How to personalize the customer experience: Just be human

Ashley Sava

May 1, 2020

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Most of us have a favorite mom-and-pop shop or family restaurant that we refer people to, support over large chains, and frequent on a regular basis. These places tend to tug on the heartstrings to the point where they attract loyal customers for life. So why are we more likely to feel a stronger connection for the local diner than Denny’s? Why is the experience of walking into your town florist more satisfying than giving 1-800-Flowers your business?

It all comes down to the human element. We know the owners of small businesses. We know their children, their pets, their backgrounds, their dreams, and their shortcomings. They’ve taken our special orders, our suggestions, and our last-minute requests. We value the attention to detail and that personal touch. We follow their businesses on social media profiles and recommend them to others because we want them to succeed. This business isn’t a vague idea, it has a face and a story.

Personalization and meaningful experiences are tougher to deliver in tech and data-driven companies. There is an ongoing struggle in nailing down the fundamentals of creating and capitalizing on customer experience. The secret is to tap into your customer’s basic human needs and emotions in order to personalize the experience.

Here's how to personalize the customer experience:  

Be more human

There are several paths your customers can take as they make their way through your digital channels. Knowing the key moments in the customer journey can help you better humanize engagements across all platforms and channels. In order to deliver a personalized experience, learn how your customers behave during the engagement and the drivers behind their actions. One way to do this is by creating a customer experience map, made up of all of the touchpoints a customer has or could have with your organization, as well as the interactions that occur at the touchpoints.

By taking advantage of a CX map and learning how to personalize customer experience throughout, you can figure out where customers are getting lost, where they’re losing interest, and how to improve your user experience. Keeping track of these things means you can take action to resolve the issues and save sales.

Listen to your customers (and do something about what you hear)

It’s to every company’s advantage to have a deep understanding of their customers and how they prefer to engage with your brand. The only way to really do this is by listening to every customer. This helps businesses to identify common pain points and queries, and how their products and services can address those concerns. 

Of course, one way businesses claim to listen to their customers is by sending out surveys. Surveys are a useful tool in assessing the customer experience, but response rates are on a secular decline. Companies really shouldn’t have to survey customers about their experiences anyway. After all, customers have already provided all of the insight a company needs in the recorded phone calls and chats that occurred before the survey. Tethr allows organizations to harness technology to scan all of those recorded conversations in every single customer interaction. 

Make design the hub of the digital CX journey

A user-friendly and visually appealing interface matters. A focus on outstanding design is one of the best forms of digital competitiveness. Businesses that want to be human must remain relevant. Design should create useful, meaningful experiences that leave lasting impressions. A business that pushes design to the backseat will get fewer impressions on the web, and an organization with no user experience or user interface will get lost in the shuffle.

How to personalize customer experience...

Just be human. The best way to personalize the customer experience is to put human-centered innovation at the heart of your CX strategy today.

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