By Erin Lively
Holiday shopping lists can be divided into 2 categories: a blanket gift for those you don’t know too well (but feel obligated to buy for), and thoughtful gifts for a special few in your life. We all know how it feels when you open a generic holiday card to find a $25 Starbucks gift card inside… you didn’t make the shortlist. Now compare that with the feeling you get when you open a box to find the shoes you mentioned to a friend in passing 2 months ago — in your favorite color and the right size. You have that “aww, she really gets me” moment, right?
Customers want this same feeling when they interact with your brand. A great Customer Experience is like a well-thought-out gift — it shows you took the time to understand customers’ individual needs and used these insights to create experiences specifically tailored to them. The more personalized the Customer Experience, the more satisfied the customer. And happy customers are return customers, which means more money for you.
The takeaway here is you can’t optimize your Customer Experience without truly getting to know your customers first. This means listening to what they say and observing what they do at every touch point. Tracking customer behavior will allow your company to develop a unique experience, deliver more targeted marketing efforts, and truly predict future behavior.
The first interaction a customer has with your brand lays the foundation for the relationship. A solid first impression will send them further down the funnel but it doesn’t necessarily mean they are ready to fully commit. Customers’ opinions are constantly evolving because expectations grow and change as they advance through each step of the customer journey. When customers are just getting familiar with your brand, you’ll need to provide useful information they can digest on their own; hard sell tactics are too much at this point and may send them running. But when the same customers are ready to make a decision, using a hard sell may be necessary to make the final push to incentivize them to choose your brand. Knowing where customers are in their journey can help you appropriately adapt your sales and marketing approach, and ultimately foster profitable, lasting relationships. Tracking customer behavior can help make this distinction, allowing you to deliver more personalized experiences suited to customers’ needs and expectations at each stage.
It’s about more than just profiling and categorizing a customer; you need to be tracking every micro-moment on the customer journey. Details like what device they used to access your website, where and when they interact with your brand, what content they look at, and details about the interactions they’ve had with you, can tell you a great deal about a customer. Leveraging information from your analytics tools and artificial intelligence (AI) engines — like Salesforce Einstein — will allow you to target your marketing efforts, thereby minimizing wasted efforts and increasing that beautiful combination of words: Return on Investment.
An optimized Customer Experience is a win for your business and a win for your customers. Your money is directed towards justifiable efforts and your customers feel valued — developing the always sought after customer loyalty. Genius!