Happy customers means more visits to your site and more engagement with your brand. Which in turn means more revenue for you.
Here’s how you can use web personalization to increase customer happiness and keep them coming back for more.
1. Get To Know Your User
If you want to delight your customers, you need to find out what makes them tick. You need to monitor your users to learn about what’s important to them. Start by setting up metrics and then measuring user behavior against these metrics.
Measure how often users visit your site and how much time they spend per visit. You can also measure if they are spreading the word about your business on their social networks.
If the numbers are not hitting your targets, you know you have a problem. Dig deeper and find out why this is happening.
If people aren’t spending enough time on the site, try and understand what you need to change to make them want to spend more time.
Another great way to find out what your users want is to solicit direct feedback from them. Ask them what they like and do not like about your service and what features they would like to see. You can use surveys to collect a lot of data points.
Of course, all this data is useless if you don’t use it.
This is where the web personalization part comes in.
Your goal with this data should be to continuously improve on the metrics you use to measure customer engagement and to implement the features your customers ask for.
2. Make Your Site or Product Easier To Use
Web personalization can increase the usability of your site and the easier it is to use, the happier your customers will be. You want to make it dead simple for customers to navigate your site and find what they want.
You can break down a customer’s interaction with your site as a series of actions. You need to track what they’re doing to get to know where they spend the most time.
Are there actions that are repetitive?
Are there processes that are too long?
Track how many clicks it takes from when customers reach your site to when they activate or find the product or service that they want. Track how long it takes and how many steps they need to go through to complete a purchase.
Then figure out how to reduce these numbers. Eliminate messages and data that are irrelevant to your customers. Make the navigation and search features on your site easier to use. Simplify payment processes.
Using web personalization, you can cut out irrelevant blocks of content and ensure that the content that they see is based on their past behavior.
Better still, make navigating your site or your app easier by monitoring behavior, spotting trends, and then customizing the prompts that direct users based on the data you’ve collected.
3. Guide Your Customers To Success
People like helping themselves. So help your customers help themselves using instructional in-app or on-site messages that are based on the customer’s behavior.
You may have an innovative service, but your customers, especially your newer ones, may not necessarily know how to use it. Guiding them through the app when they first join or giving them helpful tips along the way will help them make the most out of your service.
For those who don’t know about Gmail or how to use it, they offer a great tutorial.
Evernote does it differently. If you use their desktop app they have a list of tips to help you through the app. As you complete a task, it gets scored off and you move on to the next one.
These are great examples of static tutorials, but just imagine what could be done by introducing customized prompts.
Helping your customers shouldn’t stop at on-screen guides. You can track customer behavior on your site and proactively respond to it. Pre-empting questions or complaints means customers don’t have to spend time searching through FAQs or sending e-mail to customer support.
Are customers spending too much time on a certain page?
Are they going back and forth between the same two pages?
By analyzing their behavior, you can find if they are doing something out of the ordinary and ask them if they need help through an in-app chat system.
4. Draw Attention to the Most Relevant Features
One of the ways you can measure customer happiness is attributional satisfaction, knowing how important feature x is when making their decision about whether to buy your product.
Attributional satisfaction allows you to dig deep and pinpoint individual features that customers like or don’t like. This will give you additional information about where you can improve and which features you can highlight.
Shopify has a nice feature page, but it forces the customer to sort through the features based on their interests.
This page could be so much more powerful if the most relevant features were already in your face. Instead of offering a degree of personalization, they force users to sort through the features by categorizing them along the top of the page.
Profile customers, know which customers like which features the most, and then personalize your copy based on that knowledge.
5. Personalized Surveys
It’s very important to track customer behavior and needs. It’s also important to be collecting feedback at every possible opportunity. If you have a new product or service, the best way to improve is to keep collecting feedback and analyzing it.
Surveys that are designed with certain goals in mind are extremely useful to get insightful feedback. Personalizing these surveys make them even more useful. Imagine being able to offer customized and personalized surveys that never repeat questions and are tailored to behavior?
We decided to give this a try here at Evergage, as we wanted to get qualitative feedback on what features our customers are most interested in us working on next. In comparison to email surveys we send out, we got a whopping 2.5x increase in the number of responses with the in-app survey that we targeted to engaged users.
The point of personalizing them is to put the most relevant questions in front of the most relevant users for our goal. We wanted the opinion of our most vocal and engaged users, but another survey we will try soon will likely be to our least engaged users, or to users that only use a certain subset of features, etc. By surveying users based on user behavior, we combine qualitiative data and quantitative data to get a clear picture of what our users really want.
Another good reason to personalize surveys and present them in-app is to gather information you do not already have. By personalizing to every user, you can make sure that you are only asking questions that user has not already answered or given information for.
6. Bring Personalization Offline
This one involves things like the good old-fashioned phone call and more traditional CRM stuff. You’ve heard of some amazing customer service stories from Ritz-Carlton and other hotels. It’s pretty obvious how well this works when you see these stories shared across the Internet.
Companies like Zappos and Rackspace have shown that online businesses too can delight customers with personalized customer service. They have dedicated customer service teams that have the license to go out of their way and spend money just to make customers happy.
One example of this is when a Zappos customer had traveled to Las Vegas and forgotten to pack the shoes she had bought from Zappos. She went back on the site to buy them again but couldn’t find the same ones because they no longer had it. So the customer support team actually found the shoes at a local mall, purchased them, and personally delivered it to her at her hotel room, for free.
Guess which company she recommends when her friends ask her where they can buy shoes.
Ultimately the companies that are spoken about most often are the ones that delight their customers. By personalizing your service to your customers as much as possible, each customer feels like your site is made especially for him or her, and so you stand out of the crowd in their eyes. Thus, they are more likely to remember you and recommend you to other people.
So, what are you doing to stand out of the crowd?