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Personalized, Streamlined, Agile Customer Experience

December 4, 2012

Personalized customer experience and recommendation systems

The generic customer experience: “Help yourself!”
The streamlined, personalized experience: “Tell me what you need.”


I believe that delivering a personalized customer experience is a competitive imperative.
The people who might consume your products and services are willing to expend only a limited dose of their time and attention on the tasks of selecting, acquiring, using and maintaining what they consume. If those tasks can be simply and efficiently performed, your customers will prefer to do business with you. Your business can make those tasks simple and efficient by stripping away the irrelevant. The simplest and most efficient way to strip away the irrelevant is to tailor the responses and guidance your business offers to specific customers. I call this the agile customer experience. It is the key to customer engagement.
To put it another way, you could ask your customers to learn all of your products and services, learn how to compare them, learn how to use them, learn how to maintain them, and learn your business processes, in order to decide if they want or need to do business with you. But if there is any alternative for what you offer, you won’t find many people have the patience to do business with you. How about if you only make them learn half? Obviously, much better, but still not good enough. How much do your customers have to go through in order to do business with you today? More than strictly necessary? (You must answer this question from the customer’s point of view, not yours.) If so, then you need to think about how to deliver a more agile customer experience, one that is personalized.

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