How to Create a Personal Customer Connection

A customer and shop employee stand in a clothing store looking at a tablet illustrating customer connection

Personalisation is no longer a competitive differentiation; it has become table stakes for ecommerce brands today. Companies like Amazon, Sephora and Spotify have built their brands around collecting and using customer data to deliver a unique customer connection and experience. Data supports investing in marketing personalisation with DTC companies able to achieve up to a 25% revenue lift.

However, many brands only execute some elements of a personalised experience. For instance, they may offer abandoned cart emails or serve up offers based on prior purchases. 

But today’s consumers expect more. According to Sailthru and Coresight research, 71% of businesses believe they excel at personalisation. However, only 34% of customers agree.

Exceptional personalisation experiences involve the customer and create a truly personal connection. Instead of sending targeted messaging and experiences aimed at customers grouped in broad categories, the best brands deliver uniquely relevant messaging that relates on the individual level.

Here’s how to execute a personal customer connection and elevate their experience, resulting in more conversions and a deeply loyal customer base.

Hone in on the Customer Journey

Consumers and governments are increasingly concerned about data privacy. Companies collect vast swaths of data on their customers. This data is intended to create a more personalised journey that ultimately ends in a better customer experience.

However, many companies don’t use their data specifically and effectively to create an excellent experience and instead resell or exploit that data in ways that feel invasive. Customers are eager and willing to share their data with organisations that know they’ll use it for the customer’s benefit, not the company’s benefit only.

As the Harvard Business Review puts it, “Companies that leverage data for the consumer’s benefit have a real opportunity to differentiate by targeting not just what we will click, but what is compelling on a deeper level; not just what we are likely to buy, but what is likely to spark joy.”

When your customer journeys, both pre- and post-sale, add value to the experience and the enjoyment of the product, the customer will want to continue interacting with your brand. And, over time, you’ll quickly convert your customers into loyal advocates.

Demonstrate Empathy

A golden retriever and a gray cat snuggle. Chewey makes empathetic customer connections

Online pet retailer Chewy is known for its world-class customer service. Stories about Chewy’s attention to customer empathy frequently go viral because they empower their employees to connect with their customers on a very personal level. Chewy customer service representatives send cards and flowers to pet owners who have had a recent loss, for instance.

Chewy achieves some of this success by asking customers to fill out profiles on their pets. Customers willingly provide data such as birthdays, likes and dislikes, and names, and in exchange, Chewy delivers personalised gifts and emails to mark special occasions.

Ecommerce marketplace Etsy has also established customer empathy as a core value. They provide customers an opportunity to opt out of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day promotional messages. For customers who have recently lost a parent or have a strained or complicated relationship with a parent, seeing promotional messages about these holidays feels particularly painful. 

And more companies are embracing the opt-out message with their customers. Kristin Dorsey, vice president of marketing at Linc, a customer experience consultant, says that of the firm’s more than 100 clients, at least half have moved toward implementing opt-out emails in the past year. While only a handful of customers may choose to opt out, the entire customer base understands that the brand cares.

Build a Personal Touch

It’s not enough for today’s brands to simply deliver a product quickly. Consumers increasingly expect a personalised experience that feels authentic, empathetic and non-invasive. This type of experience can be exceptionally hard to execute.

Brands that want to deliver a personal touch need a reliable, powerful ecommerce site that can collect the right data and use that information to convert more visitors. With customer-centric solutions from ESW, brands can capitalise on cross-border opportunities while capturing the data and insights they need to personalise the shopper experience. Contact us today to get started.