We’re all familiar with the good, the bad and the ugly of ‘personalised’ customer experience. The good sees marketing communications targeted at the right time, with the right message across the right channels. The bad is when any one of these touchpoints goes wrong. The downright ugly is the failure of all three. And of course, the impacts of each are amplified at scale.
Customers know a good experience when they see one, expect it in every brand interaction and will punish those who don’t live up to expectations. So how can you personalise at scale effectively? It’s a four-step by step process, with each stage dependent on the other. Basically, we need to align four variables: Info…Know…Show…and Grow.
Info is your data. The data revolution has hit hard and fast, so many organisations’ data is siloed, fragmented, duplicated and out of date. Marketing, for example, might hold one database and Sales another, which is the perfect recipe for bad engagement and ugly experiences. Now is the time to take advantage of technologies to: unify data; collect and maintain it consistently; and ensure it’s interoperable across your business.
Know is your segmentation. Based on your accurate and consolidated data, you can now find out who your customers are with confidence, no matter the size of the segment. It’s important to remember, however, that personas change over time (often rapidly) ─ so segmentation is never ‘done’.
Show is your analytics: the power to turn information into insight. It’s this insight that delivers ever-more granular levels of engagement based on who your customers really are. An important and often overlooked factor here is usability: data needs to permeate your organisation and cannot be the preserve of ‘data specialists’. For this to happen, your analytics need to be instantly accessible, easily understood (by everyone) and produce insights that are relevant, actionable and demonstrate ROI.
Grow is self-explanatory: with info, know and show aligned you can begin to explore new and better ways of delivering the experiences that your customers value. Using smart technologies will also help you to walk the often fine line between helpful hyper-personalisation and creepy intrusiveness. These smart technologies ─ AI and Machine Learning, for example ─ will ensure that you not only meet, but anticipate, expectations at scale.
But many businesses fall at this final fence. Data changes ─ fast. Segmentation changes ─ fast. What you need from your data and how staff want to use it changes ─ fast. So you need to be able to change ─ fast.
Across the journey, technology can bring new levels of personalisation and deliver good customer experiences. The intelligent application of technology, however, will take you to the next level and elevate CX from the ‘good’ to the ‘great’.
Our report Delivering on the Promise of Digital Innovation, shares the thoughts and experiences of executives from some of the top brands in the world.