The Impact of Personalization (or Lack Thereof) on Customer Experience

August 3rd, 2022 - 9:00AM

How personalization boosts customer loyalty and retention

The term “personalization” has been around the marketing world for a while. But today, it comes with much higher stakes.

Consumers don’t just want an email communication to address them by name. Seventy-six percent of consumers expect brands to understand their needs and expectations, and 59% of customers say tailored engagement based on past interactions is very important to winning their business. Four out of five consumers would share some type of personal data for a better experience.

This becomes harder with the proliferation of channels and devices that have taken over both our online and offline worlds. For example, when a person uses their smartphone, they are hopping between email, in-app and SMS to browse content, make a purchase or pay a bill. Customers expect you to provide a consistent and persistent brand experience across these channels in both your promotional and service-related communications to foster connection. This not only requires using multiple channels in your communications but also orchestrating them at the user level to drive true customer loyalty and retention.

Why brands get customer experience wrong

Companies have had a lot stacked against them that has made true personalization difficult to achieve. The main challenges have come down to the three Ps—platforms, process and people:

  • Part of the reason marketers struggle to execute personalization well is because they have multiple point solutions for different channels that don’t talk to each other or work together. When data and channels are siloed from one another, cohesive communications across touchpoints becomes difficult to coordinate.
  • Most companies have a deluge of data which they struggle to activate to create meaningful personalized experiences. Not having a strategy in place that enables access to data in one digital system limits the ability to deliver personalized communications and reminders to increase customer retention.
  • With a tight labor market and more and more companies grappling with limited resources, especially technical ones, it’s increasingly difficult to implement and manage the tools necessary to deliver personalization at scale. Long IT queues and low prioritization of marketing-focused projects are often the culprit.

Mastering customer engagement management

The way for companies to overturn the status quo and drive true customer retention and loyalty is through customer engagement management (CEM).

CEM incorporates personalized omnichannel marketing into each stage of the buyer journey to reach customers where they are and elicit the desired response. It involves both measuring these interactions and behaviors and then optimizing the next engagement based on insights gleaned from how customers respond. A comprehensive CEM strategy helps break down barriers with efficient, cost-effective and easy-to-implement technology so you can orchestrate communications across touchpoints. There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for the right CEM platform:

  • A single, integrated solution: Modern companies are reimagining their technology stacks as single-platform, SaaS systems with a centralized view of customers to enable seamless interaction across website, SMS, email and mobile.
  • Centralized data: Look for platforms that can aggregate call center, payment, CRM, marketing, and third-party data on payment preferences to help you deliver 1:1, omnichannel communications down to the individual.
  • Easy implementation: Low- or no-code onboarding and drag-and-drop interfaces are the new black. The best CEM solutions deliver flexible and customizable solutions that are easy to set up without heavy tech resources.

Personalization will continue to be paramount as brands look to drive business results and long-term customer loyalty and retention in the modern age. Omnichannel orchestration, underpinned by powerful CEM technology, is the way to do it.

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