How to Personalize Customer Journeys With Predictive Analytics
It's no secret to marketing-focused and e-commerce companies that long-term business success lies in personalization of the customer experience. By targeting your recommendations and special offers to the individual needs and intent of each buyer, you increase the likelihood and size of both immediate and follow-on sales. Pundits have been predicting "The year of personalization" for some time now, so 2015 should be the year for you to explore new personalization opportunities in your business.
Personalization is a means to an end — relevant, timely customer experiences that increase sales and customer retention. This article looks at an important area you may not have considered yet — personalizing live customer journeys as they unfold in real-time, making decisions about which customers you should be talking to live, and selecting the right people with the right skills to talk to them.
Personalization depends on effective analytics that give you real insights into likely customer behavior; this article explores the kind of analytics needed to optimize live customer journeys.
Most thinking about personalization is focused primarily on content and product recommendations. For example, if your customer is shopping for hiking boots, then maybe your recommendation analytics will suggest socks, tents and bug spray? Or if your customer bought shirts last year, maybe you highlight your most recent new shirt designs? And as we all know, there's a Seattle-based online retailer that will recommend the most amazing things "inspired by your browsing history"! The predictions here are based on relationships between purchases of different products across many customers or across an individual customer's purchase history.
Product recommendations are important, but to personalize customer journeys you need to extend the approach to other aspects of the customer experience. Many e-commerce sites have "800" numbers for customers to call when needed, and some sites are experimenting with live chat. However, today there's nothing personalized about any of these interactions. Phone numbers put the burden on the customer to decide whether to call before abandoning or buying the wrong items that they'll later return.