10 Strategies That Matter In Personalizing Modern Customer Journey
Although the holiday Christmas season and Black Friday shopping spree are ahead of us, differentiating your brand in a highly saturated marketplace can be a challenge. In the modern customer journey, top businesses have to provide their customers with memorable experiences that reinforce their loyalty to the brand - something that is way harder to accomplish digitally. To achieve this, companies need to go the extra mile to make their customers feel valued and appreciated at every point of interaction.
In this article, we’ll break down the 10 essential strategies that can help you engage your customers, unify customer communications across all channels, and build a genuinely modern customer journey. Let’s dive in!
The Fundamentals of Personalizing the Modern Customer Journey.
When a customer engages with a business or brand, they go through a process known as the customer journey. This process covers every interaction that the customer has with the business, both online and offline, from the first time they become aware of the product/service to completing the purchase and beyond.
The customer journey includes various stages, beginning with awareness. This is when the customer first learns about the product/service through marketing, advertising, word-of-mouth or other channels. Next comes consideration, where the customer researches and evaluates the product/service, compares different options, reads reviews, and gathers information to make an informed decision.
The decision stage is crucial, as the customer decides to make a purchase and chooses a specific product/service. Businesses may use incentives, discounts or other strategies to encourage conversion. Once the purchase is complete, the post-purchase experience stage begins. This stage involves customer support, onboarding, and the actual use of the product/service.
If the customer has a positive experience, they may become loyal to the brand and even advocate for it by leaving positive reviews, referring friends and family, or engaging with the brand's content on social media. This stage is known as loyalty and advocacy.
A customer journey map is a visual representation of this entire process. It outlines each stage and the touchpoints where the customer interacts with the business. Creating a customer journey map helps companies to understand their customers' experiences, pain points, and opportunities for improvement. This understanding allows businesses to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty and to design more effective marketing strategies and customer-focused initiatives.
Investing in creating personalized customer journeys can bring a variety of benefits. It can improve the customer experience by tailoring interactions, increase engagement by delivering customized content, and boost conversion rates by suggesting relevant products. This approach can also foster loyalty, reduce cart abandonment, and provide valuable insights for informed decision-making. By standing out in a competitive marketplace, businesses can enjoy higher sales, word-of-mouth marketing, and sustained growth over the long term.
#1: Focus on providing omnichannel customer experiences
Providing a unified customer experience at every point of sale, and with every interaction is essential in the modern customer journey. For example, if a customer contacts you on live chat, but decides to follow up on social media, they should be able to do so without being forced to explain their issue all over again. What this means is that your agents should know precisely what the customer inquired about previously and should be knowledgeable about the issue’s current status. Under no circumstances should the customer have to repeat themselves simply because they’ve used a different communication channel to reach out to your business.
As such, your customer support teams should strive to create a seamless transition between all available communication channels. The agents’ tone of voice should be unified, and it should be evident that they’re willing to go above and beyond for the customer.
The same rule applies to other aspects of business, too -- not just customer service. Let’s consider promotions. Businesses that offer vouchers, coupons, or discounts, should ensure that their discount promotions are synchronized across all channels and available to use at every point of sale -- be it on the vendor’s website, mobile app, or in person. In addition to that, your service and sales reps should be well-versed in every promotion that’s happening on your site, social media, or email campaigns.
#2: Personalize customer communication
Never underestimate the power of personalization, especially when your goal is to build a two-way customer conversation. Providing personalized service is the best way to engage your customers: it builds trust, makes customers feel special and it’s simply very comfortable from the user experience point of view. Know what kind of communication channels your customers prefer, what purchases they like to make, which promotions are most likely to get them to take action, and so on and so forth.
By applying these insights, and personalizing all interactions with your customers, you’ll be able to create a unified communication strategy that boosts customer loyalty and satisfaction.
The best way to get to know your customers better is to create customer profiles and buyer personas. Mapping out your customers’ motivations will give you a deeper understanding of your customers’ needs and their buying habits. It will also provide essential insights to create a data-driven, modern customer journey.
#3: Create useful and valuable content
If you build your business on the notion that your customers are highly valued, you should extend that notion into all other parts of your business. For example, if you’re in the SaaS business, you could create helpful content like eBooks, podcasts, or webinars that can help your clients master e-commerce marketing strategies. Doing so will unify and solidify all your marketing and communication efforts by showing the customer that you live and breathe customer happiness. When providing value, consider all aspects of the modern customer journey, including the post-purchase experience.
It's essential to create content with the aim of educating your customers and providing useful information, not boosting your search ranks. At Vouchery, we have a fundamental rule: we write articles for people, not for search engines.
#4: Surprise your customers
Every customer wants to feel valued. The best way to show your appreciation is to provide your customers with real-time benefits. Instead of having your clients accumulate points which can be redeemed later, why not provide them with freebies, gift cards, or referral programs that they can benefit from instantly?
Doing so will surprise and delight your customers, leaving them with a positive feeling about your business -- which is what drives engagement & loyalty. To provide your customers with real-time benefits, consider Vouchery, your AI-powered one-stop shop for cross-channel promotional campaigns. Vouchery ensures that all promotional campaigns are personalized, synchronized across channels, and executed at the right time, throughout the customer lifecycle journey.
#5: Create a loyalty program that rewards action
Creating a rewarding loyalty program (which you can also do with Vouchery), will keep customer engagement high and incentivize your clients to keep doing business with you. However, remember that your program needs to provide real value - don't offer the same rewards to your loyal customer, eg. a 10% discount, when that is something publicly available on coupon websites, like RetailMeNot. Also, a great practice to engage your customers is to not only reward purchases but also actions that customers can take to collect points, like taking part in the community or writing a product review.
In the end, the purpose of the loyalty program is to unify the message you’re communicating to your customers from the start - that they matter and that they’re your number one priority.
#6: Utilize referral marketing
Referral marketing is an excellent method to strengthen and unify your messaging while providing your customers with even more value. If your goal is to make your customers as successful as your business, your customers will stay loyal to your brand. This is also a great way to bring more alike customers and expand your market. Remember to monitor the reward system to make sure promo abusers aren’t hurting your bottom line.
#7: Create an online community
Building an online community is another great way to show your customers that you care and give them a feeling of social approval - a key differentiator in a modern customer journey. Start by creating an engaging community platform such as a customer portal or knowledge base. Other than filling this platform with valuable content such as how-to guides and tutorials, allow your customers to participate in community forum discussions. That will enable them to get instant advice, exchange experience, and learn more about your product or service, thus building a real connection. At the same time, it teaches you a lot about who your customers are.
Give your customers the option to voice their opinions, feedback, and suggestions. If you want to take it a step further and really prove that you care about your customer’s opinions, reward their feedback, and act upon it.
#8: Add exit-intent pop-ups
Exit-intent pop-ups are a great way to engage your potential customers. They generally offer small discounts or premium content in exchange for the customer’s contact information.
Simply put, exit-intent pop-ups are that ‘little something extra’ that you offer potential clients as a token of appreciation.
If you don’t want to come as too aggressive, use your live chat as an exit pop-up and ask customers whether they have any questions before living the site.
#9: Add a live chat to your website
Placing a live chat widget on your website will help engage your customers while reinforcing your customer communication strategy.
By showing your customers that you’re available to help them with any questions they may have, they’ll feel more confident about making a purchase from your site ( if you aren't available, ask customers to leave their email addresses so you can reach back and answer their queries).
If you want to go a step further, utilize proactive chat invitations on the strategic URLs of your website. This could be your pricing page, FAQ page, checkout page, or even product tour page. Proactive chat invitations are the perfect way to show your customers that you are willing to go the extra mile for them.
Image Credit: Live Chat by LiveAgent
#10: Personalize your social media PPC campaigns
Last but not least, creating social media PPC campaigns can bring your customer communication unification efforts full circle. To have the desired effect, campaigns should focus on bringing your potential and existing clients value.
This could be achieved by promoting a giveaway, a case study that highlights your product/service benefits, or a campaign that encourages your customers to use social media as a service channel.
Creating these types of campaigns encourages customer engagement and can bring in new, relevant leads while reinforcing your messaging.
Building personal relationships across the whole modern customer journey becomes easy once you embrace customer happiness & value creation as your core business values. If it’s the cornerstone of your marketing and communication efforts, your customers will notice and feel more comfortable sharing their positive experiences with your business online.
This type of engagement is invaluable, as it can bring in relevant leads organically and reinforce brand loyalty at the same time.
About the Author:
Ewelina is a Marketing Technology Entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience leveraging data to personalize customer journeys across multi-channel experiences. She has a passion for shaping consumer behavior through contextual, predictive, and personalized promotions and incentives that deliver value to both brands and customers.
Connect with Ewelina on LinkedIn.