Topic: Customer Experience
“Enterprise preference management builds trust by providing customers with meaningful marketing choices and some control over how a brand communicates with them.” – Forrester Research
In their 2016 US Consumer privacy research, TRUSTe/NCSA found that 92 percent US Internet users worry about their privacy online, 44 percent have withheld personal information for fear of inappropriate use, and 89 percent avoid doing business with companies that do not take steps to protect their privacy. Even the most tech-savvy customers are skeptical.
Simultaneously, consumers are rewarding companies that engage them responsibly and deliver personalized experiences. According to a global survey from Microsoft, more than 80 percent of consumers expect brands and advertisers to ask for their permission before they use their digital information. Moreover, 54 percent of global consumers expect brands to really know and understand them as people, and for communications to be tailored to their values and preferences.
Ignoring the self-reported preferences of prospects and customers leads to enormous missed opportunity costs, while misusing or abusing that information is even worse. In order to remain competitive, marketers must implement smart processes for the collection, maintenance and distribution of consumer information. Enter “preference management,” a relatively recent addition to the marketing lexicon and the logical extension of Voice of the Customer methodology and permission marketing insights.
Companies must be able to listen to consumers, remember their likes and dislikes and respond in ways that are timely, useful and fun. The key to that process is preference management – the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication. These preferences are not derived by profile data, purchase history or where they are on a website; rather, they are expressly stated by the consumer themselves. In other words, preference management means giving customers and prospects the ability to conveniently communicate with a company, who is able to record the information in a central location and interact with those customers according to what they say.
How are you collecting the preferences of your customers? Are you collecting them at all?