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5 Distinct Reasons to Collect Customer Preferences – Part 4

Type: Blog
Topic: Voice of Customer CX

5 Distinct Reasons to Collect Customer Preferences – Part 4Have you ever wondered why people adopt preference management? Who first had the idea that the customer might have good feedback? What made this trend of listening to customers grow to where it is today?

There are five distinct reasons that companies adopt preference management. These specific Key Performance Indicators are the ultimate driver for implementation, yes. But they also help justify continuing the system once you start. Most people agree that all five of these KPIs are important. Even so, one in particular is usually the deciding factor to start collecting customer preferences. That “most important” factor may change for each company. But since we consider them all to be important, we’ll discuss them in this five-part series.

These KPIs fall into one of five categories – this series of blogs will discuss them in more depth.

KPI #4 – Centralize preference collection and availability

Centralizing your preference collection has great potential to drastically reduce your IT complexity. Most companies have a wide variety of marketing technology. And most CRMs, ESPs and marketing automation platforms only collect preferences for a single channel. Sometimes a platform is only used by one department in a company. It’s collecting customer information, but it’s not sharing it across the enterprise. In fact, these systems are not usually equipped to share information with other systems. This creates a very complex and expensive MarTech stack.

A big MarTech environment is not just complicated and expensive. It’s also risky, because do-not-contact and privacy regulations are getting stronger. You want to protect your organization from potential litigation and expensive settlements. To do that, you must centralize your customer information. Also centralizing preference collection and management results in greater control and cross-organization visibility. If a customer opts out of mobile text alerts, every department should know that. If that information isn’t shared with other departments, the company could face fines if they keep sending texts. Multiply that by thousands of customers receiving mobile alerts who have opted out. You can imagine how large those fines can get!

But how can you figure out exactly what you need to centralize? Companies must create a baseline understanding of current customer touch-points. Include every group that’s managing customer communications across brands and business units. This could include marketing, support, sales, legal, or others. Companies also have to remember any external vendors that are acting on behalf of the company. This could be call centers, mobile service providers, email service providers or more. Understanding these processes can help identify gaps in the process. Only then can you take actionable steps to correct them.

Often companies identify issues in the frequency of communications. Let’s say your company’s departments have different systems to communicate with customers. If those systems don’t communicate, customers could be getting way more emails than they want or need. Or they could be getting 6 emails from your company on Monday morning and they feel overwhelmed. There’s a need to create a consolidated content calendar across the organization. Different departments and systems need to know a schedule for communications. Centralize even a few business units or marketing groups that share customer lists and communications to start. You’ll likely see a reduction in customer opt-outs.

Centralizing your preference management and customer communications is a huge motivator. Your customers will be happier with better content that is better timed. Your company will be less at risk for running afoul of compliance regulations. It’s a win-win!

We know your company probably has several reasons for wanting a preference management process. No matter what your primary reason is, we know that sometimes different business units within a company consider a different reason to be the main reason. Not everyone agrees on one specific KPI as being the most important. In this blog series, we’ll continue discussing the other KPIs as important factors in the decision to install a preference management tool.

Don’t miss the previous parts of this series:

KPI #1 – Preventing loss of customers
KPI #2 – Reducing costs
KPI #3 – Boosting revenues



Eric V. Holtzclaw

About the Author: 

Eric V. Holtzclaw is  Chief Strategist  of PossibleNOW. He’s a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. Check out his book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior – Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior. Eric helps strategically guide companies with the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.

Follow me on Twitter: @eholtzclaw | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Holtzclaw


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