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Personalization is a key ingredient of success in customer experience management (CEM). It helps companies deliver the right message to the right audience through the right channel (and device) at the right time. Findings from Aberdeen’s State of the CEM Market: It’s all About Better Use of Customer Data study shows that only 32% of companies today have the ability to personalize customer offers based on historical and real-time customer data.

Why is personalization important? Aberdeen’s Customer Analytics: Converting Data into Insight for Superior Customer Experiences study indicates that companies personalizing customer messages successfully grow client engagement results. These results include metrics such as annual company revenue, customer retention rates and cross-sell and up-sell revenue.

Amica, a mutual-insurance company based in the U.S., is one example of a company delivering targeted customer messaging. My car insurance is soon up for renewal, and I’m currently insured under a different provider. This week, I received a letter from Amica reminding me that the renewal time has come for my policy, and providing me with a personalized offer (with a special invitation number) recommending that I call to get a quote — and ultimately become a new client.

As a consumer living the era of customer empowerment, I wanted to do my homework and learn about my options before renewing my service. I called Amica, and provided the necessary information to an agent to get a quote. After a few minutes, the agent told me that due to a minor incident (I may have rolled at 5 mph through a stop sign) several years ago, the company wouldn’t provide insurance coverage to me. I was recommended to contact Amica in 2016 to be qualified to receive their services.

Startled with the answer, then I asked why the company sent a personalized letter with a special invitation number to get my business. The reply? To paraphrase: “We just send it. Not every offer is meant for the recipient.”

This means that the messages Amica’s marketing team delivers are not synchronized with the activities of customer care team or the sales team, reminding me, once again, that while many companies strive to personalize customer interactions, many miss an important point: consistency in customer messages is just as important as personalization. In fact, the ability to deliver consistent messages across multiple touch-points was cited among the top two pressures companies face within our CEM study.

As a result of this recent interaction, I’ve told the Amica contact center agent that they’ve spent unnecessary resources mailing me an offer, and using limited agent time for an offer that the company wouldn’t deliver on. I recommended the company to remove me from their marketing campaign list until their offers could be executed —in other words, until the customer-facing functions in the company speak the same language. What does this story mean for your business?

If your company is struggling to provide consistent messages across multiple touch-points, or if feedback captured as part of your voice of the customer (VoC) programs shows similar inconsistencies start using the below activities to overcome this challenge:

  • Train employees to use existing technology tools such as customer relationship management (CRM), ERP, and internal collaboration and communications to facilitate information exchange between different business units
  • Integrate enterprise systems that capture and store customer data to establish a 360-degree view of the customer across the entire business
  • Capture VoC data, and use it in conjunction with analytical tools such as business intelligence to determine trends and correlations indicative of inconsistencies in messages delivered across multiple channels

For further insights and recommendations to avoid customers experience issues similar to mine with Amica, please read my Omni-Channel Customer Care report.

Omer Minkara

Senior Research Analyst

Contact Center & Customer Experience Management

Twitter: @omer_aberdeen

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