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  • By Bryan Archer (CTO)
Bryan Archer (CTO)

Imagine going into a shop to buy a mountain bike. You’ve spent a fair amount of time talking to a sales rep and after learning all about your requirements, he suggests a bike that suits your needs, so you buy it.

The next day you revisit the shop to buy some accessories for your new bike, and the same sales rep welcomes you in, guiding you directly to the relevant section of the shop. Along the way he provides good advice on the accessories that are most appropriate for your needs, and points out which accessories best fit your new bike!….Has anything out of the ordinary happened so far? Granted, this sounds like a particularly strong example of good customer service, but it’s not totally unrealistic.

Now let’s rewind a little and imagine this: The day after buying your bike, you revisit the shop. The same sales rep approaches you, but he appears to have forgotten all about you. He greets you in the same way he would a complete stranger, and starts to sell you information on the BMX range they have in store. Even after telling him that you’ve come for accessories, he persists in pointing out various offers on the bikes they have in store, and when you finally reach the accessories section, the rep is clueless as to what you might want, so he takes a stab in the dark and offers you accessories made for children. I'm sure you'll agree that this is an example of terrible customer service...but when you think about it, is your website essentially doing exactly the same thing?

Every day I see websites that don't appear to learn anything about me, and whilst this is a fact that we have come to accept, things are finally changing, and they are changing at an impressive rate!

We need to start thinking of our websites as our digital sales rep. In order for your digital sales rep to convert more leads, it needs to have the ability to learn about the customer and adapt to each sales scenario just like a human would. If your website knows a customer has already bought a mountain bike, the advertising banners should be displaying accessories that are suitable for their new purchase. If the visitor hasn't yet bought anything, your website should be learning about them as they interact with different pages and components within each page, recognising your interests and providing relevant suggestions. This is called Website Personalisation. 

We need to remind ourselves that there is a customer, a real person, on the receiving end of our digital efforts. If we care about our customers, we’ll want to give them the best experience possible as they move through our website. We’ll want to offer them what they want, when they want it, not only providing a good customer experience, but also driving repeat sales and creating lifetime customers.

The days where "one size fits all" are over. We need to be learning about each individual customer and serving them personalised website content based on their individual needs. All of this, and more, is achievable with Sitecore CMS.

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