Automation was brought into the marketing world to help improve customer experience and make purchasing a faster and more efficient way to shop and sell. However, it became apparent, and rather quickly, that artificial intelligence left the masses longing for human interaction.
Any of the following sound familiar?
- Being left stranded at a self-automated checkout with the AI telling you that there’s an unexpected item in the bagging area
- Waiting in the longest queue of people due to a slow shop assistant in training
- Using a discount code online to find out it’s no longer valid
- Finding yourself more confused after reading reviews
It’s easy to see the customer experience flaws in all avenues. But, ideally, we want to know where the customer experience sweet spot is and how personalisation and micro-moments might just be the way to build trust with customers.
Let’s take a look at what the future of customer experience could look like when we use the personalisation and micro-moment strategy.
Brands testing the water with customer experience
Brands who have already been working on their customer experience using strategies such as focus groups, customer satisfaction surveys and customer journey mapping, for example, will have ample learnings which will keep them ahead of competitors. And that’s because they’ve already got under the skin of their customers, built deeper connections and improved their relationships with customers. It’s these brands who will be market leaders as they leverage technology and their data-driven insights to truly meet the needs of their customer base.
However, to be successful in the years ahead, they must earn trust and be invaluable to their customers – which is where personalisation and micro-moments come in.
The future of personalisation and micro-moments
This is already a trend that we’re seeing – email headers using the customer’s name. In a sea of marketing emails, the ones that stand out are those that make you feel like you’re being spoken to directly, and it’s for this reason why click-through rates are boosted.
But personalised emails are just the tipping point – personalisation is going to surge over the next couple of years in the form of micro-moments. Micro-moments refer to customers using a device to research, learn more and buy, and it’s during these moments when a customer is influenced to reach the purchase decision. So, when a brand focuses on micro-moments, they’re focusing on customers at high intent moments, and to maximise on these opportunities, they will send personalised information or offers in real time to assist the customer. Micro-moments are one of the most personalised methods of marketing as it focuses purely on the customer at that exact point in time, making for a cutting-edge strategy that could really make or break brands in future.
Example of micro-moments in action
An example of a company already making waves in the micro-moments sphere is Sephora, a French skincare and Beauty brand. Sephora created an app that allows customers to easily get hold of product reviews and watch video tutorials online or by scanning the products in store – giving their customers everything they need to help them at the purchasing decision stage.
Types of micro-moments
Micro-moments can be broken down into categories, it’s not all about buy, buy, buy. It’s about customer loyalty and businesses being there at the right time – read below.
- I want to know – for customers looking for information about a brand’s products or services. This is a great opportunity for brands to present their customers with everything they need to know all in one place. Think guides, videos, vlogs and apps, for example.
- I want to do – for customers looking for assistance, they need help from a business to enable them to be able to do something. This is the moment for businesses to lend a hand, whether that’s over the phone, in person, on social, email or other, where they can tell the customer their next steps.
- I want to go – for customers ready to take action, this is the time for businesses to push location targeted ads, so that they’re visible to their customers who are nearby and want to experience something.
- I want to buy – for customers who are purchase-ready, and the deciding factors depends on the information they’re presented with, the cost, the features and the understanding of how to use something. This is the moment for businesses to send discounts or push-notifications.
Is there something above that your business can look into? It’s all about being there for your customers in real time, building relationships and trust by better understanding and presenting them with information that makes your brand invaluable.