What’s the ROI of Being a Decent Human Being? A Case for the ROI of Personalization
More often than not, a few reporting and attribution questions come up when discussing personalization.
How do we report whether or not this is useful?
How much attribution does a personalized page get within a user’s journey?
And the one that is slowly but surely wearing away at my soul….
What’s the ROI of personalization?
This last question is grating for me. Part of me wants to say “yeah, if we can’t prove it’s effective than we should throw it out.” But a bigger part of me wants to channel my inner GaryVee and respond with: “What’s the ROI of being a decent human being?”
Here is my example….
I frequent (as in 6-days a week) the Charlotte coffee shop Not Just Coffee. They’re awesome, the coffee is awesome, the atmosphere is amazing — 10/10 would recommend. Here’s the thing: even though the product is superior it’s still, on average, around $2 more for the same size latte I’d buy at Starbucks. So why would I frequent NJC and not Starbucks — proximity? Nope, the Hedgehog office is equidistant from Starbucks and NJC; on Saturdays I’ll even drive WAY out of my way (passing 3 Starbucks and a Dunkin Donuts) to go to Not Just Coffee. Why would I do this then?
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE.
When I walk into Not Just Coffee the entire staff knows my name and my drink. They know what I do for a living. They know, in a general sense, what’s going on in my life. If the line is long they add my drink to the que so by the time I’m to the register my coffee is almost ready. A conversation I had with the Uptown Charlotte manager L inspired me to write this piece, actually. She remembered that I was in Las Vegas the week before for a trade show and when I walked in the following Monday she said “We missed you last week. Did you rock it in Vegas?” The simple act of remembering the conversation I had with her and asking about my Vegas trip means more to me than anything else.
Now this isn’t to say the people at Starbucks aren’t great — I’ve met some awesome and dedicated people at Starbucks. What it does mean is that when presented with the option I will always go to the place that personalizes my experience, that treats me like an individual rather than the next in line, even if they are more expensive.
This kind of experience is replicable on any platform. L knew I hadn’t been in for a few days, remembered that I was out of town for a specific reason and asked how things had gone. That is a memory of my product and my likes, combined with contextual data that she has learned about me. But what it really all boils down to being a decent to one another, and treating your customers like the individuals you know they are.
Translate this to your company’s digital strategy. Your company is made up of, hopefully, decent people and your website should be an extension of your company. Asking what the ROI of personalization is like asking what the ROI of quality customer service is. In a time when customer experience is rapidly becoming the best indicator of a person’s likelihood to purchase the question should really be: How fast can I provide the best experience and how can I make sure I continue to improve it? The return on being a decent company is immeasurable.
Mike is a digital strategist and Sitecore MVP at Hedgehog. Hedgehog is a full-service digital consultancy transforming the way brands interact with their customers. We design and engineer high performance, multi-channel digital marketing platforms that position clients for growth and success. We’re listeners, strategists, problem-solvers, combining customer and capability-driven insights to help our clients execute consistently against their overall strategy.
For more information visit www.hhog.com.