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Key things to personalized and better customer experiences

Updated on April 1, 2016

What do customers in the Web economy like? Great products? Great service? Great price? Well, all these are a given but customers like an experience on top of these, which have been reduced to just basic prerequisites in today’s business paradigms. Customers don’t want a great product at a great price and with great service, they just expect businesses to offer at the basic level. These are just qualifications to do business now. What companies can give customers beyond these is what matters today. Again, customers want an experience. They want the experience of buying to be the simplest possible requiring the least effort.

Interestingly, simplicity is not about implementation but representation, simplicity is about sophistication. To allow customers to make the least effort before making a purchase and do that from multiple devices and channels while also recognizing them like blood brothers without ever seeing or meeting them requires special efforts from businesses. Nothing of this can be done without the latest martech tools on offer. There are some thousands of companies offering digital marketing tools but Customer Identity Management solutions are probably the most important of them all because they act like the pistons of an engine keeping the machine running. How Customer Identity Management solutions work is a story for another day but right now, let’s focus on achieving simplicity through sophistication.

Personalization is one of the key traits a successful business possesses because customers like being recognized and known about as long as they don’t get the feeling they are being spied upon or their privacy is being infringed. The key purpose here is not to accumulate data but to guess what your customers want before they ask. This is the fine line that separates personalization and privacy infringement. Read further for the key ways in which you can stay in personalization territory and impress your customers.

Don’t ask too many questions at once

You will never meet the guy who is going to make big purchases from you. But you have to know him inside out to make the guesses. This is a long drawn out processes that goes alongside developing a relationship with a customer. After the first login, when you are trying to know your customer, make the relationship more like in friendship rather than in an interview. Don’t ask all the questions at once. There are two ways this puts off customers. One, they get irritated by the barrage of questions because they have to make efforts to answer spending considerable time and finger energy. Two, they get suspicious and fidgety and make the bounce decision.

Ask right, contextual questions at the right time

Even when you are asking a few questions to start with, the best way to do this is to ask the right questions. Questions which will actually help you recognize your customers better. For instance, to deliver a purchased product, you would need the customer’s address. This is a question best asked after the purchase decision is made somewhere around the payment page. But if you ask this question up front, it’s not contextual and the customer will not recognize the need for him or her to answer it at that point in time. The most common way customers say no is by bouncing off.

Tell them why

Another great way to make customers feel secure is by clearly telling them why your questions are important. A lot of mobile apps request access to media files and contacts on the customer’s phone and that appears very fishy. But if such a request is genuine, you should tell your customers straight what you are going to do with the information and how you will use it to make the customer experience better or provide them with more value.

Create single projections of customers

You might have multiple web properties and the same customer would access all or some of them. But when you track one person as different customers on your different web properties, it gives your customer a disjointed experience. Customers should be recognized and accepted a single person throughout a domain (made of different web properties). A part of Customer Identity Management solutions, Single Sign-On helps create this single view of the customer by aggregating data from all the properties and which consequently helps improve the customer experience tremendously.

Make them feel pleasant

It is known that personalization increases conversion. And addressing customers by name in personalized content attracts their attention. But businesses must understand the limits of personalization. Going overboard might attract customers, yes, but it will also almost immediately repel them, not just from the campaign but also from your business. If personalization is the key to digital marketing, subtlety is the key to personalization. Make them feel pleasant not atrocious.

Use transactional and behavioral analysis

Some people might not classify this as part of personalization but when it comes to transactional and behavioral analysis, the lines blur a little. But for long, businesses have been making do with just identity attributes and data and using them for segmentation and communications. That doesn’t cut it any longer because basic identity data can club a lot of dissimilar people and when you market similarly to dissimilar customers, you are not striking the chords. Instead, transactional and behavioral data must be collected to revolve around the basic data and these two should then be leveraged to understand each customer at a more personal level. Businesses can understand what customers want to buy and what they have bought, how they behave in different circumstances and how they are expected to react to things. Sure, it’s challenging. About 80% marketers think going from mere reporting to behavioral analysis is extremely challenging. But then what’s not?

Add the human touch

The economy is changing, the way business is conducted is changing, the way people behave and live is changing. But people are still the same. They still have emotions, they are still smitten by praise and they still like the human touch. Digital marketing needs a human touch. It is a subjective things and blog posts can’t tell you how to go about it, but you just need to figure out a way to make sure that whatever experiences you are giving your customers, there is a human touch to it. It is all about innovation.

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    • knexus profile image

      Sally Davies 9 months ago from London United Kingdom

      goos read :)