Using Technology to Make Your Customer Happy is Non-Negotiable Today: Personalization is Key

The online world, flush with data and a capability to test and tweak in real-time, has been able to use artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to personalize user journeys.
Using Technology to Make Your Customer Happy is Non-Negotiable Today: Personalization is Key

Covid has awakened businesses about customer loyalty. In the worst of times, it is loyal customers that help businesses sustain and recover. And loyal customers expect personalization. Personalization helps customers feel valued and more importantly, it makes them comfortable engaging with a brand that cares for their preferences, thereby driving customer stickiness. The more customers feel at ease and relaxed with a brand, the more loyal they become and stronger the word-of-mouth marketing. All this ultimately helps build an enduring business.

For more than a decade, Netflix has perfected personalization. Via personalization, Netflix helps customers not worry about the next thing they may want to watch. Because Netflix makes the customers feel at ease and relaxed by doing the job for them, it is able to make them stick to the platform. Personalization is not limited to just recommendations but also personalized visuals and journeys. Such offerings make customers super comfortable and thereby create brand loyalty.

Personalization of customer experience can take on many shapes and forms but all lead to the same end goal - achieve higher ease for the customer and make them feel relaxed. Tesla creates personalized driver profiles for their cars to remember steering wheel and mirror location and braking presets. Nike Training Club creates personalized exercise plans for a user’s fitness journey. Amazon has been a frontrunner in personalized shopping journeys online, using recommendations based on what other customers bought, to enhance shopping ease.

The online world, flush with data and a capability to test and tweak in real-time, has been able to use artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to personalize user journeys. This is scalable and has been used to good effect across different sectors.

Doing the same with offline retail, however, has been tricky to set up and scale. The journeys are disconnected across mediums, data is not readily available and human training and behavior changes are involved. 

In a recent McKinsey survey during the World Retail Congress, 95 percent of retail CEOs said that “personalizing the customer experience was a strategic priority” for their companies. But that same survey revealed that only 23 percent of consumers believe that retailers are doing a good job in their personalization efforts.

Following are just a few ways to integrate personalization into your customer journey:

Personalization of Products: By far the hardest to accomplish, this is one of the best ways to make customers feel relaxed and at ease, thereby leading to very strong customer loyalty. At Chaayos, the power lies in the hands of our customers to ask for their ‘Meri-Wali-Chai’ - a personalized cup of chai from 80,000+ options. And how do we achieve this? Via Chai Monks, our patented IoT Chai Bots to brew a fresh personalized cup of chai for every customer. 

Integrating In-store Personalization: A local Kirana shop owner who knows your name and your regular order, treats you like family, and even allows you to pay later, is an ideal personal customer experience. For scaled-up retailers, technology can be the way to achieve that same personal touch.

Leveraging technology allows our teams to greet customers with their names and prompt their preferences and regular order details to deliver a superior experience. We’ve built an end-to-end customer delight engine that helps our team do several things like recommending products best suited for every individual customer. Customers can see and redeem their ‘Loyaltea’ points for a free cup of personalized chai with no questions asked or no minimum purchase.  This helps build relationships with repeat guests who feel at ease and relaxed at a Chaayos and start to consider it ‘their chai adda’
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Dynamic Display: What if each customer could be shown a menu with the highest relevance per their previous transactions? We have achieved this across all channels (our mobile app and delivery channel partners). Yet another example of the customer not having to do much and feel at ease, thereby strengthening loyalties.

Omnichannel Experience: Today’s customer looks for the same personal touch across all digital and in-store touchpoints. Lenskart, the leading Indian eyewear retailer, uses AR tech on their app to allow customers to try various spectacles, and then purchase from app or in-store. This makes it possible for customers to try on various products at the comfort of their homes and eases the customer journey.

Building capabilities to be ahead of the curve:-

Data Infrastructure and Analytics: In order to leverage consumer data, the first step is to create the infrastructure and ensure structured and unstructured data is being captured and maintained on a central platform. Analytics and big data capabilities can be layered on top of a strong foundation. This also needs to be integrated across all channels and mediums to make it truly omnichannel.

‘Customer-focused’ Cross-Functional Team: Listening to the customer is the starting point of the personalization journey - having a cross-functional team that cuts across departments and is strategically tasked with solving for their needs. This team usually needs representation from marketing, customer support, training, and technology. 

Rapid Iteration and A/B Testing: Empirical approaches work best here. Quickly piloting changes in the customer journey and rapidly scaling up what works best, helps bring in good outcomes for the business.

According to a study on customer decision journeys by McKinsey, more than half of your customers (58 percent) change brands from one purchase cycle to another. Hence, as a retailer, you’ve to do a lot more today to keep your customers happy, which is really the holy grail. With the help of technology, you can create experiences that are more personal and eventually more human, thereby making it a win-win situation for you and your consumer.
 

Covid has awakened businesses about customer loyalty. In the worst of times, it is loyal customers that help businesses sustain and recover. And loyal customers expect personalization. Personalization helps customers feel valued and more importantly, it makes them comfortable engaging with a brand that cares for their preferences, thereby driving customer stickiness. The more customers feel at ease and relaxed with a brand, the more loyal they become and stronger the word-of-mouth marketing. All this ultimately helps build an enduring business.
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