4 Keys to Personalization and Boosting Engagement

Written by Usabilla
December 11, 2018

Think of the most rewarding interactions with a brand. What set them apart? Likely the experience was more relevant compared to the rest, all thanks to personalization.

As organizations shape their strategies for the coming year, those that personalize each user experience are sure to feel the benefits of more engaged, loyal customers.

1. Forging emotional connections

Customers stay loyal to brands for many reasons, but it often comes down to an emotional connection resulting from a personalized experience. Just like picking and choosing friends, people are motivated to opt for certain products because they have a positive association with them.

In customer experience terms, this is called the Emotional Connection Score (ECS). Motista, among others, uses ECS as a predictive metric toward buyer behavior. In a recent report, they distinguish that customers who are ‘emotionally connected’ bring 52% more value to a brand than customers who are simply ‘highly satisfied,’ as shown below.

As shown in the following graph, there is a gap between brands emotionally connecting with customers and those that are considered ‘good brands’. Just because customers rate a brand as “good,” doesn’t mean they will automatically score high on the ECS. The essence of the ECS boils down to: the more emotionally connected, the more value you may get out of customer.

The graph shows the discrepancy between the “good brand” score and the ECS. Click here to see a concise video explanation of what this graph tells you.

When brands pay attention to connecting with their customers, they are bound to see a strong ROI. Why? The effort an organization makes to ensure people feel valued and heard will lead to the type of customer loyalty and brand advocacy that will translate to a high lifetime value.

2. Meeting unique goals

A great personalized experience is more than addressing customers by name. Brands with a tailored, truly customer-centric approach are those that help people meet their unique goals.

We’ve seen this with Amazon’s product recommendations, which eerily remembers the cookbook you bought last month and the winter coat you almost purchased. It’s still sitting there in your shopping cart, along with four lookalikes they dug up that you may prefer. The approach is the spitting definition of personalization.

Google and search engine history are on the same wavelength. It knows what recipe you used for dinner last night and which dentists to suggest based on where you live. Oh, and we can’t forget the user-generated curation on Netflix. Sifting through irrelevant new releases and uninteresting TV shows are a thing of the past and personalized experiences are here to stay.

The applications don’t stop there. Even Seattle Children’s Hospital championed the concept with tech savvy check-ups, which tackled the challenge of tending to ill patients unable to easily travel to a hospital or doctor’s office. They instead equipped physicians with video and remote diagnostics to check patient vitals and are now one of the top ranked children’s hospitals in the U.S.

 3. Avoiding user frustrations

Personalized experiences help individuals by intervening during struggles and frustration and instead providing info and offers. Great products, easy-to-use digital platforms and standout customer support are all essential ingredients to smooth buyer journeys.

A prime example of this is Southwest Airlines in 2016, when they experienced a system outage that led to hundreds of cancelled or delayed flights. The debacle coincided with the launch of the ‘Southwest Community,’ an online resource combining the blog of Southwest travel stories and a discussion forum.

Via the new platform, Southwest admitted fault, welcomed the flood of feedback and rewarded customers with free miles on their next flight for their trouble. By leveraging all media channels to communicate with customers, user frustrations were minimized.

4. Identify needs with intelligent platforms

By harnessing emerging technologies like digital experience intelligence platforms, organizations can identify customer needs and opportunities for personalization. And as seen in 2018 Gartner CIO Survey data, business intelligence (BI) analytics are the top technology expected to help businesses differentiate from their competitors.

Decibel, for instance, uses digital body language to see just where users are experiencing issues so you can make adjustments in the moment and avoid more user frustrations down the road. By continuously monitoring, you gain a competitive edge over those who monitor only haphazardly via inconsistent user tests of samples that are unrepresentative of true users.

Similarly, in an effort to better engage visitors and personalize their museum experience, the Natural History Museum in London partnered with Adobe and Ensemble software to create their own app. The platform uses WiFi to map where visitors are standing in the museum and display contextual info of what they are looking at, even suggesting other exhibits and events based on visitor history and preference. Talk about personalization.


Connecting with customers and ensuring they feel valued and heard is crucial for brand loyalty and advocacy that translates to high customer lifetime value across the board. With Decibel’s smart data and Usabilla’s Voice of Customer solution you are equipped with the tools you need to create amazing, personalized experiences for your users.

Topics: Customer Experience, Partners, Personalization
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