website to boost lead generation, send time-optimized emails to increase sales, and even strengthen your web copy based on the way your visitors interact with your website.
The software also features a "Conversations Inbox'' that connects team email, live chat, Facebook Messenger, and more. This ensures every customer conversation is centralized and searchable so nothing is overlooked.
For basic personalization features, HubSpot offers a free plan, which is perfect for getting your feet wet. If you enjoy using the software, consider upgrading to a paid plan with premium features. These start at $40 a month and go up from there.
All in all, HubSpot is an easy to use and powerful tool that will allow you to create perfectly personalized experiences for your customers.
Kustomer is a top CRM that makes it easy to offer personalized customer support — even if your company fields a high volume of calls, emails, and social messages every day.
The Kustomer platform is built on AI and automation. With this software, you'll be able to deploy intelligent chat bots on your website, automatically route customers to specific support agents based on their needs, and quickly view a timeline of every interaction your company has had with each of its individual customers.
You'll also be able to easily engage your audience on every channel including voice, text, email, and social media inquiries. That way nothing slips through the cracks.
Kustomer pricing starts at $89 a month per user. But its customer personalization features are so good, many organizations find that the price is more than justified. Contact them today to schedule your free demo of the software.
CloudApp is a visual communication tool that includes industry-leading screen and webcam recording, GIF creation, and screenshot annotation features. It's used by millions of people in a variety of industries such as marketing, sales, product development, and customer support.
Unlike HubSpot and Kustomer, CloudApp does not include fancy automations to help you personalize your interactions with customers. Nope, it has something else…
Imagine how much more personal your communication with customers would feel if you sent them video messages of yourself answering their questions, rather than standard emails. Or a GIF showing them how to complete a specific workflow inside your software, instead of sending them a link to a set of written directions on your site.
Because CloudApp allows users to record and/or capture their screens, then edit them with arrows, text boxes, and emojis, companies are able to easily engage their customers.
The best part is, CloudApp can be used for free. Sign up today and experience the power of our visual communication platform for yourself. If you ever decide you need access to advanced features like embedded CTAs and video annotations, plans start at $9 a month.
Personalization For the Win!
To compete in the modern business landscape, you need to learn how to create personalized customer experiences. While it may seem difficult — impossible even — to do this, it's really not. Just follow the five-step process we outlined in this article:
- Get to Know Your Customers
- Segment Your Audience Appropriately
- Adopt an Omnichannel Approach
- Get on the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Bandwagon
- Analyse and Improve Your Efforts
If you can do these things, you'll be able to better serve your customers, ensure they stay loyal to your brand, and boost revenue for your company.