There has been a big focus lately on personalizing the customer experience, especially on the digital stage. New ways of tracking, especially through website usage, can provide mountains of data about customer locations, preferences, purchases, and even computer type and so much more. This data can then be used by marketing and customer service to create a custom user experience.
In many cases, this customization is welcomed by the customers. When I call my favorite catalog retailer, I love being greeted by name with a follow up question about my satisfaction with a recent purchase. And, after all, email blasts from a hospitality company about the best local happy hours are not particularly relevant for my 90+ year old grandmother.
However, the effort to personalize can all too easily cross the line and begin to irritate, or even spook, your customer. Consider these two red flags when reviewing your organization’s efforts to personalize your customers’ experiences:
Does the effort pigeonhole the user? Most people don’t like to be assigned to certain categories, since human nature insists that we are all distinct individuals. Along the same lines, a customer may resent being pigeonholed into a specific user category; just because they buy a box of diapers online, does not mean that they want all future shopping experiences to categorize them as a parent of small children. People are not simply parents, singles, seniors, etc., and they will likely resent most efforts to classify them into one specific role.
Does the effort indicate that you know “too much” about the user? People also value their privacy, even if it is somewhat of an illusion. While I know that some companies could probably give a full run down of my life down to the smallest detail, I don’t necessarily like it and I definitely don’t want to be reminded of it with any frequency! For example, it is certainly possible for pharmaceutical companies to track a shopper’s online pharmacy orders and then send free samples, publications, or other information related to the medical condition; however, this could certainly make many users uncomfortable.
In a contact center, it would be helpful if your agents understood your organization’s overall goal regarding personalization. Just because all of the data is on a screen before an agent, doesn’t mean that she needs to share her knowledge of the customer’s entire history and preferences! By sharing the overall goal with your agents, you can help ensure a positive and personalized experience for your customers!