Personalized Customer Experience

Personalized Customer Experience

Give Your Customers
a Story Worth Sharing

Michael Bornheim, CRM Sales Consultant, Oracle @mbornheim


People like to share their experiences; make sure they’ve got positive ones to spread

I was attending a conference last month and forgot my credit card at the hotel I’d been staying in. Upon finding it, the hotel concierge not only called to let me know, they also arranged for it to be delivered to me at the conference in a sealed envelope. I couldn’t have asked for a better response.

On the other end of the spectrum, I had a painful experience with some builders working on my home. They didn’t show up at the promised time (or the promised day for that matter) and only rang me after the fact to reschedule. Even once the work started, communications were sporadic and often misleading. I don’t expect I’ll be using them for future renovations.

A positive story travels fast and far

 In a society where word-of-mouth is arguably the most effective form of marketing, companies should prioritize giving each customer an experience worthy of sharing for the right reasons. 

Every customer interaction breeds a story, and most of us feel inclined to share our experience whether it’s good or bad. In a society where word-of-mouth is arguably the most effective form of marketing, companies should prioritize giving each customer an experience worthy of sharing for the right reasons.

But so does a negative one

Stories spread just as fast, if not faster, when they are negative. A bad experience is hard to shake, and many of us are more inclined to vent our frustrations when things go wrong. For proof just consider the difficulty many brands have with damage control on social media.

Communication is key. In the case of my lost credit card, what the hotel did extremely well was to alert me of the issue and walk me through each step of the resolution. Customers understand that things don’t always go according to plan, but they do want to be kept posted on the status of their issue until it has been settled.

Delight customers to create advocates

 Armed with a wealth of customer data, these bots can help each shopper with a growing range of requests more quickly and with more relevant
guidance. 

The consistent differentiator among the world’s most successful brands is that they have a loyal customer base, no small feat when you consider the number of options available to consumers today.

How have they done this? Like the global hotel chain I was staying with during my conference, these companies have made a point of ensuring customers walk away with positive experience to share. The simple act of giving each person a personalized service has allowed them to build large networks of advocates who then happily spread the good work on their behalf.

Get smart with technology to delight more customers

The challenge for growing organizations is to maintain the same standard of service on a larger scale. It is one thing to field a few customer requests per hour, but it’s a whole different animal to provide a high level of personalization and responsiveness for hundreds or thousands of people.

 If a sales team isn’t wired to deliver a personalized and proactive service the customer experience it delivers will reflect this shortcoming, no matter how many bells and whistles it has. 

Customers want instant feedback. This is the motivation behind virtual assistants, which are designed so shoppers have an instant resource to turn to while navigating a company’s website. Many businesses are already starting to see the benefits of delivering 24/7 sales and service with a more personal touch.

Virtual assistants are now being linked into the company’s data collection and analytics system. Armed with a wealth of customer data, these bots can help each shopper with a growing range of requests more quickly and with more relevant guidance. They can also make accurate predictions about a customers’ future needs and be programmed to upsell products and services based on these.

But remember, it all comes down to culture

We are seeing the first iterations of true Artificial Intelligence in the CX space.  That said, a poorly programmed virtual assistant can still miss the mark on customer service. If a sales team isn’t wired to deliver a personalized and proactive service the customer experience it delivers will reflect this shortcoming, no matter how many bells and whistles it has. And that would be a sad story indeed.


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