Today, excellence in customer experience has become the chief determinant of a brand’s success. Consumers who score a brand higher on CX are up to three times more likely to spend on that brand. With tangible business value at stake, delivering superior CX has become a key objective for organizations.
Two questions act as the starting point for designing exceptional customer experiences - “How do I best understand my customers’ needs, expectations and perceptions?”, and “How do I meet my customer’s insatiable appetite for experiences?”
Leveraging data-driven personalization can achieve both aims. The more data you have about your customers, the more relevant the personalization becomes, which enables a meaningful experience. The underlying fact is, you can’t create a positive personalized experience without knowing the customer - and knowing the customer calls for organizations to be more customer- and data- centric.
However, while a significant amount of time and research has been devoted to digital/ online personalization, offline experiences – especially in retail stores – leave a lot to be desired. This is far from ideal, since customers typically rely on store associates to guide them through their shopping experience.
Imagine a situation where an organization can leverage various data points about a walk-in customer to deliver relevant experiences, have meaningful conversations, and make them feel welcome. That’s where the concept of Customer Experience-as-a-service comes into play, which takes offline personalization to the next level.
It could be as simple as an app in the hands of a store associate who greets the walk-in customer with a question - “Welcome to the store - would you like to have a personalized shopping experience with us today?” If yes, then all it takes is a few quick follow-up questions to identify the customer if they are a part of an existing loyalty program, and serve up a relevant experience. It opens the door for the associate to educate customers on current offers and trending products. It’s also an opportunity to capture first-hand feedback, as well as data on the customer’s buying behaviour. For non-loyal and new customers, it also presents the opportunity to enroll and start benefiting from personalized offerings.
This paves the way for organizations to reap a multitude of benefits, such as upselling and cross-selling at specific touchpoints during the customer lifecycle, enriching their customer data to improve conversion rates, and building valuable long-term relationships, to name a few. This strategy has cross-industry, cross-vertical applicability, and is highly modular.
As a closing note, the potential of personalization lies in thinking about how you would like to be treated, rather than looking at it only from the customer’s lens. It brings together relevance, value-based interactions and a hassle free experience, which is what we all strive for, isn’t it?
About the author: Shivkumar is an accomplished strategy consultant and comes with a vast experience in solution design, large-scale deployments, business development and consulting work for 15+ global corporations through his career. He has an established track record in planning, strategizing, designing and implementing successful business solutions across multiple industry verticals and horizontals. He is a part of the digital transformation and marketing technology team at Epsilon, who work closely with clients to solve business problems, transform and innovate through digital.