Personalizing the customer experience: what you need to know

Published on November 10, 2022  - Updated on November 10, 2022

"Customer is king" is a saying we often hear. And it's true, customers have the power and they exercise it by choosing where they buy and from which companies. Companies must therefore focus on the customer experience if they want to retain and attract new consumers.

Personalizing the customer experience is a great way to stand out from the competition and show your customers that you care about them as a person. It's also a way to build loyalty and create a lasting emotional relationship with them. Indeed, it makes sense because according to an Epsilon study, 80% of customers are more likely to buy from a brand that personalizes their experience.

That's why, in recent years, many companies have started to personalize the customer experience. In this article, we will see what this means in concrete terms as well as why and how to implement it?

1. What is customer experience personalization?

Customer experience personalization refers to how companies focus on the individual needs of their customers and provide a consistent and personalized experience for each interaction. As mentioned in the introduction, customer experience personalization is important because it is a real differentiator from the competition by providing a higher level of service. Moreover, it allows companies to better know their customers, with the objective of better meeting their needs and building loyalty.

Personalization can take many forms, ranging from a simple "hello, first name of your customer" at the beginning of an email, to a promotional offer linked to their buying habits or a gift on their birthday.

It's all these little things that create a bond between your customers and your brand.

2. Why personalize the experience? 

The first thing is simply that today's customers expect companies to know their preferences and adapt accordingly. So personalization is the key to achieving this.

By providing a different experience, customers are more likely to develop a long-term relationship which can lead to increased revenue and profits.

Personalizing the customer experience has several benefits, including:

1. Improve customer satisfaction: Personalized experiences can help improve customer satisfaction levels by ensuring that customers receive the attention and service they deserve.

2. Promote retention and repurchase: Personalized experiences promote customer retention and encourage repurchase by making customers feel valued and appreciated. They are less price conscious and more likely to recommend you. 

3. Increase conversions and sales: Personalized experiences can increase conversions and sales by making it more likely that potential customers will engage with your brand and purchase.

4. Improve the customer journey: Personalized experiences can help improve the customer journey by making it more efficient and enjoyable.

5. Generate brand ambassadors: As mentioned earlier, personalized experiences can create true brand advocates who are willing to sing your praises to their friends and family.

3. How do you implement a personalized experience strategy?

It's important to understand your customers' needs and wants before you can effectively personalize the customer experience. Your business must first build a strong rapport with them, taking the time to communicate and engage with them regularly. Social media is a great platform for this. Once you have a better idea of what your customers are looking for, you can begin to personalize the experience by implementing specific processes or offerings that meet their needs.

This can be as simple as sending promotional emails with personalized offers or coupons. Your business can also invest in marketing automation, which will allow you to target customers with specific messages and content based on their interests.

In our opinion, there are 3 necessary steps to make your strategy as successful as possible.

1. Data gathering

There is no secret, to know more about your customers, you need data. To do this, there are several methods. First of all, you can monitor your social networks and follow what is said about your company.

You can also set up satisfaction surveys. The idea is to collect verbatims to understand how the customer experience is lived. You can then analyze these comments with an automatic semantic analysis solution like Q°emotion.

Finally, even if it becomes more difficult since the advent of the RGPD, you can also analyze the behavior of your website visitors. The objective is to identify what works and, conversely, what may be the possible friction points on your site.

2. Customer segmentation

This step comes after the first one. Indeed, thanks to the data collected, you should be able to segment your customers in order to interact with them more precisely. For example, you can create customer segments by region, by age, by type of product purchased, etc. Then, it will be possible to target each segment with personalized communication (for example a promotional offer in a store close to the targeted customer base).

3. Personalization throughout the customer journey.

Personalizing the experience does not stop at the first contact. It's important to follow the customer throughout their journey with your brand. For example, you can send a follow-up email when a visitor to your website adds a product to their shopping cart without proceeding with the purchase. Similarly, you can follow up with this person by offering them complementary items to their purchase. The idea is that the customer feels considered and that the messages received are relevant to his needs.

4.  A few examples

When we think about personalization, several companies come to mind. 

For example, Netflix is able to suggest to its customers content that they might like, based on the series and movies they watch. It is thanks to this recommendation algorithm that the platform manages to capture and keep the attention of its customers.

We can also think of Amazon, probably the most mentioned company when we think about customer experience. This American giant is indeed a reference for taking care of consumers. One of the things that comes to mind is its very simplified refund policy. This is what allows customers to be confident when they make a purchase since if they are not satisfied they know they can be refunded without any problem. We can also mention the personalized offers according to the purchase history of its customers and much more.

Finally, we could also talk about Starbucks. You probably already know this, but the company has implemented many personalization techniques to make the customer feel considered and remain loyal to the brand. One of them is asking each customer for their first name and putting it on their cup. It's very simple but it's a small gesture that can make a difference. Another point: when it's your birthday, Starbucks offers you a drink! Once again, it is this type of initiative that will differentiate you from the competition and provoke a WOW effect in your customers! 

To conclude, the customer experience is not a long river. You have to constantly reinvent it to create a strong emotional bond with your customers. This is what will make the difference in the long term and allow you to increase your market share.

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