Personalization….It Needs to Go Without a Hitch

Carolyn Hall

Carolyn Hall

Author Bio

An established member of the Confirmit team, Carolyn plays an integral role in promoting Confirmit’s world leading solutions for Voice of the Customer, Voice of the Employee, and Market Research programmes to its global customer base. Confirmit is dedicated to ensuring that its solutions deliver business change and value and Carolyn is instrumental in sharing best practice and thought leadership with customers, partners and the analyst community.

Author Bio

There is a lot of talk about personalization in the world today. Particularly when it comes to personalizing the Customer Experience. And rightly so. Expectations from consumers and B2B buyers alike are sky high.

In theory, this should be fine. Companies hold more data about their customers than ever before. This should make personalizing interactions relatively easy – at least if all the appropriate systems are integrated and you’re not thwarted by silos at every turn.

Obviously for some industries it’s easier than others. The quantity and type of customer data held varies depending on the nature of the relationship. Which brings me to my little rant.

Today I received an email from a company I had a loan with in the past. One of the things about taking out a loan is that the financial services company take a LOT of your information. More than just name and address. They know things like date of birth, my title, they must have some view of my credit history and other pertinent information.  

Despite knowing this, the company has emailed me today with tips about saving for a wedding, and how to stop wedding costs from getting out of control. It’s decent advice, in fairness. Things like getting married out of season, for example. Very sensible.

But I got married 16 years ago. I am still married. Which means I have no intention of saving for a wedding.

Let’s start by pointing out that saving for a wedding is a pretty niche proposition. Yes, lots of people are doing it. But of the 65 million people in the UK, what proportion are getting married in the next two years? A small one, I’d warrant. So for a mass email it’s a bit too precise. Great if you know the recipient is indeed getting married. But a bit ambitious for much of a hit rate otherwise.

Secondly. These people quite probably asked for my marital status when I got the loan. If they didn’t, they might have data to show them that the bank account that provided the repayments is a joint account for two people with the same last name. Perhaps they could have gone nuts and noticed that on their records I am listed as “Mrs Carolyn Hall”.

All subtle clues, I know, but possibly enough to make it clear that a more generic money-saving email might be in order. Saving for a holiday, perhaps.

Done properly, personalization is like magic. It improves customer engagement, it boosts loyalty, and it makes the whole customer experience more satisfying than ever.

Done badly, it’s annoying enough to make someone write a blog complaining about it.

Better luck next time, loan people!


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