Delivering hyper-personalized customer experiences that leave your customer saying – Wow, is the mantra for all brands in today’s customer-centric environment. Customer expectations for personalized experiences are increasing every day and the competitive environment is getting fiercer. The stakes are high, yet many organizations fail to invest in personalization strategies and the technologies and resources necessary to execute them. And, in doing so, continue to bury their heads in the sand as to what these decisions are really costing the business.
Negative Customer Experiences Spread Quickly
In today’s digital world, the impact of a negative customer experience is staggering! Following a bad experience with a brand, 22% of customers decrease their spending and a further 19% stop buying from the brand completely. Furthermore, 30% tell the brand, 50% tell their friends, and 15% provide negative feedback on a ratings site or tweet about it – source American Express Customer Experience Survey.
Conversely, when customers have a great experience, they are 3.5 times more likely to make additional purchases and 5 times more likely to recommend the brand.
Why Negative Customer Experience is Bad for Business
One bad customer experience spreads like wild fire and has an exponential effect on three key business pillars:
- Decline in topline revenue growth.
- Reduced customer lifetime value.
- Loss in brand equity.
What You Can Do About It
While many negative experiences point to customer service issues, marketing should take lead and move their organizations from a product centric model to one that is centered first on the customer. Here are three key strategies to facilitate your transformation to customer first:
- View Business objectives through the lens of the customer. Personalize your communications by creating content that delivers customer value while engendering feelings of appreciation, relationship value and confidence. Think personalization first and business objectives will follow. For example, your business objective may be to upsell and cross sell. In your communication- convey I think you might need this. Sounds simple, yet most of us rely more heavily of features and benefits of the product-versus a personal approach to customer needs, desires and emotions. Only when you put the person/customer first and personalize the experience will you be able to deliver what each customer expects.
- Map the Customer Journey. Gain insight into your customer’s current experience by creating a customer journey map. Learn how your customers are interacting with your brand across different touchpoints. Identify obstacles in your customer path and work to remove them. (Also look for positive opportunities you can optimize).
Advance your map with real data using journey analytics. Leverage your insight and develop experience designs. Make continuous improvements to your designs by identifying (and correcting) low conversion rates, comments, reviews, abandoned carts statistics, repeat visits.
- Invest in the right technologies. Executing your personalized customer experience strategy will require centralizing all your customer data for a single customer view. Your Customer Data Platform should capture digital and physical interactions. Advanced platforms can perform matching and cleansing routines- keeping your data real time and ready to use. Customer platforms can support the entire enterprise including customer service, call centers, in-store associates, sales and support teams.
Since your customers interact across several channels and devices, invest in a customer engagement platform. Modern engagement platforms enable easy cross channel automated workflows to support your journey designs. Agility is important as you test and optimize your experience designs. Be sure to include the capability for inline analytics and machine learning.
These strategies may represent significant shifts for your marketing teams and your organization. And indeed the change may be what keeps organizations from moving toward modern customer centric strategies. However, the cost of poor customer experience is too great and the benefits of creating personalized customer experiences far outweigh the investment in change.
To find out more about how to personalize customer experiences at scale, download Harvard Business Review How Marketers Can Personalize at Scale (for free), 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.