We all know that personalization increases customer engagement, loyalty and sales because people naturally connect with brands that create relevant experiences which address their wants and needs, but it’s not always easy to get it right. Here are 5 tips to help you improve customer communications that lead to stronger relationships.
- Think of your customers as individuals. Start by determining the implicit and explicit data that you have available to customize your communications, placing them into the following buckets:
- Profile: Name, Account ID, Demographics, etc.
- Interactions: Purchases, Communication Preferences, Visits, Transactional Preferences, etc.
- Customer Service: Service Calls, Survey Data, Ratings, Reviews, etc.
- Affinities: Loyalty/Membership, Favorite Products/Brands, etc.
- External Data: Social Media, Third-party Sources, Public Information, etc.
- Map out the customer journey. Go through the customer journey (including winback) and prioritize the data that you will not only leverage but collect at each stage. For example, you will probably have very little data during the awareness stage, so you should prioritize the collection of basic account-level data to develop a profile. Conversely, you will most likely prioritize service-level and affinity data during the winback stage.
- Get in the minds of your customer. Leverage the intelligence you can gain through the voice of the customer (VOC). Determine your customers’ wants and needs throughout the relationship with your brand to optimize their experience. This can be achieved through simple post-visit or post-transaction online surveys.
- Create the basic communication programs. It can be overwhelming to create personalized experiences for every individual communication piece, but one way to tackle this is by creating programs. The first and most obvious would be a standardized onboarding or welcome communications program, as this will build the foundation of developing customer profiles. As you gather customer interactions, the next program might be engagement or retention to maintain or increase customer sales.
- Be transparent with your customer. While most customers realize that brands are collecting personal information, failing to protect this data could be not only the end of your customer relationship, but the death of your brand. With the introduction of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the European Union is giving consumers control over their personal data and brands the opportunity to be transparent about what and how they will use the data. According to a 2018 study by Deloitte insights, 73% of all consumers across all generations said they would be more comfortable sharing their data if they had some visibility and control.
Creating personalized experiences isn’t easy, but by taking small steps, prioritizing the programs and data capture, and implementing rapid test and learn strategies, your company and customers will see the value of building one-to-one relationships through data.