9 Ways to Personalize Customer Communications with CCM
Today’s customers expect brand interactions to be focused on their needs. In fact, customers now value personalization more than price, so your company must treat your customers as individuals. With a CCM platform, you can leverage the key features required to humanize the interaction with your clients. Read on to discover the growing importance of personalization, the risks of relying on non-personalized messaging, and some of the changing expectations of modern consumers. Don’t forget to check out our shareable and easy-to-reference infographic 9 ways you can personalize customer communications with CCM.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What Is Personalization in Customer Communication?
- Why Is It Important for Businesses to Personalize Customer Communications?
- Why Customers Expect Personalized Experiences in 2023
- The Benefits of Personalized Communications
- Individualized Communications at Scale with MHC
- What Are the Risks of a Non-Personalized Customer Experience?
- How to Personalize Customer Communications Using the MHC CCM Platform
- 9 Ways to Personalize Customer Communications with MHC Infographic
What Is Personalization in Customer Communication?
Personalized customer communications are targeted to meet the specific needs of a particular customer. That includes communications crafted from scratch especially for that customer, but it more frequently refers to an existing piece of messaging or content that has been tailored to target the business needs and general preferences of a specific audience.
A full 80% of consumers say that they are more likely to buy from businesses that offer a personalized experience, making this one of the most important and rapidly evolving areas of modern customer communications.
While personalization will look different for every organization and every customer base, there are some frequently used examples that can be applied to nearly any industry and business model.
- Personalized product recommendations
For companies in the retail or e-commerce space, personalized recommendations such as “customers also buy” and “suggested based on your interests” areas are excellent opportunities for cross-selling and upselling.
- Messaging based on customer journeys
Segmenting customers into groups based on their stage in the customer journey is an effective tool for letting customers know that you’re engaged with their experience, whether they’re still considering a purchase or are already loyal to your brand.
- A/B testing
Being able to test different forms of content and messaging on different segments of your audience allows your business to scale and adapt communications to boost their effectiveness.
- Messaging based on geolocation
Segmenting communications to target customers in specific geographic locations allows your business to tailor messaging based on seasonal changes, proximity to physical stores, annual events, and other location-specific factors.
- Targeted live chats and in-app messages
Tracking customer journeys can put an organization in a unique position to offer assistance and guidance at times when customers need it most. Chatbots and in-app messaging that are triggered by specific customer actions can play a big role in guiding customers to finalize a purchase.
Why Is It Important for Businesses to Personalize Customer Communications?
As convincing as those figures are, there is also ample evidence that many businesses are unprepared to meet the demand for personalization. Surveys reveal that 85% of companies have yet to fully implement their strategies for personalized communications.
That’s good news for the 15% of businesses that have instituted personalization, as they have a unique opportunity to position themselves ahead of their competition.
Getting an extra edge isn’t the only reason for a business to increase its personalization efforts. While there are endless arguments in favor of personalizing customer communications, three key areas stand out:
- Customer loyalty
Customers who receive personalized treatment are much more likely to keep coming back for more. According to McKinsey studies, more than 75% of consumers say that personalized messaging is a key factor in both choosing a brand and in making future purchases from that brand. That kind of brand loyalty also contributes to word-of-mouth advertising, as 89% of consumers are likely to share positive customer experiences with their friends and family.
- Customer data
Data is an invaluable commodity in the current business landscape, and personalization is both a reliable trove of customer data and an excellent means of putting that data to use. Personalization opens the door to A/B testing, marketing campaigns focused on a specific stage of a customer journey, geotargeted marketing campaigns, specific product recommendations, and other strategies that allow a business to tailor its approach to the needs and wants of individual customers.
- Return on investment
While some organizations may bristle at the initial cost of investing in a more personalized customer communications strategy, the statistics suggest that this is one of the most sound investments a business can make. 70% of marketers whose businesses employ advanced personalization practices report a striking ROI of 200%. The increase in customer engagement, positive word-of-mouth, and repeat business easily justifies the initial investment in personalization.
Sometimes technological advances are a two-way street. As it has become easier for businesses to tailor their messaging to specific customer groups, customers have also come to expect a strong degree of personalization from businesses. In fact, McKinsey research shows that 76% of customers say they get frustrated by communications that aren’t personalized.
That demand has only intensified over the past several years. The boom in online commerce over the COVID-19 pandemic meant that businesses needed to adopt new, more personalized approaches to reaching customers in order to differentiate themselves from competitors. Those efforts were largely successful, as 75% of consumers say they tried new methods of shopping during the pandemic.
Over the past decade, many consumers have become accustomed to personalization, whether that’s a shopping site making recommendations based on their past purchases, a company newsletter that gives special focus to one of their areas of interest, or a landing page tailored to their specific demographic.
Businesses that have the agility and expertise to offer those personalized touches put themselves at an advantage over those that provide the same standardized experience to all customers. In fact, nearly half of customers say they would be less likely to continue doing business with a company that does not personalize its communications.
The Benefits of Personalized Communications
Organizations today can’t meet the ever-changing individual needs of each of their customers without personalized communications. The customer’s perception and expectations of a service or product have rapidly evolved in recent years – digital transformation or artificial intelligence are just few already common practices companies employ in order to keep up with all of these changes.
Customer communications are no longer seen as simply transactions. Companies must deliver them on the terms the clients have set, in order to make them feel connected and loyal to their brand. Here are nine essential benefits that come with personalizing communication, and tailoring them to your customers’ needs:
- Live up to the customers’ expectations by offering them a tailor-made experience.
- Make each customer feel important and build a genuine connection.
- Reduce call center demands by offering interactive self-service.
- Enable customers to voice their concerns and adapt services and products accordingly.
- Increase engagement by adding a human touch to communications.
- Make communications more efficient for customers by using interactive documents.
- Personalized communications encourage engagement, boosting sales rates and revenue.
- Empower customers to build their own self-customized interactions with your company.
- Increase retention by giving personalized offers to loyal customers, motivating them to stay.
Individualized Communications at Scale with MHC
Customers today value experience. They stay with their providers if they feel that their needs are being listened to, and quickly switch if they don’t. They are also willing to pay a premium for better interactions with a company. PWC research establishes that the most important component of the customer experience is the “Human Touch.”
Specifically, they state it is imperative that companies create better customer experiences by making technology and interactions feel more human. Research from both PWC and Pure360 show that many personalization efforts miss the mark in this regard, demonstrating the need for better personalized communications.
For over fifteen years, MHC’s Customer Communications Management solutions have set the standard for natural personalization at both the small and very large scales. MHC enables organizations in a broad range of industries to leverage existing customer knowledge appropriately, communicate with customers in the manner they prefer, provide engaging self-service capabilities, and ultimately build a loyal and growing customer base.
What Are the Risks of a Non-Personalized Customer Experience?
An organization that relies mainly on generic or non-personalized communications puts itself at risk of alienating customers who feel like their needs are not being listened to. When a customer receives a message referring to experiences that don’t reflect their own, or whose tone and language doesn’t the way they prefer to be addressed, they may begin to feel that the business does not care about them as an individual. That leaves a wide opening for competitors who do care about personalizing their communications to swoop in and take that customer’s business.
Watch this short video for an illustration of just how frustrating it can be for customers to deal with a communications system that fails to recognize their specific needs, and how easily a business that doesn’t respond to those needs can lose a valuable customer.
How to Personalize Customer Communications Using the MHC CCM Platform
MHC automation provides a single, modular platform with all-in-one capabilities to maintain customer preferences, track and consider past interactions, empower customers with digital experience layers, and communicate with customers on their terms.
1. Use a Complete CCM Solution – Use one comprehensive customer communications management solution, rather than a hodgepodge of different solutions tackling individual issues, all trying to work together to create personalized communications. Using several platforms is both inefficient and more expensive, and it is far more difficult to align brand tone across several channels.
2. Follow the Customer Journey – Engage customers with true omnichannel communications. Enable customers to select the communication method(s) they desire: traditional print, a host of electronic delivery channels, or a combination of the two. Deliver, in real-time, the same communication optimized for each specific device (phone, tablet, PC) that may access it. Empower customers with interactive forms and documents on any device.
3. Adapt the Style and Tone to the Customer – Provide personalized communications by allowing customers to select their preferred template format for statements, bills, and other data-rich communications. Ensure visually impaired customers receive accessible documents. Correspond with customers in the formal or casual tone they prefer.
4. Communicate in the Customer’s Language – To tend to the needs of an international client base, organizations must be able to communicate with customers in their own language. Send communications in the language each customer prefers, regardless of character set or format (e.g. Arabic). Cross the language barrier to offer a personalized experience to all customers.
5. Use Information from Multiple Data Sources – All customers expect to receive personalized communication, but their preferences and needs are very different. Use MHC’s software to seamlessly pull information from multiple data sources – not only contact information, but also transactional information and complex data. Take personalization to the next level and offer customers extensive data tailored to their individual needs.
6. Use Interactive Documents – Leverage simple documents to provide a digital experience. Deliver comprehensive data in a digital format and make it interactive so that customers can choose what they want to access. Interactive documents can help companies improve customer engagement and build personalized communications for customers.
7. Adapt to Customer Behavior – Are your customers more likely to respond to a targeted email or an SMS message? Is one segment of your audience more likely to conduct business via a smartphone, while another segment prefers operating from a desktop computer? Understanding the needs and preferences of individual groups and adjusting your messaging accordingly can yield major benefits.
8. Create Responsive Documents – Not all documents are ideal for every platform. A document or landing page designed only for display on a desktop computer can be frustrating for customers who conduct business mainly via their mobile devices, and vice versa. Document design should be responsive and adaptable to every platform your customer use to access your business.
9. Make Documents Personal – A personal touch creates a deeper connection with your customers. Communications that refer to customers by name or reference their stage in the customer journey make an impact that more generic communications can’t. Using customer data to personalize details such as these can go a long way in building lasting relationships.
Customer Communication Management – from anywhere at any time. Agile and reliable delivery of high-impact communications when it matters most.
Rather than merely a piece of technology, good CCM is better understood as a business strategy that employs the maximum potential of all its parts. Our whitepaper covers all the essential aspects.
Download our guide and find out how MHC Automation can help you improve customer communication and experience, manage compliance, and drive ROI.
Enterprise organizations need effortless, reliable customer communication solutions that work when and how they need them.