Guest Post by Ashley Wilson, Freelance Writer
How to Provide the Personal Touch in Five Easy Steps
If there's one thing that suffers under automation, it's how cold and impersonal technology can be. Sure, we can use AI and data mining to provide a tailored shopping or search experience.
But how often do you feel like the companies and websites you visit really care about you and your needs?
Unlike B2B marketing, which focuses on addressing problems and directing solutions based on the needs of a business, digital marketing to consumers requires folding your audience into your story in a way that allows them to create an emotional attachment to your brand.
Customer touchpoints are all of the platforms and methods you use to reach out and interact with customers. One of the main ways to make overall service more personal is to make each interaction feel like it's coming from a capable friend who cares about their problems and wants to offer solutions.
Here's how it's done.
1. Create Custom Packaging and Greetings
What would be more appealing to you: plain packaging with nothing more than a mailing label or personalized packaging that lets you know that what's inside is special?
By offering personalized packing, sending thank-you notes, and remembering occasions like customers’ birthdays or important anniversaries, you're letting them know that they and their business mean something to you.
2. Say Their Names
In an age of bulk emails and generic, one-size business practices, people like to feel that you’re reaching out to them personally rather than fishing for leads in a large pool of possibilities.
When creating emails, conducting sales calls, or engaging in other forms of personal interaction, use the customer's name when greeting them and throughout the interaction.
Just don't go overboard. Use their name once at the beginning of the call or mail, sprinkle it throughout during the discussion as appropriate, and end by thanking them for their time and attention by name.
This is a practice that needs a little forethought. Some older people and those engaged in certain types of business where formality is appreciated might be offended by what they consider "too familiar".
Make sure to find out the person's name and ask them how they prefer to be addressed. You want to be engaging, not offensive.
3. Tailor the Shopping Experience
One way that automation enables greater personalization is through data mining and analysis. Using digital tracking, customer surveys, and feedback, you can provide your customers with relevant products and services based on their interests, purchasing habits, and purchase history.
Other ways that you can tailor the shopping experience is through technology like online chat and automated email services. Chats allow you to triage customer complaints to determine problems that need immediate action.
The rest can be handled through a chatbot that can answer basic questions or walk customers through the checkout process. They can also catch people who abandon shopping carts before they leave your website and try to address any issue(s) that prevent closing the sale.
Through automated messaging, you can send special offers or discounts based on purchases or interests, thank customers for their business, and reconnect with those who've dropped out of sight.
Professional mailing platforms like Mailchimp can be synced with customer or lead lists and configured to dispatch by date, time, or when certain criteria are met, such as a completed sale.
4. Create Programs and Incentives That Support Customer Loyalty
How often have you continued to conduct business with a company because they treat you right and show appreciation? You'll gain more revenue through existing customers than through new business, so why not reward your customer base for their loyalty?
By creating customer incentives and loyalty or reward programs, you're providing your customers with positive reinforcement that encourages them to keep doing business with your company. Done right, you'll even get customers to do the outreach for you.
You can achieve this through contests, discounts for friend referrals, encouraging customers to tell their friends about your company, and through social proof.
5. Listen to Your Audience
If you want to reach your customers where they live and engage their emotions, listen to what they have to say.
By listening to your customers’ needs, you'll be better able to craft a solution or demonstrate how your product can relieve their pain points. Present them with an offer that's tailor-made for them, and they won't have any reason to find another service provider or purchase from your competition.
That can only be achieved if you know who your customers are and what they want.
If you need some help to start, consider something like the Challenger sales method. This method is effective because it focuses on building trust at every step of the process and educating customers in a meaningful way.
This helps you avoid blatant hard-sell tactics that turn people off and refines your approach to one that's more knowledge-based.
Another very effective method is called SPIN. No, it's not the way they tailor bad news to neutralize its effects. SPIN stands for:
No one wants to feel like a number. By crafting a personalized experience for your customers, you're fostering brand loyalty and providing them with better service.
Use the above tips as a basis for streamlining your outreach, service, and approach. Your customers will thank you and so will your bottom line.
Guest Post by Ashley Wilson
Ashley Wilson is a digital nomad and writer for hire, specialized in business and tech topics. In her self-care time, she practices yoga via Youtube. She has been known to reference movies in casual conversation and enjoys trying out new food. You can get in touch with Ashley via Twitter.
Editor's note: JKM has not received compensation for publishing this guest post.