Why bother? How personalization boosts customer satisfaction

by Jan Schulte, Head of Group Consulting at Magnolia
Apr 18, 2019 | 6 MIN

There are many facets and challenges around customer experience personalization - from strategic, to technological, to ethical. But one thing’s for sure - that personalization implies an experience that is customer-led, more than anything.

While not totally giving over control of your brand-led messaging, as a marketer you will have to create experiences that are driven by individual customer needs, preferences and behavior, as opposed to mass communication. And that in turn leads to higher customer satisfaction and retention. Let’s explore some ways in which you can achieve this.

The challenges of web personalization

Although most businesses would see the benefits of developing a personalized experience for their customers, the process is not without its challenges, both technical and legal.

Privacy issues

With news of several high-profile customer data breaches making headlines, customers may be hesitant to provide the data that businesses need to create the personalized experience that customers claim to want. Another hurdle involves the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), an EU law that seeks to give individuals control over their data and its use.

Interestingly, even though this debate between privacy and personalization has been going on for some time, one survey by Salesforce involving 7,000 consumers suggests that this isn’t necessarily the case. The survey found that 57 percent of consumers are willing to give their personal details in exchange for personalized offers and discounts. Just something to keep in mind.

Magnolia comes with a number of built-in GDPR features to help you attain user consent and properly handle user data.

Scalability issues

A major challenge for businesses seeking to deliver personalization lies in implementing unique experiences to thousands of customers. Barbara Calicoot, director of customer experience at mattress manufacturer Tempur Sealy, told Marketing Week in 2017, “We still want to be customer-centric but expectations change. There is never enough. The ideal is one-to-one but it’s hard at scale.”

At Magnolia, we tackle this with component personalization, a feature that makes it easier for an editor to personalize content in a scalable way. Instead of personalizing a whole page, the component personalization lets you personalize small sections of a page. For example, an editor wants to set different opening times for visitors from Europe and for visitors in Africa. This can be achieved by creating two variants of text and image components.

Three personalization strategies that improve customer satisfaction and retention

Now let’s take a look at some key personalization strategies that boost customer satisfaction and make it worthwhile to overcome the challenges above.

1. Delivering individualized content in real-time

In an eye-opening study by CMO, the demand for individualized content is at an all-time high. Over two-thirds of consumers who took part in the CMO survey said they wanted to receive content that automatically adjusted to their current context, which includes previous purchases, location, and browser history.

If there’s one industry that can come across as impersonal, it’s banking. But some banks are taking steps to ensure that customers feel more like human beings and less like lines in a balance sheet. Alior, the Polish bank and client of Magnolia, revamped its website in 2015 to give users personalized and relevant content based on their previous transactions.

As a result, not only did traffic significantly improve but so did customer engagement: bounce rate decreased from 30% to 10% and the average time spent on the website grew to 5 minutes and 30 seconds. Higher engagement means higher customer interest and ultimately leads to higher sales.

We’re constantly working to make personalization ever more powerful in Magnolia. With Magnolia’s implicit personalization solution, you can track your customers behavior to gain real-time insights and deliver individualized content automatically. I’ve written about hyper personalization and how Magnolia can take website personalization to the next level in this article.

Next level personalization
Stream our webinar on how to finally understand your customers and deliver tailored content and experiences.

2. Delivering localized content

Content localization plays a huge role when it comes to personalization on a global scale. It should be noted that content localization is more than just conducting a straightforward translation, it is a case of adapting content to meet the unique needs and interests related to a region, in its native language.

According to a survey by Common Sense Advisory, 72 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase if the information is in their native language. The same survey also highlighted that 56 percent say finding information in their own language is more important than price.

MOO, an award-winning UK-based print and design company and Magnolia client, delivers localized content to its customers in nearly 200 countries based on viewing history and location.

With Magnolia, MOO is able to translate content in half the time and create pages seven times faster than before. Delivering beautiful personalized content faster and more effectively improves the customer experience and creates more opportunities for MOO to increase revenue.

Magnolia comes with a number of built-in multi-market features. You can manage multiple versions of the same site in different languages and can choose between the same structure for each site or different structures for different sites. In addition, you can auto-translate content with either Google, Microsoft or translations.com services.

Best, you can easily manage complex multi-sites that share similar content with the Magnolia Live Copy solution. This creates referenced copies of your master site, which means that components on referenced pages can be changed individually and protected from master content changes. This way, you can deliver the right experience to the right market segments, with very little effort.

3. Personalizing the experience across channels

Omnichannel marketing involves delivering a seamless and consistent experience across a range of channels and devices, from smartphones to smart speakers to kiosks. It allows customers to switch between different online and offline channels, such as going from laptop to tablet device or going from in-store to their mobile device, so they can continue with their own journey without having to repeat themselves, log back in, or start over.

Considering that 98 percent of US citizens switch devices on a daily basis, it is easy to see why omnichannel campaigns improve customer loyalty. Further, a report by Accenture highlighted that 89 percent of customers get frustrated when they have to repeat themselves to multiple representatives.

When Ticino Turismo decided to update its digital presence with a mobile-first website that integrates with interactive elements like the innovative HikeTicino app and a number of interactive kiosk displays to offer a real multichannel experience - Magnolia was the choice.

Research showed that hikers in the Ticino region could be subdivided into three macro-segments: residents, day tourists and medium-to-long-distance tourists. By identifying these, ticino info was able to direct personalized home pages to its different visitors to provide them with relevant information and a navigational experience tailored to their needs. It also allowed them to interact with and share social content, fully addressing the goals of experience personalization, social media integration and multichannel distribution.

Jan Schulte

About the Author

Working at the intersection of business and technology, Jan helps Magnolia clients succeed with their content management and digital experience initiatives, framing solutions to their custom challenges and opportunities.