Tim Walters of Forrester had an interesting post this week – Is Web Personalization Now A Matter Of “Thurvival”? in which he emphasized that, even in a downturn, getting better at web personalization has a payoff. Now I think personalization is a good thing and the evidence that it results in more engagement, better results and increased loyalty is pretty widespread. I don’t think the question should be about web personalization though. Why should the experience I have on the web be personalized but not the one at the call center or by email or at the ATM?
Consumers react to your decisions as though they are personal and deliberate regardless of channel. The negative impact of generic and accidental decisions in terms of customer annoyance, disenfranchisement and lost loyalty is real. Only a focus on your customer-facing decisions and a plan to make these personal and deliberate will correct this. I call this extreme personalization. After all, if you are not personalizing the live agent channel then your live agents could be hurting, not helping and your ATMs will annoy not sell.