Personalizing the customer experience – getting the timing right
Personalizing the customer experience is a useful online marketing technique, but not if you try to do it too soon. The experience people get when they visit your website is not just about personalization. It’s important that you concentrate on getting your overall website design right first.
It’s all about making sure that the experience is good for everyone who visits your website, before you start to personalize the experience for specific customers, or customer groups.
Making sure that everyone can access your website
2016 was the first year when more people used a mobile device to browse online than did so using a desktop. Now that mobile device users are in the majority, when it comes to using the Internet, you should ensure that they have access to all of the same content as someone who visits your site using a desktop. This is not just good for the customer experience, it’s also important if you want to fare well with Google.
The importance of great content
You should never forget that the Internet is a hugely competitive place. If you want to get an advantage over your competitors, you need to provide website content that attracts, informs and engages potential customers. Here are some things to think about when creating content for your website.
- Make sure the most important content is near the top of the page. This is where users first view your website.
- Be clear and succinct. Most people do not want to have to read through a huge amount of information. Too much text also starts to make your website look untidy and confusing.
- Use clear menus and headings. This makes it easier for people to navigate the content.
- Use keywords in the right way. They need to make sense within the context of what you are saying, and not just stuffed in anywhere. This is important for SEO purposes as well as the customer experience.
- Tell customers what they should do, with well-designed calls to action. This helps customers to complete their experience of your site and should also increase your sales or leads.
If you do not get your website content right, there is little point in concentrating on personalisation, because people are going to lose interest in what you have to say anyway.
Starting to personalize the user experience
Once the overall user experience of your website is up to scratch, you can start to think about personalisation. You need to consider various aspects of the customer’s life, and potential requirements.
- Where do they live?
- What items have they already bought from you?
- What have customers with a similar lifestyle and interests bought in the past?
- What special occasions, such as birthdays, can you recognize with a discount?
This is not an exhaustive list of what you should consider, during the personalization process, but it’s a good place to start.
Personalization works if you do it well; but you need to know your customers before you can really use it effectively. This is why you need to take time getting the overall customer experience right, before you make a start.
This is a guest post by James Andrews.