March 17, 2023
How to create personalized experiences throughout the customer lifecycle
In a world where customers have more choices than ever before, companies need to find ways to stand out from the competition. Personalized customer experiences can help you create deeper connections with your customers, and boost your marketing strategy.
This article will explore how consumer expectations are changing and how marketers can implement personalized experiences throughout the customer lifecycle.
What is a personalized customer experience?
A personalized customer experience means creating experiences that are tailored to the consumer’s individual needs and preferences. To create and deliver these personalized messages, you should utilize first and zero-party customer data.
In much the same way that you’d rather put your faith in a friend than a stranger, companies that use personalized and tailored content attract and keep customers. That’s why it’s no surprise that 80% of customers are more likely to engage with brands that provide a personalized experience.
By taking the time to create a personalized customer experience, you can build strong relationships with your customers that will last a lifetime. As a result, your customers will feel more valued, leading to increased brand loyalty.
The key benefits of personalized customer experience
Creating personalized experiences throughout the customer lifecycle can be a powerful tool for companies to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction. There are many other key benefits to personalizing your customer experience:
Faster customer experience
With customer data, you can keep track of your customers' preferences across different channels. When data can be easily seen, marketing and customer service teams can help the customer quickly.
Drives customer retention and loyalty
Customers are more inclined to make more purchases when they feel acknowledged and part of the company's community.
When you use a customer-centric approach it can lead to more word-of-mouth marketing. This is essential for your brand or company to remain relevant in your target market.
Increases customer satisfaction
By showing you care about the customer, they can have confidence that you will support their needs.
Increases customer engagement
Customers expect your company to be there when they need it. They’re more likely to engage with your brand if they can interact with you on their favorite channels.
What is a customer lifecycle?
A customer lifecycle is the journey a customer goes through when interacting with a company. It starts with the moment a customer first becomes aware of your brand to becoming a loyal customer. The customer lifecycle typically has five stages: awareness, consideration, purchase, retention, and advocacy.
Knowing the customer lifecycle is important for any company, as it can help you better understand your customers and how to best market to them. By aligning your strategies with the customer lifecycle, you can create relevant and personalized content designed to target customers at each stage. This, in turn, can help your customers maintain a long-term relationship with your brand, boost conversions, and grow your company.
Let's take a look at each stage of the customer lifecycle and the ways it can be personalized:
Each customer journey starts with a question, generally revolving around where they can find the best product or service to meet a specific need. During their search, they’ll learn about your company and become familiar with it; this is known as brand awareness.
When a customer interacts with your brand, you should collect first-party and zero-party data responsibly. Make an immediate impression by greeting your customer by their first name and talking to them like a human. After that, you can observe how they interact with your platform to find out what marketing and product preferences they have. This way, you can create segments based on their interests and needs from their first moment of interaction.
The consideration stage is the perfect time to personalize. It’s one of the most important stages in the buyer's journey because it’s when they can be influenced by you – if you do it right! This stage is also known as "pre-purchase" or "pre-sale" as buyers are still considering all of their options before making a purchase decision.
During this time, keep emails interesting and relevant. You can use the customer's name when interacting with them, whether it be on the app with push notifications or in subject lines to grab their attention.
The simplest way to do this is by using dynamic content in your emails. Dynamic content allows you to pull information from a database and insert it into a template before sending out an email. Emails of this type feel more genuine and allow you to connect with your customer base.
Live chat is another way to remove barriers to purchase. While it may seem like a small addition, live chat increases conversion rates by up to 20%. To provide a personalized chat experience, chat agents can use single customer view (SCV) to get insight into the customer's profile. The customer will feel supported at all times when they speak with a human and receive answers whenever they need them.
Personalizing the purchase stage of a customer journey can be a key driver of customer loyalty and sales. By delivering a context-rich, cross-channel support experience, you can increase the likelihood that a customer will complete a purchase with your company.
AI product recommendations can be used to hyper-personalize your customers' journey. Recommend best-sellers or product ranges when they're about to purchase. This way, your customers will have access to the right products and content in real time. As a result, their purchase decision will be easier, you’ll drive conversions, and increase ROI.
You can also create personalized landing pages that includes their name, purchase history, and other relevant information. Then, if you notice a customer looking at another product, based on their past purchase history, you can offer a personalized discount to draw them back in.
By taking the time to customize the purchase experience, you will create a more enjoyable and efficient shopping experience that will keep them coming back for more.
Customer retention starts by identifying key customer personas. You can use an eRFM model to target customers with relevant marketing content. You can use a segment builder to identify these key opportunities. For example, if you have engaged champions, then why not offer them exclusive benefits, or even build a customer loyalty program? This is a perk that can turn your buyer into a trusted and loyal customer.
Or if you have customers that are still thinking about purchasing, you can nurture them by giving them more personalized email content to direct them toward the purchase. You can also use this opportunity to check in and ask customers for feedback on your products or services and how they would like you to improve them to better meet their needs.
Customer advocacy is about staying in touch with your customers even after a purchase has been made. Become more than a brand. Inspire and connect with people in such a way that once they've tried one thing from you, they're eager to try everything else as well.
You can do this by looking at post-purchase data to see if your customers have their eyes on other products. After that, you can send an email or push notifications saying: “We’ve noticed you liked or viewed this.” Or why not send them an email with instructions on how
to care for the product they’ve bought or how to use it? These simple interactions show that you’re available to the customer even after they've converted.
Be sure to maximize the positive sentiments you've created throughout the customer journey with a referral program. You can offer a discount code to your customers if they refer a friend to sign up for your newsletter through your referral program. This will encourage new customers to sign up and increase overall engagement.
How to measure success in your customer lifecycle marketing
Customer lifetime value (CLV) is an important factor to consider when measuring success in your customer lifecycle. CLV is a metric that measures the total value of a customer to your company, taking into account factors like purchase history, engagement, and customer retention.
Customer lifecycles that are personalized will make customers' purchase decisions easier and faster. Also, you'll be able to build meaningful relationships with potential customers, resulting in a higher CLV. In addition to looking at your CLV, you should track customer acquisition, repeat purchases, and churn rates.
By focusing on the customer's needs and preferences, you can personalize every touchpoint. We call this lifecycle marketing; it acts as a loop, drawing returning customers to your company through meaningful, tailored experiences upon acquisition. An optimized customer experience strategy throughout their journey leads to more rewarding interactions that will drive customers to return to your brand time and time again.