Leveraging Personalized Touchpoints to Improve Customer Experience
by Ron Welty, Founder & Chief Client Officer
In a competitive marketplace where customers have endless options, customer experience and personalization have become two of the most important differentiators for businesses. It’s so important that Gartner found that 89 percent of businesses will compete solely on customer experience. In order to sustain growth, it will be vital for brands to create personalized experiences along every point in the customer journey.
Customer Experience Touchpoints
Customer experience touchpoints are interactions, including encounters where there is no physical interaction, that affect the way a customer feels about your product, brand, business, or service. It’s important to understand these touchpoints to measure customer experience and improve exchanges between your customers and your brand. Fortunately, there are many ways brands can create more personalized touchpoints to improve customer experience.
In today’s digital-first age, your website not only serves as your storefront, but typically also as the first interaction a customer has with your brand. User data obtained from website visitors can help your brand create more personalized customer experiences for targeted promotions, advertising, and product recommendations. Amazon is perhaps the prime (no pun intended) example of this, as they offer personalized recommendations to shoppers once they add an item to their shopping cart.
Retaining user data also makes it easier for returning visitors to pick up where they left off. Additionally, savvy brands can utilize user experience tools like heat mapping and services like online mystery shopping to better understand how customers navigate your website to determine its overall effectiveness.
Both e-commerce and brick and mortar stores need to think about how customers can interact with their products and their brand. Consider augmented reality (AR) and how it can personalize a customer’s interaction with your merchandise. According to a Retail Perceptions report, 61 percent of shoppers prefer to shop at stores that offer AR over ones that don’t.
AR has both online and in-store applications. Ikea’s app, for example, allows customers to virtually see what their products will look like in their house before purchasing, while Uniqlo’s dressing room mirrors allow customers to try on their clothes in different variations or colors.
To a shopper, personalized recommendations are a sign that a brand understands what they like and can offer up friendly suggestions. From a brand standpoint, the opportunity to provide personalized customer recommendations are ideal opportunities for cross-selling and upselling. An Accenture study found that 91 percent of customers are more likely to buy products from companies that use their name, provide personal recommendations, and know their preferences.
Online, your website might suggest products a customer might like to try based on browsing history or previous purchases. ASOS provides a great example of this by inviting online shoppers to “complete the look” with additional items. In-store associates can mimic these same sales techniques to suggest additional products that may be of value to the customer.
Marketing and Promotions
To strengthen and sustain customer relationships, it’s important for brands to stay connected post-purchase through marketing and promotions. Obtaining home and email addresses or prompting customers to create online accounts at the time of the purchase can be an easy way for brands to utilize customer relationship management and marketing automation tools. Leveraging this data allows brands to send highly relevant and personalized messaging in the forms of email newsletters and discounts to keep their audience engaged and retain customers.
Address your customers by their name in your marketing and promotions, or even take it one step further like luxury jewelry brand Monica Vinader and add your customers’ monogram to the jewelry in the images they receive via email. Sending product recommendations―or restaurant recommendations like OpenTable―and discounts for those products can be another way to get personal in your marketing and promotions.
Effective customer service builds trust and establishes a positive relationship with your brand. After all, an American Express study found that 70 percent of shoppers spend 13 percent more with companies that provide excellent customer service.
Customer service encompasses all interactions, from inquiries to complaints to returns, and can take place either in person, over the phone, or through your website. To add personalization to these interactions, look for ways to use a customer’s name, like how Starbucks writes your name on your cup or Victoria’s Secret asks for your name in the dressing rooms. Even putting a face to your associates’ name by adding their picture to their chat bot can help give your customers the human interaction they crave.
Improve Customer Experience
To identify your customer experience touchpoints, you need to experience your own brand, product, or service. By putting yourself in the customer’s shoes, you’ll be able to map the customer journey before, during, and after a purchase to ensure each touchpoint delivers great customer experience, builds customer loyalty, and creates brand ambassadors.
IntelliShop understands what it means to provide great customer service. In fact, we practice what we preach by putting you, the customer, first and going above and beyond to get the results your business needs to succeed. Our solutions will tell you exactly how customers interact with your brand at each touchpoint to help your customer experience go from good to great. By tracking the entire customer journey, we present our findings to you in a detailed, actionable InSite™ report to create a strategy that will improve customer experience at your organization.
Contact IntelliShop today to request a quote and see how we can help your business improve customer experience.