Today’s consumers want value both from what they buy, and from the purchasing process, regardless of whether they’re purchasing a product or a service. Delivering a seamless, personalised customer experience relies on possessing a strong understanding of consumer preferences, and particularly in a world where consumers are becoming highly protective over their data.
A recent study by Emarsys for instance showed that just 5% of consumers would be willing to share their browsing data with an online-only retailer, and 3% with a high street retailer.
While brands completely understand this relationship between good data and good personalisation, many marketers still struggle with the sheer volume of data needed to deliver an enhanced customer experience.
The industry has long accepted that it needs machines and smart technology like AI to cope. However, for customers to get fully on board, brands need to demonstrate exactly how AI helps improve their shopping experiences.
With this in mind, here are three tips to build consumer trust and deliver a better customer experience through AI:
Get to know your customer
Start by gathering as much data as you can to build a picture around individual customer needs and preferences. Consider loyalty-based discounts and personalised offers for your current customer base which should appeal to both the customer’s rationality and emotion.
While data is essential for providing relevant discounts on products, marketers need to use these insights to create compelling content that appeals to the customer, whether that’s eye-catching graphics, updates on seasonal trends or tailored offers in line with what they’re currently interested in.
Stop spamming and stay relevant
While there is so much opportunity to work creatively with AI, it’s important not to use it to engage in behaviours that could harm customer relationships, such as distributing blanket emails far and wide. Our research found that two in five consumers swear they won’t purchase from a brand again if they receive irrelevant marketing materials.
The quality of content is therefore vital to any brand – it’s what gives them that magic touch. To stay relevant, marketers must feed each and every interaction with customers into their CRM database. Once everything is in there, the AI can find out what product each consumer wants to hear about, when, and where.
Keep your customers in the loop
Consumers are more protective over their data than ever before. Businesses need to work hard to convince consumers that they are using customer data for their benefit. The solution? Transparency. It should be embedded in every business’ brand strategy – consumers will value an open conversation about why a business wants their data, how they are collecting their information and how it will be used. Always keep the consumer in the loop on how you plan to use their data for their benefit.
By using AI to better shape customers’ experiences, marketers can open up conversations, enhance customer journeys, increase brand loyalty and boost revenue.
Grant Coleman is vice-president and market director for UK, SC, MEA at Emarsys