Marketers know that to be more relevant and deliver a great customer experience they need to drive towards the idea of “the segment of one”. And, that being adept at “the segment of one” demands using data and advanced technology to tailor marketing messages and offers.
Gap Between What Brands Deliver and Customer Expectations is Widening
But, while many of us think we are doing a good job at “personalization” the customer continues to think otherwise. A recent article in Forbes Magazine cited Forrester’s US Customer Experience Index. It showed that compared to 2016, CX quality in 2017 worsened across the board — the number of brands in the excellent category fell to zero, and the percentage of brands with a poor score was a shocking 1:4.
How Can the Gap be Widening?
The simple answer, which holds a lot of truth, is that customers’ expectations are moving faster than our organizational capabilities. But it is never that simple. There are two key, but very separate issues.
Delivering Personalization vs. Delivering an Exceptional Customer Experience are Two Different Things
Customer experience is predicated on the total brand experience and not all components of a customer’s experience fall into marketing’s purview. The complete brand experience needs to equate to a great customer experience not just the marketing campaigns.
What’s the solution? All silos need to be broken down – marketing channels, customer service, sales. Our whole organization needs to be able to coordinate efforts using the latest technology and tools. And, we need to recognize that personalization 2.0 means the customer is the channel, not the distribution platforms we use to deliver our communications.
Personalization vs. Individualization are Different
Personalization is pretty easy these days – we have been executing mass personalization campaigns for a number of years now – customer names in email newsletters, birthday discounts etc. Mass personalization is the norm in most organizations. However, individualized insights are harder to execute as they are predicated on having the technology and intelligence to uncover the insights that give each of your customers what they want, when they want it. Individualized insights allow us, for example, to have the insight to know that Anne prefers free shipping over a discount, or that Joe wants get a SMS when he is close to a store location, or can predict next best action if a product is out of stock.
What’s the solution? Individualization demands an insightful understanding of the individual customer’s journey from start to finish and beyond and being able to act on that insight across all customer touch points.
The brands that close the gap, between the high bar of customer expectations and the customer experience, will enjoy competitive differentiation, customer loyalty, increased ROI and topline revenue. Will that brand be yours? To find out where your brand sits, download our Customer Engagement Readiness Framework. It describes increasing maturity capabilities across 9 categories, including personalization strategy, skills, and technology.
About VeraCentra: Marketers everywhere want to use data to implement more modern customer engagement strategies. But there can be many obstacles standing in the way of success. That’s where we come in. VeraCentra provides easy-access Customer Data Hubs. We represent best of breed Cross Channel Engagement Platforms (so marketers get the right fit) and offer the Marketing and Data Services that guarantee speed to value and quick win ROI from technology investments. We deliver these solutions with an unmatched wholehearted approach bringing personalized support, care, and service to every client. That’s why many of our client relationships span more than a decade.