Why you need to personalise your customers’ experience

Personalised marketing is no longer just about adding a name to an e-newsletter, but using advanced tools to create a detailed picture of consumers’ online preferences, behaviours and needs.

Identifying customers in a detailed way is crucial. You only need to look at the increase in online spending over the past decade – over two billion people now use the internet and e-commerce is the fastest growing retail market in Europe.

The internet bolsters business growth, however with so many choices, attracting customers is a challenge. Creating a seamless and personal customer experience has never been so important.

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While achieving personalisation has historically been a challenge for many businesses, it is integral to surviving in the growing online market. What may surprise you is it has become increasingly cost-effective – by delivering messages and offers that matches a customer’s profile, you can increase efficiency and save money.

This is due to the sheer range of personalisation software available – right through from social media tools to detailed analytics software. The range increasingly empowers marketers, and using data intelligence to engage with customers and understand their needs enhances the relationship between the consumer and business.

Personalisation is proven to produce tangible results – in 2003, Virgin Holidays’ first segmented email campaign generated direct sales of £3m!

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While tools are a start, gaining a thorough understanding of a customer’s habits and interests is key. Irrelevant messages can disengage buyers and furthermore damage your reputation. You need to make sure you’re connecting with customers every step of the way, at the right time.

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems, such as Oracle Service Cloud, are invaluable engagement tools as they glean data from customers at every single stage, from the websites they’ve visited to past conversations with business representatives. Storing and categorising customer history means all contact with the company is recorded, resulting in significant efficiencies and reduced input required from staff.

Tapping into CRM data strengthens the brand-customer relationship. For example, Co-Operative Travel has effectively used CRM technology to deliver a robust customer experience. The personalisation feature embedded within its CRM system has created a simple and integrated site, allowing customers to access its booking pages efficiently based on previous searches and interests.

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Responsive websites are becoming an important element of the engagement strategy for marketers. Tracking situational data such as incoming search terms, location and device type will make it easier for customers to find the information they want, stay on the site longer and engage more with the brand.

As digital interaction becomes an inherent part of daily life, it is vital businesses interact with customers based on their personal needs. Companies should provide customers with engaging content, relevant personalised offers and clear information on products and services.

A company’s knowledge of customers’ priorities, time available and interests will help target marketing strategies that will ultimately create the best customer experience and conversion rates. After all, great customer service is undoubtedly the best outcome for both your customers and your business.

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