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How To Build Customer Trust Through Preference Management


Building an ongoing and lasting relationship with your customer base is critical. Much of that relationship hinges on trust. The more that a customer trusts your business; the more likely they are to be repeat customers and to refer your business to others.

Building trust occurs during the course of doing business. The challenge is to keep your customer base engaged so that you can build trust into the relationship.

Certain business principles are fundamental to building trust. You must do what you say that you will do — from delivering products or services on time, to providing excellent customer service and support. You must honor the terms of your service agreements, warranties or contracts.

However, another way to build trust is by honoring your customers’ preferences through permission-based marketing.

Preferences are a key element in permission-based marketing, and from what many experts say, that’s the direction that marketing is headed.

So how do you find out your customers’ preferences?

You ask!

Of course, you need a technology solution to capture, track and maintain these preferences and to easily allow the customer to update or change their preferences. This can be done through a persistent preference center deployed everywhere you interact with your customers. These touch points can include mobile devices and social media fan pages as well as your corporate web site.

With preference management, you put the customer in control. You can allow the customer to select the desired communication channel such as phone, text message or email. You might allow them to choose the content that they wish to receive so that your messages to them are relevant. Preferences can also relate to account servicing.

By honoring your customers’ preferences, you help build trust into the relationship and in turn earn your customers’ loyalty.

How do you build trust into your customer relationships? Share your thoughts and ideas!

MyPreferences Preference Center




About the Author: 
Scott Frey is the CEO of PossibleNOW and CompliancePoint. Scott leads the strategic mission to maintain its leadership position in global direct marketing compliance by closely monitoring changes in consumer privacy legislation, industry trends, and delivering innovative products and services to meet client’s needs.
 Follow me on Twitter: @ScottFreyPN | Connect on LinkedIn: Scott Frey 

Where Do You Store Your Customers’ Preferences?

communication channel, MyPreferences, opt in, opt out, opt-in, opt-out, personalized, preferences
MyPreferences
I recently dined at one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants. The waiter greeted me by name and mentioned the daily seafood special because he knew that I was fond of sea bass. He also suggested a wine that I might enjoy based on past dining experiences. I was pleasantly surprised at how he remembered my preferences, because this level of personalization made me feel like my business was appreciated. 

So, how did this waiter remember so much about me? I honestly don’t know. Maybe he just has an amazing memory.


The rest of us need more than an incredible memory to keep up with our customers’ preferences since marketing personalization is an important aspect of building customer loyalty. You’ve probably experienced this if you have ever shopped with online retailers such as Amazon. Their web site displays other items that might be of interest based on your previous purchases.

By honoring consumer marketing preferences, you enable the consumer to define the vendor/customer relationship. This type of preference management can include the desired communication channel such as phone, email or text message, and even the frequency of the messages. You may even define preferences by product offering.

For instance, a sporting goods retailer could let customers choose the product areas of interest by sport such as golf, tennis, soccer, or softball, the desired communication channel, and the frequency. As an avid golfer, I’d prefer to receive text messages on golf items on a frequent basis. However, my interest in tennis is more limited, so a once a month email would suffice.

Of course, to do this level of preference management well requires a technology solution with a persistent preference center. That would enable customers to change or update preferences based on interest, communication channel or frequency.

I’d like to hear your thoughts on managing and maintaining customer preferences. Tell me what you think!

Scott Frey is the CEO of PossibleNOW and CompliancePoint. Scott leads the strategic mission to maintain its leadership position in global direct marketing compliance by closely monitoring changes in consumer privacy legislation, industry trends, and delivering innovative products and services to meet client’s needs.
 Follow me on Twitter: @ScottFreyPN | Connect on LinkedIn: Scott Frey 

How Does Personalization Differ From Preferences?


mypreferences, opt in, opt out, opt-in, opt-out, personalization, personalized, preference management
 
I once received a gift of cuff links that had my initials engraved on them. By adding my initials, it personalized the gift for me and showed that the sender took the time to make this gift uniquely mine. Of course, it helped to know that I wear cuff links!

Personalization is nothing new to marketing. You can insert someone’s name into the subject line or body of an email to personalize it. But personalization is only one part of the equation. You need to take preferences into consideration for the personalization to be effective.

Let me give you a real life example.

I often receive emails with my name in the subject line. (Nice.) But the content of the email was about a service in which I had absolutely no interest. I’m then likely to click the “delete” button because the email is no more “personalized” than a mass mailing that shows up in my home mailbox addressed to “Occupant.” What’s worse is that I become skeptical about any future emails from that sender.

The difference between personalization and preferences is choice.

Preference management can make a difference in marketing and boost the effectiveness of personalization because it offers choice. And, it puts the consumer in control.

For instance, a persistent preference center can allow prospects and customers to opt-in to their desired communication channel such as email, text message or direct mail or even the desired frequency of communication. You could use a Preference Center to provide options for content such as by product line or service or by sales and promotional offers.

By allowing the customer to choose what they want to receive, how they want to receive the information, and how often they wish to hear from your brand, you honor their preferences. They are much more likely to be receptive to your messages when they have a choice!

So how do you handle personalization and preferences in your marketing efforts? Let’s hear your comments!


MyPreferences Preference Center
 



About the Author: 
Scott Frey is the CEO of PossibleNOW and CompliancePoint. Scott leads the strategic mission to maintain its leadership position in global direct marketing compliance by closely monitoring changes in consumer privacy legislation, industry trends, and delivering innovative products and services to meet client’s needs.
 Follow me on Twitter: @ScottFreyPN | Connect on LinkedIn: Scott Frey 

Why Marketing Boils Down To Preferences


Remember the scene in the movie, Forrest Gump, where the character, Bubba, rattles off all the different ways to prepare shrimp? The list went on forever!

The same can be true for marketing. There’s direct mail marketing, email marketing, B2B marketing, B2C marketing, interactive marketing, multi-channel marketing, mobile marketing — and the list goes on and on.

Each of these types of marketing has best practices guidelines to help you meet your goals and objectives. Yet, marketing success often boils down to preference management. The best-crafted email or direct mail pieces are worthless if the content is not relevant to the recipient or is not delivered by the preferred communication method.

Many marketers may simply be confused about the concept of preference management and how it can work for them. The task of collecting and organizing consumer preferences may seem daunting. On top of all this is the need to honor compliance legislation requirements such as CAN-SPAM, Do Not Call, wireless consent rules, and text messaging rules.

The use of technology and marketing solutions such as marketing automation, web analytics, social media tools, and customer relationship management have been around for some time. Unfortunately, marketing data can end up in “data silos” all over the organization which makes it difficult to make the data actionable.

Using an enterprise preference management tool with your existing marketing applications can enable opt-ins, handle opt-outs, and ensure compliance with multiple regulations. The preference management application helps you deliver the right content to the right audience by the preferred communication channel. A good preference management solution can integrate with and leverage your existing technology investments.

What do you think? Let’s hear your comments!
Scott Frey is the CEO of PossibleNOW and CompliancePoint. Scott leads the strategic mission to maintain its leadership position in global direct marketing compliance by closely monitoring changes in consumer privacy legislation, industry trends, and delivering innovative products and services to meet client’s needs.
 Follow me on Twitter: @ScottFreyPN | Connect on LinkedIn: Scott Frey 

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