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Friday, October 24, 2014

Course-Correcting from Early Implementation

The conclusion of five-part series that discusses preference collection best practices

Preference collection is an evolving process and is never really considered “complete.” To use a corollary to the personalized marketing mantra, the key is to elicit the right preference, from the right customers, at the right time.

The underlying framework and functionality for collecting customers’ permissions and responding to their preferences should be relatively stable; however the content and context of preference collection mechanisms must be structured to quickly change.

Sustaining agility to meet rapidly changing business and customer needs requires that solutions be constructed with “dynamic content” and the content owners (typically the business) in mind. When the content (in this case customers’ permissions and/or preferences) is in turn used to drive changes to other processes, the challenge of keeping both systems and processes in sync is compounded.

Critical junctures following preference management implementation include:

Analysis and reporting: With a useful data set in hand, companies can review customer behavior and responses and measure them against pre-determined goals. Are opt-outs being converted to targeted opt-ins? Is the business unit in question experiencing a reduction in prospect churn? Are customers selecting paperless communication in meaningful numbers?

Creative review: Based on the findings described above, it may be advisable to review screen and interaction layouts to improve customer comprehension and speed the conversion process. An example of this would be persistent bounces (site departures) from a given screen – a classic symptom of unmet expectations. Review the screen to ensure that fields and interaction points are clear and unmistakable.

Content review: Much like the design review, the preference management content must also be assessed in light of early data. The relative length and complexity of information a company solicits from a customer at a given interaction point is a typical target for adjustment. If the preference management ask is too short, a valuable opportunity is missed and favorable results are slowed. If the ask is too complicated or too long, customers will exit the interaction altogether.

About the Author: 
Robert Galop is the Senior Director of Product Architecture for PossibleNOW.

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