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Blog

Jul 06, 2016

Taking the Plunge on Personalization: 6 Steps for Success

man on a laptop enjoying personalized customer experience

[Estimated read time: 3 minutes]

Customers are constantly sharing information with brands. In return, they expect brands to deliver a personalized customer experience. In today's customer experiences, we are seeing a fundamental shift from segmentation to personalization. In a Forrester study on personalization, 94% of customer experience and marketing professionals reported personalization as a key element to meeting current goals. 

Why personalize? 

While a customer segmentation strategy is better than nothing, a personalized customer experience will deliver better results every time. Personalization infers a customer's needs and preferences based on their individual behavior, instead of demographic or psychographic assumptions. When content, offers, and service interactions are truly personalized to each individual, customers are more likely to take a desired action. Plus, consistently delivering accurate personalization leads to stronger loyalty in the long run.

When interactions are truly personalized to each individual, customers are more likely to take action.

For example, let's look at a hypothetical customer: Brian is a recent college graduate who frequents your sports memorabilia website, and has often purchased collector's edition baseball cards from you. On his next visit to your website, which product offer would be more successful: something popular with other men in his demographic, or your latest rare baseball card? The more relevant offer, driven by personalization, is more likely to win.

As previously stated, marketing and customer experience professionals alike view personalization as an important strategy for meeting current and future goals. And it's no wonder they feel the need to personalize: Researchers have found a strong correlation between highly targeted personalization and a lift in revenue. In fact, the most precise level of personalization correlated with a 67% increase in revenue. 

There is a strong correlation between highly targeted personalization and increased revenue.

Download the whitepaper "Up Close and Personal: Shifting from Segmentation to Personalization" to learn more about why it's vitally important to have a sound personalization strategy.

Six steps for succeeding at personalization

Before making the leap to personalization, it's important to remember that personalization is merely a tool to improve the customer experience. Not every experience benefits from personalization, and some benefit more than others. In order to assess the current state of your personalization strategy, use this checklist.

Are you ready to enhance your approach to personalization? Forrester analyst Fiona Adler recommends the following steps for success:

  1. Understand what customer data you are currently collecting; identify and address any information gaps.
  2. Brainstorm and research how the data could be used to predict customer needs.
  3. Using your customer personas, outline the tasks and objectives your customers are trying to accomplish at each touchpoint and channel, such as your website, mobile app, social media platforms, and so on. To avoid being overwhelmed, choose to focus on either a) the goals that are most important to your business or b) the goals that most of your customers have in common.
  4. Walk through your customer journey maps to determine where personalization could help, hurt, or have no effect on customers' ability to accomplish their goals at each stage.
  5. Wherever a lack of personalization is hindering a customer's ability to achieve their goals (or where personalization is actually hurting the current experience), implement solutions that add helpful personalization. The right technology is absolutely key.
  6. Research how your competitors are approaching personalization, and use these competitive insights to continue to improve your own personalization strategies.

With optimized processes and technology adding helpful personalization along the customer journey, higher revenue and increased long-term loyalty are sure to follow.

 

Want to see Astute's customer engagement and personalization solutions for yourself? Schedule a demo today.

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Featured Whitepaper: "Up Close and Personal"

Learn how to shift from segmentation to personalization.

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