By now, we all know how important it is to have a unified, holistic view of our customers. Whether you work with consumers or other businesses, the idea of collecting customer information in one place to provide personalized customer experiences is at the core of most marketers' customer engagement strategies.
A recent study from Econsultancy and IBM reported that 81 percent of marketers believed their organization had "a view of individuals and segments across interactions and channels." However, the customers disagree.
While most brands think that they know and understand their customers, only 37 percent of consumers believe that their favorite retailers actually understand them. Consumers choose to return to these retailers, constantly providing them with valuable data including things like purchase history, communication preferences, and online shopping habits, but they still feel like retailers don't understand who they are or what they need.
This disconnect between the understanding marketers have of their consumers and what the consumers actually want shows the urgent need for marketers to take action on the information they collect. But what does this disconnect mean? Do marketers truly not understand their customers? Or do consumers overestimate what retailers are capable of? Perhaps it's both.
Using preference management, which is the active management, maintenance, and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, retailers can address this issue at both ends.
On one hand, using preference management to collect consumer preferences can help marketers and the brands they represent create the more personalized buyer experience that their customers want. Giving consumers control over the conversation will also help marketers reassure their customers that their favorite brand is committed to gaining a better idea of what their customers want and need.
On the other end of the spectrum, preference management, when used correctly, can help retailers subtly show their customers a better idea of what level of consumer understanding they should realistically expect brands to have. One way they can do this is by letting their customers know during the collection process how they will use the gathered information.
So, how well do you really know your customers? Leverage the data your loyal customers are already giving you to create the personal experience they want and they’ll keep coming back for more.
Labels: communication preferences, consumer preferences, consumers, customer engagement strategies, customers, marketers, personalized customer experiences, preference management, retail, retailers