How Data Can Enhance Your Customer Experience
In Part 2 of our series on Data, our Senior Strategist, Harry Bevan, looks further into the opportunities for businesses who use data in a smart way
Data on your customers is a valuable asset. All too often though marketing departments confuse ‘customer data’ with ‘mailing list’. In this article we’re going to explore how data, combined with a customer-focussed outlook, can supercharge your customer experience.
In programming, there’s a principle: Don’t Repeat Yourself – this should be repurposed for Customer Experience. Nothing says “I’m not listening” as a business like expecting the customer to repeat themselves.
How many times have you phoned a big company, been passed from department to department, giving your details in full, and the query each time? That shows a complete lack of respect for your customer – banks and insurance companies are especially bad - all too often compliance is used as a mask for outdated systems. The technology exists to recognise a customer, hat tip to my garage Dick Lovett who say “Hi Mr Bevan” the first time they pick up the phone, every time.
As part of the wider experience, remembering customer details can add huge value, part of the huge growth in insurance comparison sites can be attributed to the fact that you don’t need to re-enter your details each time. Paypal have built a $50bn business on the principle of remembering your payment info.
Ask only for what you need
Any eCommerce or Conversion Rate Optimisation will tell you: people hate filling out more than they need. For every extra field added to a contact form or checkout, you can expect up to a 5% dip in conversions.
We’ve now reached the point at which if you ask for a phone or email, customers will be worried you’ll use those details to spam them with marketing. Worse, I’ve seen many sign-up forms where things like Date of Birth are requested – with no justification for why.
Luckily for consumers in the EU, this is now enshrined in the GDPR, forcing businesses to really justify why they need additional information – and no, ‘for marketing’ is not a legitimate reason.
Customers are getting more and more savvy when it comes to what you’re doing with their data (and it is theirs, not yours). It’s time to review what you’re collecting and why.
Personalisation done right
Along with marketing automation, personalisation is all the rage right now. It’s now possible for marketers to use purchase history, name, location and interests, in order to serve personalised content such as emails or site messaging.
The opportunity with personalisation is to increase relevance for the customer, that might mean, for example, sending more targeted emails to smaller groups of your customers. This allows you to reduce waste, and increase frequency (as you’re less likely to be hitting the same person multiple times). Adding in a personalisation layer can dramatically reduce your conversion rates and make the advertising you’re already doing work harder.
It’s important to recognise that this can very quickly become creepy, or patronising. There’s a great article over at econsultancy about one man’s experience with personalised remarketing from Mahabis.
Consumers generally have a low understanding of just how much information can be used, and just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. In general, you should focus on things that are ‘invisibly’ personalised, and that people will expect you to know. So, products you’ve looked at recently is fine, but “Harry, it’s raining in Bristol now” crosses the line, especially if I haven’t explicitly told you my name or location to trigger the alert.
So, there’s some key opportunities, but also risks, around using data to know your customer. The best way to start (as I often recommend) is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Take yourself through the customer journey from step one, with a clear head and a critical eye, and question everything!
Inspired by this article and want to explore how Creation can help you on your Customer Experience or data journey? Get in touch with us to arrange a chat, call us on 01173 211 393 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Credit: Ian Schneider via Negative Space