"But You Know Me!"
One of the most frequent complaints we hear from consumers these days about their interactions with brands is their frustration when the organization or brand they supposedly have a “relationship” with doesn’t seem to “know them.”
Over the course of the last three months, the consumer may have visited their site three times, she may have responded to their request to participate in a survey—providing valuable insight on her behavior with that brand—and she may have bought two different things online. And yet, the brand “doesn’t even seem to recognize me!”
It is becoming increasingly clear that consumers now expect the data they provide to brands to be used by the organization to make the individual consumer’s experience easier/better/faster. It is no longer acceptable for the brand to collect data merely for the ease, benefit, or use of the organization itself.
As a result, brands and organizations today must take seriously the consumer’s perception that they have provided valuable “currency” in the form of information to the brand—and they expect something in return; the least of which is recognition! We’re talking some basic level of knowledge and understanding of them as an individual, based on data they have provided.
While this expectation of customer experience has been the standard for the Amazons of the world, your consumer (be you large or small) is now expecting that, if you collect data from or about them—any form of data—that you use it to learn their behavior and offer an experience or journey that is customized to them based on the information they have provided.
Today, at the very least, they expect you to digitally recognize them each time they engage and at each new touchpoint; whether they return to your site for the third time or walk into your store. For good or for bad, the onus is now squarely on companies to invest the information currency these customers have provided to benefit the customer.
What most organizations have begun doing, or are thinking about doing, is just the first step in the process: mapping their actual customer journey. While this is a critical first step—understanding how the consumer is directing themselves through your organization’s digital and real world experience—it is, in fact just the first step. What is now required is using that critical information to proactively PLAN how you as an organization can both a) meet the “relationship” needs of your customer, and b) manage that relationship proactively in a way that benefits you both.