Personalization Technology in Customer Experience

As part of the generation enthralled by consumerism, we have all been on the buying end of a product or service. We are also spoilt for choice when a throng of companies offer the same product for competitive prices. They all claim to have the most superior quality. How then, do we pick one company over another?
Companies have come to the realization that it is no longer enough for a business to only offer a good product. It is a matter of days before another company manages to better it. Then how do companies ensure the consumers will pick their product over another?

The answer lies in Customer Experience and Personalization.

Alongside with the many rapidly shifting trends, it has become increasingly important for consumers to feel satisfied by the service they receive after investing in a product. Customers place their confidence in a company if they feel like the company cares about them. The easiest way for a business to show its customers how much they care, is by personalizing the customer’s journey.

Personalization in Customer Experience refers to the creation of unique product, service, marketing strategy and content to meet the needs and preferences of customers. Supplying a tailored experience results in increased engagement, customer retention and revenue generation. Personalization for each individual customer is impossible to conduct manually but can be made possible by the adoption of personalization technology.

PERSONALIZATION ENGINES – All you need to know

A Personalization Engine or platform is a software tool that helps in collection and analyses of data acquired directly from first-party, and sometimes second-party or third-party sources. A personalization engine employs technology like Data mining, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Natural Entity Recognition to track anonymous or registered user behavior from web or e-commerce portals in real-time. 

As data is received, the personalization engine analyzes feedback and behavioral patterns. It then categorizes its reservoir of information to build a comprehensive view of the consumer base and supply insights that help marketers to isolate demographics and individualize content that reaches customers through various channels of communication. The type of data collected may include identity related, behavioral, transactional and descriptive data. Personalization engines are often integrated with Customer Data Platforms (CDP) or Customer Experience Delivery Platforms (CEDP) to form more polished marketing tools.

Types of Personalization Engines

Collaborative Filtering Engine

Such personalization engines collect data from pre-existing customers of a business. Alternatively, they may also collect data from new customers visiting a business portal or store. The focus of these filters is on transactional data, purchase patterns, past purchases and how often a customer revisits the business. Based on this information, a forecast is made for when and what a customer is likely to buy.

Content-based Filtering Engine

These engines focus on search patterns, keywords, preferences in type of content and what kind of copy generates positive response. Based on a customer’s online activity, a conclusion can be drawn on what kind of products a person is looking for, what they are buying and what form of advertising appeals to them the most.
When the data for multiple customers is put together, organizations can identify what the best method of improving customer experience is. This data aids not only marketing strategies, but also customer service approach and quality.

A third type of personalization engine that combines both these approaches can also be used by businesses. It is considered more rounded out and covers a wider range of use-cases.

Personalizing a customer’s journey – Why and How

Any business needs to know the customer, their history, their choices and preferences, their potential expenditure and continuation of relationship. Maintaining a database of basic information about customers can help businesses categorize them into target demographics and enable triggered messaging and focused advertising.
Personalization Engines enable organizations to extract and highlight important information about customer behavioral patterns. Remembering specific needs, expenditure trends and preferences of customers can be beneficial in making them feel special. Using behavioral cues, businesses can go the extra mile to present an exceptional, hitch-free journey to any customer.

Smart Marketing

Once, a customer profile is formed, the visual and textual copy as well as product visible to them can be fine-tuned by pruning out the products that are clearly unsuitable for them. The content and messaging of the product can also be angled and altered to be more relatable based on insights received from a personalization engine.
Not all products appeal to all customers. This is where traditional marketing techniques and blanket advertisements fall short. Be that as it may, the same product or service can fascinate a wide range of consumers based on the messaging behind it.
Targeted marketing is meant to appeal to customers and make a product, service and organization look attractive and trustworthy. It is also more cost effective and generates organic growth.

Personalizing Communication

Apart from targeted marketing, personalization in communication also has a lasting impression on customers. When e-mails and ads use the customer’s name, and the customer has a feeling of being known to the business, a lingering sense of loyalty is bound to appear. Personalizing communication also helps build a relation between provider and consumer and often results in loyalty and customer retention.
Personalization is a tactic most companies are adopting as the ever-growing presence of social-media and technology has given rise to an expectation of flawlessness at every step. Customers now expect exceptional quality, smart advertising and customer service. These collectively form the customer experience journey and can be the deciding factor in the growth or fall of an organization.
Personalization Engines are a technological tool that help organizations automate this process and make it much easier to provide consistently good service to customers.