To remain competitive in crowded markets, we must create the best possible customer experience. Doing so requires active personalization and creating relevancy through data and context.

Personalization and Context

You create relevant customer experience by doing two things: 1) active personalization and 2) relevance. Personalization is not just addressing someone by their first name. We’re not in Kansas anymore, right? It is based on context and not just some demographics.

This is really looking at all the stuff that the customer thinks about when he or she is doing a particular task or going to a website: walk into the branch, talk to a call center agent. Context is what happens right now during that interaction. It’s like "What does she click? "What does she select?" Is there a location change, maybe some external factors as well? There’s a whole context, and not just in that touch point. There’s a whole wake in that context. It’s what has just happened in a different channel: "Did I struggle with something trying to fill out a web form?" That’s part of the context.

We’re trying to figure out as much as we can [about] intent and that’s how we actively personalize every single interaction.

And the other thing is relevance: is this really specific? And relevance is typically where predictive analytics enters the picture, right. You need predictions to be proactive, to anticipate customer behavior. And so this is probably what this customer would really like to talk about or what to solve his or her problem in the best way.

We’re not guessing. We’re not trying to figure that out ahead of time and then just showing up when we thought about yesterday or the week before. We’re figuring that out in the context, so it’s very real-time. There’s a lot of analytics involved to talk about what’s the best placement, what’s the best message, what’s the best discount, what’s the right priority. All of these things we need to figure out and that makes it relevant.

So it’s a combination of active personalization, using contextual information and not scripting everything out. And secondly, it’s about being proactive, anticipating customer behavior using predictive analytics. That’s how you create relevant customer experiences.