When companies adapt their customer experience to best serve the individual customer, using recommendation systems, behavioral targeting or other methods, this is what I call personalization.
Face to face with the customer, this may take the form of recognizing the person, acknowledging the type and duration of the relationship, bypassing steps in the business pro-cess, and guiding the customer to the most useful information, service or product.
Online, personalization is the delivery of the most relevant and engaging content (such as products, images, or articles) for the visitor’s current task. Personalization requires identifying and responding to a person, who may be anonymous or named, identified via cookie or by log in. The most common tactics currently in use include:
• Using a customer’s explicit preferences to select what to offer. Netflix and Goodreads users rate shows and books, and these ratings are used in algorithms that calculate which shows or books the user is likely to enjoy.
• Using a customer’s behavior to discern his likely intent, and selecting the content most likely to smooth the customer’s path. If you look at an item on Amazon.com, Amazon will show you similar items under the heading, “What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?” Amazon is guessing that you are interested in buying this type of item, and is helping you with your research.
Personalization is triggered by customer action, but managed by the business.
When you think about your own experiences with suppliers, what stands out as the best experience you’ve had? What makes the personalized experience so positive?