Customer experience excellence: Empathy & Personalization (1/3)

When KPMG’s ‘Up close and personal: Customer experience excellence analysis’ report was revealed at the start of 2018, our hearts started beating a little faster. This report speaks about what we continuously emphasize: customer experience is key to your survival - now and for the future to come. Gartner even states that “89% of organizations will compete on customer experience alone by 2020”. So what are you waiting for?

KPMG has identified the “Six pillars of customer experience excellence”:

  • Personalization
  • Integrity
  • Time & Effort
  • Resolution
  • Empathy
  • Expectations

In a mini-series of three blog posts, I will talk about these pillars and why they are so relevant for email marketers. Today I’m kicking off with Empathy and Personalization.



Personalization indicates a company’s ability to perfectly adapt the offered experiences to their customers’ needs. McKinsey's research found that nowadays your customers expect to be recognized no matter what channel they engage with your company via. And the numbers don’t lie; the Deloitte consumer review found that one in five consumers interested in personalized products, is willing to pay 20% more!

After 8 years of ongoing research, KPMG concludes that a personalized experience is the single most important factor if you want to turn a Dutch consumer into a loyalist for your company; the correlation between personalization and loyalty came out strongest. UK and US shoppers seem to agree, as personalization is leading the pack in these regions as well.

Companies are trying their best to personalize their offers. Below you see an example of how Amazon tried to trigger customers to buy again by exposing articles that they seem interested in according to their past buying behavior. They are however, obviously, not executing this well.



Below you see an example I’ve received in my own mailbox of how using personalization does work! After ordering camping gear for my holidays, I received my order confirmation which showed this little timeline. Implementing my first name into this timeline and showing that the last step of the process is me being satisfied, makes it nice, personal and stand out.

Personalization Decathlon


If you are using CloseAlert, have you ever thought about personalizing the feedback widgets in your emails? A personalized subject line increases the open-likeliness with 26%, so why not try it out on your CloseAlert widget and see what it does to your response rate? (Spoiler alert: one of our customers did actually see an increase!)


Being empathetic shows your ability to understand the feelings and circumstances of your customers and respond to those by tailoring experiences. Customers like to be personally recognized and heard. This can be substantiated by the fact that QVC UK, a television shopping channel broadcast in the UK, is ranked first by KPMG on offering the best customer experience this year. The company mainly focuses on empathy; getting closer with their customers. One of the respondents stated the following: “It is extraordinary: whenever I watch QVC, I feel like they are talking to me personally and no one else is watching.”

So, make sure you emotionally connect with your customers; start listening and show them you truly care. Because that’s how you catch their attention within your marketing efforts. Empathy, together with personalization, is the most important factor that drives your customers to rate you a nine or ten on an NPS. You don’t want to miss out on that!


Curious how to understand your base better and personalize your communication?

Download our ‘How to’ and learn about three awesome ways to use our tool for personalization & segmentation purposes.


  • author

    Djoeke Kingma
    Djoeke is Customer Success Manager at CloseAlert. Djoeke supports her customers on their way to success and encourages them to take customer experience to the next level.

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