What Customers Expect Out of Their Digital Experience

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Customer must evolve at a rapid pace in the digital age. Companies were forced to complete their digital transformation after the pandemic. Brands focused heavily on fixing technical weaknesses and eliminating friction on platforms. A seamless digital journey used to be a competitive advantage for businesses. But now it is a standard requirement. A total of 90% of customers expect a seamless experience regardless of where the touchpoint is taking place.

Digital businesses must improve their customer journeys to provide personalized experiences to gain a competitive advantage in today’s market. Personalization is the next customer experience “must-have” that will define 2022 and 2023. In the past two years, 73% of businesses have increased personalization efforts in their customer experiences.

Why do customers expect a personalized experience? What can businesses do to deliver personalization? And what are the consequences for failing to do so? Learn how to get to know your customers.

Related: The Future is ‘Phygital’: What Customer Experience Experts Need to Know

Consumers now expect a personalized experience

Customers expect more than just a transaction from a brand. They want to establish a relationship with the brand and expect it to cater to their needs.

According to a recent McKinsey & Company study, 71% of customers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions, and 76% get frustrated when they don’t receive a personalized experience. Multiple studies have demonstrated the consequences of not properly tailoring and curating the customer experience — the majority of consumers reported that they may not purchase from a retailer if the brand gets personalization wrong.

Customers believe personalization improves their experience with businesses. Customers are more likely than others to convert, engage in messaging and recommend brands that offer personalized services.

Personalization has become so meaningful to customers that nearly three-quarters of consumers appreciate that businesses use personal information to make their shopping experience more relevant — as long as their personal data is not externally compromised. This encouragement is important as regulations tighten and data privacy sensibilities increase.

Comparing customer expectations and preferences, businesses must adapt to meet them. Businesses must provide personalized touch points throughout their customer journey. Ultimately, every customer interaction should be personalized.

Related: The Dos and Don’ts of Dealing With Consumers in the Digital Space

How to use data to drive personalization

Every brand’s journey towards personalization success begins with data. In order to tailor the digital experience to each customer, businesses first need to understand who that customer is. Personal interactions can be informed by customer’s past, preferences, purchase history and location.

Companies must consider personalization holistically. Customers interact with brands through multiple channels and expect personalized service.

Personalization requires a holistic approach. This requires a personal approach to data collection. Digital experience intelligence (DXI) platforms capture and analyze 100% of customer interactions across the end-to-end digital journey. DXI, powered by AI, can sort through millions upon millions of data points in just minutes to provide actionable insight. This is essential for maintaining a seamless digital platform. It immediately alerts teams of technical errors and anomalies. DXI can also help accelerate personalization.

The customer data collected by DXI platforms and analyzed can be used to create personalized touch points across platforms and measure the success and engagement of each touchpoint. This data is invaluable and allows teams to collaborate with agility as they have one source of truth. Personalization on digital platforms works best when engineers, merchandising professionals and UX designers work together.

The right data tools can also help solve some of businesses’ biggest hurdles to personalizing the customer experience-data management and data analytics. A total of 67% of retailers report that their greatest personalization challenge is the gathering, integration and synthesis of customer data.

If a company is overwhelmed by the idea of personalizing every interaction it should start small, with just a few moments that are important (selected from existing customer data), and then scale up to full personalization over time. The greater the return on investment for personalization, a business should use more data.

Related: 4 Customer Experience Trends Your Business Needs to Consider

What do consumers want from their personalized experience?

Customers expect to be recognized by businesses they purchase from. They expect brands to get to know them and their interests. In the aforementioned McKinsey & Company study, when consumers were asked to define personalization, respondents said that they “associate it with positive experiences of being made to feel special. “

Examples for positive, personalized touch points in digital experiences include

  • Hyper-local in-stock information at stores close to the customer
  • Relevant product/service recommendations based on purchase/browsing history and demographics
  • Communications addressed specifically to the customer
  • Special attention/onboarding after first-time purchase
  • Targeted promotions
  • Celebrating a customer’s milestones
  • Checking in post-purchase

Related: Why a ‘Personal’ Customer Experience Is Critical to Your Business’ Success

The businesses benefits of crafting a personalized experience

Personalization can drive customer loyalty, increase revenue and accelerate growth. Companies that value personalized digital experiences are more likely to grow quickly than those that don’t.

According to one report, 86% of consumers say personalization plays a role in their purchasing decisions. Personalization increases customer satisfaction and engagement. Personal touch points increase customer satisfaction and engagement. Customers are more likely buy from companies that have personal touch points and to return to purchase again later. When implemented successfully, personalized customer journeys reduce sales and marketing costs by 10-20%

A business’s ability to personalize their customer experience is now a competitive advantage. Brands must find new ways to make customers feel special and create relationships with those who convert.

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