Jackie Long

Using data to personalize the customer experience and build trust

As consumers get more demanding with so many online options, it’s more important than ever to create a great experience while maintaining brand trust. We discuss how to safely collect data and use it to enhance the customer experience and build trust.

In recent years, consumers have come to expect experiences that are personalized and more secure. This can be difficult for companies to deliver as data security issues continue to plague ecommerce. Breaches often cause shoppers to be wary of sharing information, but data is necessary to personalize the customer experience.

To build trust in your brand, you’ll need to protect customer data, be transparent about how you're collecting and using it, and create an experience that blends the best of security and personalization. Try these techniques to get started.

Collecting and protecting customer data

Data is necessary to create a personalized experience for your customers. You’ll need information about who your customers are, how they navigate your site, and where you can create shortcuts for them. There are numerous ways to capture this data, which is the easy part. The more difficult tasks are telling your customers exactly what information you’re collecting, and how you’re keeping their data safe.

Here are a few tips to help you out:

  • Provide a clear privacy policy that states exactly what information you're collecting from visitors to your site. A strong, detailed policy will make it easier for your customers to trust you.
  • Secure any data you keep on your site and regularly purge any data that doesn’t need to be kept.
  • Use new technologies like dynamic friction and two-factor authentication to keep customer accounts secure at all times.
  • Make sure all your technology is up to date to ensure that data is not at risk.
  • To be prepared if a breach does occur, create a detailed plan for notifying customers as quickly as possible. While any breach can break customer trust, companies that try to cover up problems instead of addressing them tend to suffer the worst.

Using data to personalize the customer experience

Personalization has become a buzzword for ecommerce companies. However, it can be expensive and time-consuming to create a personalized customer experience. In a survey by Acquia, 92% of companies stated that they were interested in personalization. Considering that 47% of consumers told Verizon that they would shop at a site with a personalized, intuitive user experience (UX) even if a rival retailer was cheaper, it’s not surprising that companies are looking to invest in this technology.

We have some tips to help you create a more personalized experience:

  • Focus on how you can help your customers navigate your website more easily. Try suggesting similar purchases, offering repeat purchases easily, or allowing a two-factor sign-on for one-click ordering when browsing the site.
  • Ask your customers what is most important to them. Allowing them to guide your choices will ensure that you don’t waste time and money on changes that don’t improve their experiences.
  • Think about the overall experience and not just the easiest changes. You want to make updates that your customers will appreciate.
  • Consider security updates. Introducing friction in the right places can help your customers feel more comfortable while making purchases and remove any barriers that interrupt the conversion process.

Keys to building customer trust with personalization

Giving customers the secure, personalized experience they expect can help show them you’re listening. Even small changes can make an impact in how they view your brand and whether they make a purchase. With that in mind, it’s important to make changes that help your customers and show them you can be trusted.

Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Your priority should always be transparency. Especially when it comes to data. It’s easier to lose trust than to gain it. If customers feel that you have lied to them, it can cause major problems for your brand.
  • Technology advances quickly, and you need to stay up to date. From security to inventory controls, having old software can cause problems for both your employees and customers. It can also leave you vulnerable to data breaches and other potential issues.
  • Changes should focus on what your customers want instead of what you think they want. Ask for feedback regularly and keep customers informed about the changes that you are making.
  • Provide excellent customer service. Though the ideal personalized experience will let customers complete transactions smoothly, it doesn’t always happen. Good customer service can help you maintain brand trust when it would otherwise have been lost.

Creating the right experience for your customers is about understanding them and providing what they need. That starts with establishing a dialogue and continues with providing a secure, personalized site. If you take the time to listen and make changes now, you can build your brand loyalty and help your customers get what they want more easily.

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About the author
Jackie Long

Jackie is a Content Specialist at NS8. With a varied background and over 6 years of content creation experience, Jackie works hard to provide a compelling range of informative articles.

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