Customer experience is such a huge topic – a discipline, even – that it rolls customer service, interface design, and content marketing all together. It’s literally a new way to view how companies function.
Customer experience investments pay off, too. According to research from Sitecore and Avanade, the ROI on customer experience investments is 300%.
Respondents report that for every US $1 their organization spends on improving the customer experience, their organization sees a return of US $3.
You’re good with an ROI of 300%, right?
But what about personalization? Is it worth the investment?
I bet you already know the answer. It’s “Yes.”
Here’s proof: According to the Harvard Business Review article, How Marketers Can Personalize at Scale, “We know that personalization can deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend, and can lift sales by 10% or more.”
How to personalize the customer experience
So you know you want to do this. Customer experience and personalization clearly deliver excellent returns.
Great. Now what?
There are nearly endless ways to personalize customers’ experiences. That doesn’t mean you should try all of them. In fact, the smartest advice around seems to be to start with the data you already have. Begin by testing simple things using your existing data. See what works and what doesn’t. “Fail fast” as the startups say.
Do this before you invest in a massive, complex personalization stack. Why? Because too many businesses seem to go whole hog into personalization, only to find they simply don’t have the bandwidth to do everything that’s possible. Let’s face it – we’re not all Fortune 500 companies with whole floors of marketing staff. Often, there’s just a few of us around to make all this work.
That doesn’t have to be a problem. In fact, with the right strategy and the right software, small teams can get Fortune 500 results without getting lost in seas of data, or taking months to see any returns.
One thing you do need, even before you buy software and even before you start testing, is a map of your customer journey, aka the sales funnel. You can use this free tool to make one.
I’ll bet you’ve heard this advice before. Hopefully, a bunch of you just thought “Got it!” and are ready to rock. If you’re not, please: Step back and map out those customer journeys. Define your personas, too. Then find somebody to play devil’s advocate and try to poke holes in your plans. Because all that work is the foundation of your personalization and customer experience program. It’s gotta be solid.
After you’ve got that map, start thinking about every customer touchpoint along the way. And I mean every channel:
- Email marketing
- Your website
- Social media
- In-person or in-store events
- Advertising on third-party sites
Why figure this out? Because most of those things can be personalized, but to be effective, that personalization needs to be planned and coordinated. Random acts of just inserting someone’s first name into a piece of content or an email won’t cut it. And it’s time to think beyond simply personalizing emails (though that’s still one of our favorite things).