How to Personalize Customer Experiences with Data Analytics

min read
How to Personalize Customer Experiences with Data Analytics

We frequently mention the importance of getting to know your customer and creating personalized experiences at Invoca. And for good reason: Accenture predicts that there will be a $2.95 trillion windfall for companies that can successfully personalize customers’ experiences. On top of that, forty percent of U.S. consumers say they have purchased something more expensive than they planned to because of personalized service. The long and short of it: personalization is worth it.

What Is Customer Experience Personalization in Marketing?

Customer experience personalization in marketing is a kind of bespoke strategy that utilizes customer insights and data to create a customer experience that targets individual needs or preferences. Unique behaviors and context are considered and content is tailored or customized to match. 

The Benefits of Customer Experience Personalization

Personalization has the potential to help businesses grow their customer satisfaction, loyalty, and hopefully their conversion rates and revenues. It can be a core differentiator, improving brand perception for your customers. You’re creating meaningful interactions that your customers appreciate and will remember more than if you decided to keep things generic. Below are some of the top benefits of personalization:

1. Customer Loyalty: When your potential or current customers feel recognized they’re more likely to return for your goods or services. Personalization will help build a foundation of trust that will create longer lasting relationships with your customers. 

2. Revenue improvements: When your business has a better understanding of your customers' needs, it will allow you to create relevant content that will increase draw. The extra personal  touch that helps grow your loyalty will also increase their trust in you when you upsell them with higher-end products. 

3. Differentiator: Personalization will set you apart from the competitors who aren’t utilizing it. Because you’re taking extra steps to better understand your customers, your business's reputation will improve, and this can increase your traffic and site visits. 

The Marketer’s Data Dilemma

One of your main priorities is getting to know your customers and building relationships with them. These days, that would seem to be a fairly easy task. After all, customers in a digital world generate rivers of data and intent signals.

But making sense of the data isn’t always the easiest thing in the world. Sometimes there’s just too much of it, and filtering out the noise to find what matters becomes a challenge. Other times, the signals are weak and it’s hard to connect the dots.

All the data in the world won’t lead to business growth if you can’t mine it successfully for insights. What that takes is smart data analysis — and the right approach and tools to carry it off.

By bringing data together, businesses are better able to understand and respond to their customer needs — and that leads to growth.

Unify Then Measure

To succeed in today’s challenging and competitive environment, marketers must break down the silos across departments, teams, and channels to consolidate data and see a unified view of the customer. By bringing data together, businesses are better able to understand and respond to their customer needs — and that leads to growth.

How to go about it? Approach it as an iterative process. You can start small, by connecting your web and app analytics to your customer relationship management technology.

“With Invoca, both marketers and the call center can get access to valuable data that was once siloed in one department or the other. Marketing can use call data, like customer call records and third-party demographics, to better target and optimize ads; and the call center can use data like ad exposure and website visitation to route calls and better predict the needs of customers before they are on the phone. With this data pushed to the CRM and shared between departments, everyone benefits," said Laura Schierberl, Director of Content Marketing & Communications.

Marketing leaders are 1.6X more likely than laggards to prioritize integrating technology, and they are 1.2X more likely to be advanced users of their technology. Business leaders refresh critical marketing metrics and dashboards more frequently and prioritize integrated technology platforms to help make timely customer connections across multiple touchpoints.

Merge Your Mobile and App Teams

Speaking of multiple touchpoints, you might also consider merging your app and mobile web teams.

With shoppers enthralled by the thrill of the hunt, research has become more important to the shopping experience than ever. Searching for the best products, deals, and reviews, people switch between apps and mobile sites before making a final decision.

“If you are in a considered purchase category like telecom or healthcare, your customers probably do a lot of research online, but end up making their final decision while talking to one of your sales reps on the phone. This makes attribution challenging, because you have to connect their digital journey to an ‘offline’ phone call. AI-powered call analytics like Invoca closes this loop with real-time call classification and attribution," said Ian Dailey, VP, Product Marketing

Apps have long been viewed as the de facto platform for engaging loyal customers. But even among the most loyal of customers, apps need to earn their spot when real estate is limited and precious. Recent Google research shows that 87% of people say they can be loyal to a brand without having its app on their phone. In fact, 53% of smartphone users say they do not have their favorite brand’s app installed on their phone.

And the lines continue to blur between apps and mobile sites. On average, a mobile shopping session contains at least six visits to an app and/or mobile site, and nearly half of those sessions include at least one transition between a mobile site and an app. This consumer behavior requires a tandem effort among app and mobile web teams as shoppers expect friction-free research experiences and seamless points of sale. Yet many organizations still silo these teams, resulting in fragmented user experiences.

Reduce Waste. Increase Sales

Nearly 90% of marketers, across all types of organizations, agree that understanding user journeys across channels and devices is critical to their success. That’s why companies like Bayer and Sprint use integrated data and technology to understand their audience and make those timely connections.

Bayer started by connecting its content management and analytics systems, and assembling a marketing insights platform that could ingest and analyze a wide variety of customer behaviors with a single customer ID. Then Bayer created a digital measurement center of excellence to guide the transformation, bringing together team members with skills in marketing, data, and technology. As a result, Bayer has reduced wasteful spending by 30% while improving customer engagement by more than 50%.

“Much like in-store traffic driven by digital, if you can’t track a phone call back to the digital marketing that drove it, you’re either wasting money, not getting credit for your successes, or both,” said Owen Ray, Director of Content Marketing at Invoca.

Sprint’s experiments looked at the impact of paid search on in-store traffic. The question: Could those digital investments be driving retail traffic and sales, as well as online conversions? Over eight weeks, Sprint increased paid search spending and got its answer: Digital sales grew by 20% and in-store sales rose by 32%

Lean on Technology

Another thing companies like Sprint and Bayer do is make smarter use of technological advances like machine learning.

Built-in intelligence and machine learning can bring nuggets of insight to the surface more quickly, so your team can spend more time taking action. Marketers can use machine learning to inform creative messaging and serve different ads to different audiences. And using an integrated platform helps bring teams together too. It provides access to insights that serve as a bridge to teams around the office and around the globe.

“In our recent report, 'Emotions Win: What Consumers Expect in the Age of AI,' we found that even though 80% of businesses already use or plan to use chatbots by 2020, over half of consumers believe the future should entail a combination of human and automated interactions,” said Julia Stead, VP Marketing.

Ultimately, leading marketers know they have to understand the customer in the moment and focus on relevance and assistance. To do that — and to get the most out of all the data available to them today — the marketers who want to see the most growth will up their analytics game.

4 Future Trends in Customer Experience Personalization

1. Omnichannel personalization: Omnichannel marketing is quite effective by itself, but when you add personalization as you interact with potential customers across all channels, you create a seamless experience that turns customers into avid fans. Technology will continue to evolve and adapt, but one aspect that probably won’t change is the need for a person-to-person connection.  

2. Increasing importance of customer loyalty: It’s more cost effective to retarget your current customers than find new ones, and a strong personalization strategy will do wonders to create positive momentum. Figure out ways to show your customers appreciation and it’ll pay off nicely in the long run! 

3. Data Privacy and Cookieless Personalization: There’s a fine line between being knowledgeable about your customers and then being just plain creepy. Personalization and privacy are two hot topics with customers and it can be hard to find a balance, but with a combination of the right tools (like Invoca’s!) and good judgment, your team will figure out ways to retain your customers’ trust all while complying with the regulations that are in place and on the way. 

4. AI-Powered Personalization: As this technology continues to evolve and its capabilities grow, AI will have access to an expansive data set beyond what we can fathom. With that, it will be able to create more relevant and personalized experiences in real-time, but also create profiles for large numbers of people who have something in common. 

Additional Reading

Want to learn more about personalizing customer experiences? Check out these resources:

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