Hyper personalisation and testing – how you can create better customer experiences

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Personalisation has been a buzzword in customer communications for a decade. Now, with the augmentation of artificial intelligence (AI) and real-time data, hyper-personalisation is the aim for organisations looking to build a more meaningful connection with their customers.

However, hyper-personalisation is not an objective that businesses should embark on without a clear data-backed strategy in place. Get it wrong and you could be waving goodbye to a chunk of your customer base.

Brands risk losing as many as 38% of their customers with a personalisation misstep, Gartner research shows. In short, the study makes the point that your personalisation efforts need to be driven by an “intimate knowledge of customer journeys”. In other words, how well you manage and draw insights from your customer data is key.

Focus on customer outcomes

Given the risks posed by personalisation, why is it that brands are investing so heavily? Well, hyper-personalisation moves beyond personalising the message, to personalising the context in which it engages a customer. Like a good waiter, hyper-personalisation serves content when it’s needed but is invisible when it isn’t.

It can bring significant commercial benefits. In fact, messages focused on helping the customer accomplish something increase the predicted impact of the commercial benefit index (e.g. brand intent, purchase, repurchase and increased cart size) by nearly 20%.

This should help you design out your hyper-personalisation strategy. In other words, don’t just personalise for personalisation’s sake – help customers get something done.

This is not just the view of customers but regulators, too. Many are now adopting a more outcomes-based approach to regulations and will consider whether customer communications have helped ensure a good customer outcome.

Bombarding customers with confusing communication that isn’t relevant is not a good customer outcome, but unfortunately, many companies still fall into this trap. When changing one word in terms and conditions, for example, some firms will re-send the whole document to every customer, regardless of whether the change is relevant. In this case, is the firm thinking about the customer experience and customer outcomes, or is it thinking about compliance box ticking?

With hyper-personalisation, it would be possible to just send out the new terms and conditions document to those that need it, in their preferred format.

Test what works

To ensure hyper personalisation actually delivers, A/B testing can be a great way to understand what messages resonate with particular customers.

By testing out different communications and messaging, refining approaches based on the results, and then combining with existing knowledge, it is possible to set hyper personalised rules and parameters for communicating with individual customers. The result is communications that cut through the noise.

Consider the example of a bill. Traditionally these look more or less the same, regardless of the customer. However, using insight gleaned through testing, combined with what you already know about a customer, it is possible to include a changeable block of text containing a personalised marketing statement more likely to engage.

The difficulty is having the speed to adapt messaging quickly and optimise approaches based on new data.

Boil down your data

To avoid ‘over-communicating’ with your customers, Gartner suggests “using as few data dimensions as possible”. In the age of Big Data, however, this is proving easier said than done for the majority of businesses.

Just over one in ten (11%) brands use a wide variety of data types in a unified customer profile to personalise experiences and provide consistency across channels, according to a by Forrester Consulting.

Having an all-encompassing platform that gathers all your customer data can provide the holy grail of great communication: a single source of truth. Not only can it lead to a better understanding of a customer’s unique behaviours, it will highlight the channels they prefer to engage on.

By focusing on helping customers first and foremost, you can really begin to personalise messages and create superior customer experiences.

One Platform gives you total brand control across your outbound and inbound customer communications. Providing real-time insight across transactional and marketing communications, your teams can rapidly adapt your messaging and remove friction from the customer journey by using our innovative toolkit and channel-agnostic capabilities.

The platform can also facilitate quick changes in both data sets and communication messaging, so that you can continually optimise processes and management information and keep up to date on how effective approaches are.

One Platform seamlessly integrates with legacy systems, enabling you to obtain a single source of truth and tap into the hyper-personalisation trend without having to rip apart your tech stack.