Don’t treat everyone the same, treat them uniquely

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Every time a customer or potential customer interacts with your company, a decision is made. What home page is displayed? What results are returned for that search term? What offer should be made in this direct marketing campaign? What’s the next best action for this customer? Should this customer’s request be approved? What’s the best way to handle this problem? How do I retain this customer? Should I retain this customer? All of these decisions add up to the customer experience, and to customer profitability. But how are these decisions made in your company?

Let’s take the example of the direct marketing campaign. How many decisions are involved in sending a letter to 10,000 customers? Just a few design decisions, or 10,000 decisions – one per customer? When I receive an expensive clothes catalogue in the mail with little or nothing relevant in it to me, the clothing company just made a few design decisions then sent the same expensive catalogue to everyone, disappointing many. But companies have the opportunity to make each decision for each customer. Instead of treating every customer the same, they can treat each customer uniquely.

By beginning with the decision in mind, companies can streamline the application of analytics to personalize and target customer interactions that treat each customer or potential customer uniquely and consistently across channels. This is more than just scripting responses, because the best response changes in each situation for that specific customer. In one example, a leading Telco is using analytics to make an individualized decision about the plan/upgrade offer to make to each customer. In another example, a retailer is using analytics from their own cross-channel data to tailor promotions integrated with their loyalty program for consistently compelling offers across channels.

Personalized and targeted customer interactions rely on making the best decision for each customer at that time for that interaction, and learning from the outcomes of those decisions so they improve over time. By treating customers uniquely, companies are increasing loyalty and revenue and improving customer service. More importantly companies are aligning around the decisions that impact their customers. In a recent CustomerThink post, Lynn Hunsaker sums up customer-centricity as “a way of thinking and doing that puts the customer at the center of all you do; it’s the way you operate in your organization, enterprise-wide.” To put the customer at the center of all you do, know, understand and improve on all the decisions that define your customer’s experience.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Meri Gruber
Meri Gruber is the VP of Business Development at Decision Management Solutions. Decision Management Solutions provides consulting services in all aspects of Decision Management, predictive analytics and business rules. Meri blogs on the intersection of business execution and innovation at Competing on Execution.

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