When a customer walks into a retail store, the salesperson has two choices: simply ring up a purchase, or truly help the customer get what he or she really needs. The latter includes learning about the customer and making customized suggestions, while the former lacks any personalization whatsoever.
There is typically an opportunity to upsell and when done for the right reasons, customers will be willing to spend more than they initially intended. Think about a hotel you’ve stayed at before and upon returning remembers that you liked a certain type of pillow, a specific newspaper and a corner room. This type of personalized experience is becoming more and more common, and certain types of businesses have become very skilled at delivering personalized service.
If your business has not yet embraced this opportunity, you are missing out. According to Segment, which helps companies manage and activate data about their customers. “Shoppers expect brands to remember who they are, whether they’re on a digital channel or in-store, says Peter Reinhardt, CEO and co-founder at Segment. “However, very few companies can actually deliver on these tailored experiences.”
Segment surveyed 1,000+ consumers and found the majority of them were less than impressed by the lack of personalization in their shopping experiences. On average, 7% expressed some level of frustration when their experience was impersonal. The data shows that customers are willing to spend more money, and the companies that make the effort to deliver a personalized experience win.
Here are some findings from the survey:
- Personalization drives impulse purchases:49% of customers bought items they did not intend to buy due to a personalized recommendation from a brand
- Personalization leads to increased revenue:40% of U.S. consumers say they have purchased something more expensive than they planned to because of personalized service
- Personalization leads to loyalty: 44% of consumers say they will likely repeat after a personalized shopping experience
Consumers are becoming more and more demanding, expecting personalized experience with every transaction. 30% of respondents say they expect call center agents to be instantly familiar with their contact history. 40% of the respondents expect to be offered personalized experiences based on their interests, buying behavior, demographics and psychographics.
Customers who have a positive emotional experience with a brand are 15 times more likely to recommend, 8 times more likely to trust and 7 times more likely to purchase.
The Cost of Disappointment
Disappointing a customer with one bad experience can cost a brand dearly. 46% of U.S. mobile customers said they are likely to switch brands after having one bad experience. 64% of UK consumers say they have avoided a brand, whether online retail, banking or hospitality, because of a bad experience in the past year.
Unfortunately negative customer experiences spread like wildfire on social media. Up to 40% of consumers said they will actively promote negative messaging to warn others following their own bad experience, whether that’s telling family, friends or strangers to boycott a brand.
The most staggering number – 33% said they would permanently boycott a company as a result of a negative experience. A significantly lower number of people said they would notify the “offending” company of what they considered to be egregious treatment or customer service.
How to Save Face
70% of consumers report that they expect an immediate response when they submit a complaint. And moreover, they don’t want to be responsible for fixing a company’s mistake.
In the U.S., online retail brands were the most likely to satisfy customer needs, with 96% percent of respondents saying that their needs were met or exceeded.
When customers believe they have put in more effort than a company to resolve an issue, they are twice as likely to tell friends, family or colleagues about the bad experience, and four times more likely to stop purchasing from the company, switch brands, or use the company less frequently.
The Bottom Line
Positive customer experiences with a brand will influence 77% of consumers to return. And those customers will, in turn, tell their friends and family about their personalized experiences. So learn about your consumers’ wants and needs and deliver on them. If you don’t, you run the risk of losing consumers to the companies who are doing just that.