“One size fits all” is perfect when it comes to watches or belts, but it’s not the best strategy for crafting customer journeys. Each of your current and future customers has a different background, needs, and pain points.
Even if multiple people are interested in doing business with the same company, chances are that any two of them are interested in different products, services, or offers and have different reasons for engaging with the brand.
Personalizing your customer experience is an essential task for any marketing team to master. It’s the best way to embrace a complex network of diverse clients and optimize your approach all the way down to the individual customer.
Does a personalized customer journey really matter? A McKinsey study confirms that over 70% of customers expect personalized interactions with companies, and an even larger portion face frustration when this expectation is not met. This means a customized approach to customer journeys will likely have a tremendous impact on your business. Let’s explore how to craft journeys that matter.
What Does the Customer Journey Entail?
From first contact to repeat business, a customer interacts with a company in several steps, all of which together constitute the customer journey. A typical process includes:
- Discovery: A client becomes aware of your brand through advertising, word of mouth, search engine results, or social media platforms.
- Engagement: The customer learns more about the business through online or physical research. There might be a newsletter subscription or a visit to the company website.
- Conversion: The first sale is made and they’ve converted from a prospect to a customer.
- Loyalty: Clients who are happy with the sale will likely return to the same business again. Repeat purchases ideally happen here, as well as signing up for a loyalty or rewards program.
The more you apply personalization to each of these steps, the higher the chance the buyer will move on to the next stage of the journey instead of bailing out mid-way.
What is Customer Journey Personalization?
Advertising departments that practice customer journey personalization gather market research data to ascertain the preferences and unique needs of individual customers before engaging with them in marketing campaigns. This allows marketers to:
- Create messages, product suggestions, and promotions are more tailored to each client.
- Empower sales representatives with the knowledge of how to appeal to the needs of each customer.
- Contact a prospective client on their preferred channel, whether it’s SMS, social media, or otherwise for a more comfortable experience.
Personalization differs from customer segmentation, which aims to address the unique preferences of entire groups of clients.
The goal of personalized customer journeys is narrowing down your focus all the way from demographic groups and customer segments to individual clients. That is, you’re tailoring your marketing efforts toward each individual and adjusting every step of the conversion journey accordingly. The result is the most granular optimization possible.
Mastering personalization matters because you can be on familiar terms with your target audience, ensuring that your advertising truly resonates with their preferences. It’s a way to go above and beyond to make sure your buyers believe that your company is in tune with their needs.
How Do You Personalize the Customer Journey?
To shift your focus away from general categories of your target audience to individual members, try out these tips and strategies.
Generate Client Profiles
Learning about who your individual customers are is the first step to marketing personalization. The process involves going beyond generic segments of clients and must gather information about:
- Needs and pain points
- Preferences and expectations
- Demographic information
- Previously browsed products or services
From there, you can inform customer service agents, sales representatives, and e-commerce web designers about your findings so that they can provide more personal services when interacting with clients.
Take, for example, a clothing brand that operates in international markets. If this business chooses to personalize its marketing by geographic location, it can suggest winter clothing for areas in particularly cold climates.
Support Omni-Channel Communication
These days, customer expect you to support as many channels as possible whenever customers want to talk to you:
- Text messaging
- Social media
- Online chat
But people today don’t think in terms of channels; they just expect you to respond no matter where the conversation goes. Make sure you not only support multiple channel types but can also change channels in the middle of the same interaction whenever possible.
Research from Google indicates that 90% of customers changed devices at least once to complete a task. Ensure that you can stay in touch on all platforms for this reason.
Optimize the Homepage For Individual Visitors
Ecommerce sellers know the importance of a properly optimized landing page. You’ve seen personalization in action if you’ve ever visited the websites of eBay or Amazon while logged in. The site draws from your previous purchases and viewed items and recommends you products you’re likely interested in right on the homepage.
Similarly, there are promotions and time-limited deals that are also tailored to individual users according to their personas.
Even items the customer has already seen should be included, as it’s not uncommon to find a section on a storefront’s homepage of recently viewed items.
Collect Information Based on User Behavior
Sometimes, valuable marketing data can be found in unusual places. Many web designers have practiced ways to gather data on how users interact with the web page in order to personalize the customer journey even further. Ask yourself questions like:
- What are my customers clicking on the most?
- What pages are most popular with them? Is there a category of products that’s popular with a particular visitor?
- What has been added to the shopping cart, and what’s the rate of cart abandonment?
- How frequently does this customer make a purchase, and how much is spent on average each time?
You can create special campaigns based on these user behaviors and present them to individual visitors accordingly.
Allow Employees To Act More “Human”
Most people think of customer service agents as robotic entities existing only to read from a script and push customers through an assembly line one at a time. If you want to make clients feel valued, it’s best to break this mold and allow customer services representatives to have natural conversations with customers.
Encourage and Utilize Feedback From Both Sides
Feedback is key to improving your approach to the customer journey. But did you know that it’s worth gathering feedback from both customers and employees?
Customer feedback is a way to learn about your customer journey and how personalized it is directly from the clients themselves. What’s working, and what could be done better?
Likewise, employee feedback can be just as crucial for developing personalized customer experiences. Employees that interact with the customers directly are likely to notice trends and have suggestions on how to make the buyer’s journey more tailored to the task.
Master the Entire Customer Journeys with Parkfield Commerce’s D2C Marketing
If you’re serious about taking control over your customer journeys with powerful personalization, you can save time and energy by partnering with a marketing consultant with experience in direct-to-consumer marketing. You’ll immediately gain access to the agency’s experience and skills to make a meaningful impact on your business.
Parkfield Commerce has been serving ambitious brands for years to help them maximize their marketing ROI. Get a free assessment from Parkfield today to optimize your marketing with a truly personalized customer journey.