It’s a given. Customers today expect brands to know them and deliver personalized experiences. Studies reveal that 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience and by 2020; customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
But while many brands believe they deliver an exceptional personalized customer experience, their customers think otherwise… In fact, the gap between what brands think they deliver, and what customers report, is getting wider and wider. Forrester’s US Customer Experience Index shows that compared to 2016, CX quality in 2017 worsened across the board. Why is this happening?
Why Companies Miss the Mark When It Comes to Personalization
First – Brands have not fully transitioned to a customer first strategy. Forrester’s 2017 report, Pivot to Person-First Personalization, points out that many personalization efforts are falling short because they overemphasize pre-existing data, stress business need, lack context, and miss the most important component – the person.
Second – We are over reliant on outdated technology. Automation technology and canned personalization software packages, by themselves, do little to advance customer relationships. Birth date, for example, is an easy data point to trigger off a birthday offer. What was once a novel surprise and delight now seems rote and undifferentiated – since so many companies send them. And thanks to Amazon’s early use of product recommendation engines, we’ve become accustomed to singular marketing automation efforts.
The stakes are getting higher, requiring marketers to apply more insight into customer needs and desires. As marketers, we need to strategize more and be capable of orchestrating multiple interactions with customers… allowing us to move beyond our competitors and win our customers’ sustained loyalty.
Advance Your Personalized Customer Experience Efforts Now
To deliver on customer expectations and to improve business outcomes, we need to rethink how we approach the development of personalized customer experiences.
- Opt for a person first strategy. To achieve better results from your personalization programs, ensure your messages are delivering value to your customers. Think about how your messages help your customer along their journey. The goal is to assist them in taking the next step. Ensure the path your customer travels is easy to maneuver and informs them every step of the way. Treat your customers as people, and covey you truly care about them.
- Expand your technology tools to include “insight infused” execution. Take your execution tactics to the next level by operationalizing your customer analytics. Customer engagement technology has advanced so that machine learning capabilities can drive next best actions for your customers — well beyond product recommendations.
- Go beyond single channel. With more modern advanced technologies, you can move from one-off triggers in a single silo, such as web, and opt for full cross channel engagement across your enterprise.
- Move to real-time interactions. Elevate your personalization strategy by moving to real-time capability. This technology brings with it advancements in real-time customer identity matching, which allows marketers to deliver messages to more known customers, in better context. Real-time capability also allows you to expand your personalization programs to include inbound as well as outbound communications.
To learn more about advancing your personalized customer experience programs with person-first strategies and modern customer engagement technologies contact VeraCentra, here.
About VeraCentra: Marketers everywhere want to use data to implement more modern customer engagement strategies. But there can be many obstacles standing in the way of success. That’s where we come in. VeraCentra provides easy-access Customer Data Hubs. We represent best of breed Cross Channel Engagement Platforms (so marketers get the right fit) and offer the Marketing and Data Services that guarantee speed to value and quick win ROI from technology investments. We deliver these solutions with an unmatched wholehearted approach bringing personalized support, care, and service to every client. That’s why many of our client relationships span more than a decade.