Personalization As A Strategy To Build Customer Relationships

personalization

Today’s customers seek authentic connections with brands that make them feel valued. They expect your company to understand their needs and deliver the products or services they want.

Personalization starts with knowing the customer. Thanks to CRM systems and behavioral analytics solutions, you can track customer’s preferences and buying patterns. But personalization means much more. It’s also about remembering the customer.

Basically, you should aim to have some sort of one-on-one relationship with your customers, but on a massive scale. If you listen carefully, customers tell you what they want, how, where and when they want it.

For you to imagine this type of relationship, think about being a regular at a bar or restaurant. The bartender knows your name, your preferences and can serve you something you’ll most likely enjoy. 

Someone who knows the customer well can tailor their recommendations and interactions to be truly helpful. By being more than a salesperson, you’ll inspire loyalty and give customers reasons to keep coming back.

Because of the growth of the Internet of Things, more and more customers are becoming hyperconnected across multiple devices. These can range from desktops, laptops, mobiles to smart devices people use on a daily basis such as car navigation and home appliances.

But communicating and connecting effectively across a fragmented customer experience can be quite difficult.

In consequence, the biggest challenge for marketers has become creating a seamlessly way to communicate, engage and satisfy customers across multiple channels, formats and device types.

What do customers want?

1. Relevant recommendations they wouldn’t have thought of themselves

Through “retargeting”, you can remind shoppers of items they browsed but didn’t purchase. These reminders appear as ads on other websites the shopper visits or are delivered via email.

Although an established and popular technique, it can easily come off as annoying or downright creepy if not properly executed. Customers don’t want to be constantly reminded of products they’ve searched for or they’ve already bought. Especially if the ads appear either too soon, too often or too late in the process.

Instead of offering the customer just the things they’ve already browsed or bought, you should offer complementary products or services. For instance, suggesting a suit for someone who has just bought or searched for tuxedo shoes. Another effective tip is communicating in a conversational way to your customers. 

Last but not least, it’s important to observe who responds and who doesn’t. Then, adjust the ad frequency accordingly and stop retargeting to shoppers who never respond.

2. Perfect timing

Figuring the right time to send a message requires taking a close look at behaviors and patterns. Previous order data can provide useful cues about activities. Keep in mind, when you send is just as important as what you send. 

Sending messages at the perfect time means reaching people when they are either still thinking about shopping, or at a time when shopping makes most sense for their particular schedule. 

Also, you should track specific events and circumstances customers are likely to want to know about. For example, you can remind customers when a desired item is back in stock or when a new style is launched for a product the shopper has repeatedly bought.

Getting the timing wrong eliminates the chance for a purchase while annoying the customer.

3. To be known on all platforms

Customers expect retailers to connect digital messages with their offline experiences. This can be particularly challenging, because it requires collaboration between very different areas of the organization.

If done effectively, communications that seamlessly bond online and offline experiences can make a customer feel a retailer really knows and values them.

4. Make it worth their time

Customer offers are an important way to build customer loyalty and prevent churn. Personalization and gamifying the experience will not only inspire purchases, but also encourage new buying behaviors.

Loyalty programs and direct-purchase information can show you what types of products a customer buys, how often, when they buy and what product categories they never purchase. You should take full advantage of this information to personalize your discounts and communications to your loyal customers.  

Let’s talk about personalization done right:

1. Use your customer’s names

Pull each customer’s name from your user profiles and use message personalization to automatically add them to your emails. Not only that, add them to push notifications, in-app messages, so you can show your customers that you know who they are and care about them.

2. Keep in touch

In this area a CRM system can be a great help, as it’s increasingly used as a customer loyalty enhancement tool. It contains a wide range of information about your customers and how they interact with your business. Including past activities, conversations and purchases.

Use the data in the system to keep your existing customers updated with company news, offers and sales campaigns. CRM software also allows you to segment the customers and address the right audience with the right message.

How can you make sure that your customers stay satisfied and loyal? Great customer experience is based on ongoing and meaningful communication. Every contact you have with a customer influences their decision as to whether or not they’ll come back. 

3. Create personal relationships

Creating a personal relationship with a customer can’t be done without personalizing your communication.

Customers can contact your company through a variety of channels. They can also contact you through different departments, such as sales or customer service.

CRM software captures all of these conversations over time, giving you and your entire company access to the same information. You can use this information to give the customer a unique experience, tailored to their preferences.

By personalizing your communication, your customers are more likely to stick with your brand and become loyal customers.

4. Adjust your messaging

Building a relationship with your customers means understanding them. To do that, you have to know who they are and what they care about.

So, start listening. Ask your customers for their opinion. Send them a survey and ask them what they think of your products, services, and what can you do to make their experience better. 

Use your customer’s behavior and preferences to personalize the messages you send to communicate with your audience in ways that they find relevant. How often do they use your app or visit your website? What products do they look at? How often do they take action based on your messages? Do they prefer to be reached via push notification or email?

Personalization also makes the outreach you send more effective, increasing related conversions.

5. Speak to customers in the language they use

People want brands to address them using the language they prefer. Failing to do so can make it less likely that your customers make a purchase.

Thankfully, mobile has made it a lot easier to get this right. Every smartphone and tablet has a device language ID that indicates the language being used on that particular mobile device. Your marketing platform should track that information.

This way you can ensure that the content of your messages really gets to the recipient.

6. Speak to customers when they want to listen

Delivery time personalization makes it possible for today’s brands to only reach out to customers at times when they’re likely to engage.

This kind of personalization uses past message engagement data to identify each customer’s unique high-engagement times. By delivering messages during those periods, you are increasing the chances that customers will welcome your push notifications and emails when they arrive.

7. Deliver multichannel customer engagement

Consumers expect to receive the same level of service through digital channels as through traditional channels.

In order to meet these expectations, you should focus on integrating customer insights into all your channels. Also, try to deliver consistent information and experiences across your website, mobile application and email. Doing so will not only improve the customer experience, but also boost customer loyalty and drive sales.

To build deeper customer relationships, companies must provide personalized content through all their customer touch points and communication channels. It could make all the difference between building a loyal customer base and losing out to the competition.

Conclusions

When done right, personalization can be a huge advantage for retailers and consumers. Targeted communications can create lasting customer loyalty and drive revenue growth.

Research shows that recommendation tools and e-commerce personalization positively drive key metrics including conversion, average transaction value, and time-on-site.

The concept of personalization falls into multiple categories: customer service, sales and marketing. All three of those are important aspects of the overall customer experience. To be competitive, you need to go above and beyond expectations and deliver a great experience.

Make it your mission to learn more about who your audience really is, where they are, and how to reach them. Because one size certainly doesn’t fit all. In order to deliver relevant, persona-based content you have to constantly collect segmentation data. 

Don’t ignore behavior. You must know what actions your subscribers take with your brand and product. Using that information you can deliver relevant content in the channel your customers prefer, at a time that they’re likely to engage, with a frequency they’ll appreciate.

Success lies in creating personalized experiences which resonate deeply with customers so that they feel valued and appreciated.

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