Personalising for a Better Member Experience

05 February 2015 by Ahmed Eltohamy

I recently did a joint presentation at the Memberwise ‘Harnessing the Web’ Conference with web agency Pixl8 Interactive. Our focus was how to provide members and/or customers with a personalised web service that goes beyond simple self-service.

 

I recently did a joint presentation at the Memberwise ‘Harnessing the Web’ Conference with web agency Pixl8 Interactive. Our focus was how to provide members and/or customers with a personalised web service that goes beyond simple self-service. I thought I’d share some ‘knowledge nuggets’ from the session with you. By the way, the terms ‘members’ and ‘customers’ are interchangeable in this article – all points made are applicable to both.

What is personalisation?

It is treating each member or group of members differently, by providing a personalised customer experience based on insights gained by data collected, whatever the communication medium – so it works on the web, on the phone, and also through email shots and social media

Why personalise?

  • It makes your customers feel that you are communicating with them, not talking at them
  • It improves customer loyalty and retention by giving them only relevant information, showing a proactive understanding of their needs
  • It increases revenue opportunities through producing up-sell and cross-sell opportunities

Where can personalisation be used?

You can personalise any form of communication – emails, phones, direct mail, website etc.

So how does technology aid personalisation?

  • A good CRM system not only stores your data in one place, it allows you to easily analyse it and gain insights from it, allowing you to develop a complete view of your customer
  • You can use this insight to learn what each member or group of members likes, is interested in, and just as importantly, is not interested in. This should drive what information you make available to them.
  • You can connect this CRM insight to systems such as your website and email marketing platform, auto-selecting the various processes and communications used with your customers
  • The data from your CRM system can be used to provide a personalised website when a customer returns – they see only what appeals to their interests and preference

What types of data do I need to personalise?

Thinking about member-specific organisations you can personalise very well if you collect the following:

  • Member type and length of membership
  • Product areas of interest, and use these to work out what other areas they may be interested in
  • Groups the member is associated with
  • Geographical region
  • How they like to communicate with you, for instance some people much prefer web to email or phone

But you can also personalise based on their behaviours – they do something, they don’t do something etc. So track how often they interact and whether this is trending up or down, when they last interacted with you, and how much value they bring you vs how much you predict they possible could bring you.

What can I expect to get out of personalising?

  • More effective and targeted digital communications
  • More automated communication – saving you time (but it MUST be relevant)

Dos and Don’ts

  • Tell your customers what you intend to do with the data at the point of collecting it (and don’t use it for other things without their consent)
  • Track customer journeys and interactions so you can learn from them
  • Personalise non-logged-in web experiences as well as logged-in – it might be a potential member. There are plenty of tools and services that can do this for you
  • Research your technology options and go for the best that suits your needs
  • Be aware of the Data Protection Act
  • Don’t settle for a bad looking user interface – it’s the 21st Century!
  • Don’t over personalise – you’ll scare your members