Adding Value to Customer Experiences through Personalization

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“Innovative brands are leading the way in defining the next generation of customer experience through personalization. These brands are delivering more accurate, relevant, and personalized touch points both in store and online,” – Eric Tobias

Modern customers represent a very large, dispersed, and enlightened constituency. This tribe represents the lifeblood of commerce and regularly engages with every manifestation of commercial activity. Customers expect the best value for their dollars; in response, brands and businesses are working to add value to customer experiences. The addition of value enables businesses to retain existing customers, sell higher volumes, and to expand the remit of trade and enterprise. One of the techniques to achieve this objective lies in the personalization of products and services. This approach assumes significance because market research indicates personalization has the potential to deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing budgets. In addition, it is estimated that personalized strategies boost sales by 10% or more. We will examine some of the techniques through which brands can enrich and add value to customer experiences.

Personalized email is a significant technique that boosts the value to customer experiences. Brands and businesses can choose to create these marketing materials in a bid to enhance mind share among customers. For instance, an apparel boutique can create custom content for its emails to customers. This technique enables the business to create a deeper connect with customers, while enriching customer experiences. The business can use this marketing vehicle to inform customers on the latest offerings. In addition, personalized emails can help attract customer attention to limited-edition creations and any on-going reductions in prices of merchandise. We note that the personalized approach should gain traction with customers and enable the business to achieve commercial objectives.

Intelligence-driven, real-time, personalized experiences can empower businesses to gain volumes of new customers. For instance, an e-commerce business can elect to boost value to customer experiences by deploying online chat bots. This technique removes a lot of scope for customer frustration and presents visitors and shoppers with intelligent product choices based on their shopping histories. This strategy applies to both desktop shoppers and app-based users of the business. In addition, the business can reinforce the personalization experience by sharing regular updates with customers regarding items on their ‘wish list’. These actions can come together to boost the overall experience of customers and trigger positive business outcomes.

Brands and businesses can add value to customer experiences by creating and updating detailed customer profiles. The data points in such profiles can include demographic information, geographical location, areas of customer interest, etc. These profiles enable businesses to fashion targeted customer communications. For instance, an insurance services provider can collate streams of information to create marketing pitches for multiple customer segments. The business can offer certain customers with plain vanilla insurance packages, while high-risk segments can avail specially designed insurance packages. Further, we note that businesses must constantly add valid information to existing customer profiles in a bid to boost business by offering additional services.

Traditional brick-and-mortar businesses can utilise low-tech strategies in an attempt to accrue value to customer experiences. For instance, a supermarket or large-format retailer can list its top twenty customers (by sales). Each of these customers can be gifted monogrammed pieces of cutlery as a token of appreciation. We note this gesture should expand the scope of personalization and enable the business to win the goodwill of customers. An additional benefit arises when privileged customers discuss their positive experiences with fellow customers. The latter may feel encouraged to step up commercial transactions in a bid to attract said tokens of appreciation.

Many business enterprises are active on social media platforms. This situation stems from the fact that significant numbers of customers operate on social media. Therefore, businesses can seek to add value to customer experiences by engaging with their customers on social media handles. For instance, a clothing retailer may display its wares in a certain shade of green to herald the onset of summer. We note that such marketing messages may be directed at customers that post frequently on social media handles. This enables the retailer to interact frequently interact with customers. In addition, the business can post images of custom products on social media in a bid to attract attention and boost sales.

Businesses can choose to customise a brand experience for new customers. This strategy enables commercial operators to create a unique experience and enhance their mind share among visitors and customers. For instance, an e-commerce operator can engineer its shopping app to display product categories based on a customer’s browsing history. This customised display is triggered when a certain customer logs into the app with his or her unique credentials. We note that this approach adds value to customer experiences and may encourage visitors and shoppers to transact more often. In addition, this technique signals a brand’s intent to cater to customers’ unique requirements at all times. Further, the app may offer the customer a preferred payment mechanism in a bid to spur additional sales. This instance clearly underlines the efficacy of utilising behavioural data in shaping unique customer experiences.

Customer complaints offer businesses an opportunity to add value to customer experiences. This is significant from a brand’s point of view because it indicates a customer’s mind set and the various levers that can remedy the complaints. For instance, a hospitality business can elect to position additional furniture in a guest room for a customer that complained about insufficient flat surfaces. We note that this gesture signifies corporate resolve to address a customer problem. This action also offers said business an opportunity to respond to the voice of the customer, thereby demonstrating intent to boost value to customer experiences. The said business may win customer accolades, and thereby enhance its share of the hospitality market.

Visitors to a traditional bookstore may encounter problems in terms of finding rare first editions. The proprietor of the business establishment can personalize customer service by offering directions to rare book outlets. In addition, the proprietor may elect to stock rare books in response to the above situation, thereby enhancing the scope of his business operations. We note that this sequence of events helps the business to add value to customer experiences while actively working to enhance profit margins from future operations.

Sub-optimal personalization can threaten the viability of business enterprises. Brands and businesses should be careful in the execution of their personalization strategies. This implies the careful and diligent collection of information. This effort is justified because misspelt names can arouse customer ire and defeat the purpose of personalization. Further, brands and businesses should invest time and effort in a bid to familiarize themselves with customers. An out-of-tune strategy can inflict damage on the public image of a business and erode its market share.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some techniques that enable businesses to add value to customer experiences. Business enterprises must acknowledge the fact that every customer is unique. Therefore, approaches to each customer must vary in the interests of creating a successful custom experience for each customer. The aforesaid strategies will ensure that businesses thrive in the face of market competition and remain geared to face future markets.

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