Adding the Person to Personalisation Strategy
In today’s marketplace, Marketers are challenged with tighter budgets and increased emphasis on sales. A tactical web and e-mail Personalisation strategy can augment traditional marketing efforts and optimise results. With competitors all vying for individual customer’s attention, smart marketers need to change the way they approach and balance customer service while driving sales.
By deploying new Personalisation techniques, you’ll exceed customer expectations and raise the bar on your competition.
Personalised email and live chat (human Personalisation) blended into a marketing campaign could prove to be one of the breakthrough approaches to optimise current marketing strategies. Outbound emails in the form of a sales conversation or responses tailored specifically to a customer’s interests/requests will yield the desired result of increased sales and improved customer satisfaction.
A sound Personalisation strategy improves customer service. It allows you to focus on your customer’s individual needs and personality and in doing so, creates a memorable and positive experience with your company.
It’s not just enough to personalise the subject and remember their name, but to place context in the body and to ensure both creative and interface are appropriate for the individual. Personalisation allows you to tailor the level of richness, creative, images and so forth to create a well-rounded approach to interacting with customers. Furthermore, the relationship improves with each interaction. As your customer database grows, so does your knowledge on how to service the customer more effectively.
Live Customer Care (Human Personalisation)
By using online representatives, customers can be greeted as they would in a live one-on-one situation. This can be achieved and delivered through a blend of customer care applications, including integrated text based chat interface, email response management and voice over IP.
Marketers can integrate Personalisation applications and build a customer care centre internally or more easily and economically by outsourcing personalised customer contact initiatives. Outsourcing is also more flexible and cost effective than an internally run customer service centre.
One of the fastest growing areas in customer relationship management is personalised email. An effective Email strategy can reach out to new and existing customers, as well as serve as an inbound response management tool for existing and potential customers. By utilising Personalisation technologies, each email can have customised content designed and packaged with the recipient in mind.
Outbound email campaigns are a fantastic opportunity to reach customers, however most firms barely scratch the surface of possibility and limit their success by personalizing only name and subject line. Today emails can be dynamically rich and customers benefit by getting relevant information delivered in their preferred format. For example, an initial campaign can give the customer a choice of Text, HTML, or Rich Media.
Inbound email can be routed to individuals within a company to request a personal response or have generic auto responders. Further studies show that most responses take much longer than customers expect therefore a successful email strategy must be timely.
Most companies rely on auto responders and pre-set answers to customer questions. Marketers should consider adding unique and personal responses - for example, a personal note of apology for the late delivery of a product. Customer email responses could also be expedited through live on-line chat with customer service reps (human Personalisation) or click to chat technology that connects users directly through their computer or phone. The benefit of this approach is that the e-mail is both timely and personalised.
Marketers adopting a Personalisation strategy not only add human interface to a sometimes sterile medium, they’ll likely score points by exceeding customer expectations. But before you implement such a strategy, be sure to evaluate your customers and identify those who would benefit most from “human context” email.
By identifying customer preferences and segmenting the most valuable customers in your database, marketers can use email and live customer care to positively impact sales.
There are many benefits of having a person involved in reviewing emails or having direct live contact on a site as well. The customer feels they are being cared for, not redirected by some automated system, leaving them feeling like they are talking to a vending machine. Today there is far too much emphasis on relying on technology to understand your customer. By blending human interface and database driven information, marketers can create breakthrough responses with campaigns and communications. The marketers and Customer Service Reps can also access a library of information to better service the customer.
Review your communications strategy, and appropriately apply automation technology where processes are redundant and add the most value. With this in mind, focus on optimising the human contact to pinpoint the most valuable interactions for both marketer and customer.
What gets measured gets improved
Both Personalised email and live Customer Care need imbedded measurements to continually improve the results of each interaction.
Before you can develop true insight into your customer’s behaviours and preferences however, you need to start with quantifiable performance measures and while technology is great at unearthing these patterns (analytics technology - see side bar), that’s only the “how” but does little to explain the “why”. True and insightful data analysis requires human intervention. Smart marketers need to know why the campaign performed in order to learn and build on subsequent efforts – another argument for People in Personalisation.
As marketers look to the future to identify opportunities and new approaches, they should look no further than good old-fashioned Customer Service aided by Personalisation technologies. These strategies could allow you to set the competitive rules and be rewarded with increased sales and excellent customer service.