How Hyper-Personalization Meets Customer Experience by Sergio Frias

It is easy to visualize the differences between the older consumers (small online footprint) and the younger consumers (much larger online footprint). The older consumers tend to be more focused on the details, prefer to solve an issue talking to a person, prefer the ownership of assets, devices or even software. While the younger ones don’t care too much about the details, prefer to avoid discussing an issue with a person and love XaaS, in other words, they prefer to not own anything, but to hire, rent, subscribe to stuff when they need, like cars (Uber, bikes), houses (Airbnb), etc. All those aspects are part of a research done by Publicis Media for Oracle. The research shows the more common-sense differences are real, however there are similarities on the behavior of both types of consumers. The main aspect is that, more and more, the consumers in general are buying Experiences, either via Products or XaaS, but they all want the Experience that comes with it.

The research also shows that the top 4 characteristics of the Experiences that all consumers like are: 1) Fast – consumers want speedy solutions. They don’t want to wait for anything. Their patience is running thinner every day, and their span of attention goes with it. 2) Smooth – consumers don’t want the hassle to get anything done. They value the solutions that bring the least effort and are simpler. 3) End-to-End – consumers don’t want to go to many different places, or talk to many different people to solve an issue. They want a one-stop-shop that will solve the problem at once, not handing them over to someone else, that will break the continuity of the service. However, the first 3 above can be summarized as Convenience, while the number 4 goes beyond convenience and is one of the most important conclusions of the research, which is that consumers want Customized Solutions. They want something that was made specifically for them. Something they can relate to, that is not generic, or a one-size-fits-all solution, that may not be a perfect fit for them. The matter is not exclusivity, but full adequacy of the solution to their specific profile, needs and wants.

Important to call the attention to the fact that the research also explains that although both older and younger consumers want Customized Solutions, the translation of this need to each one of them is different. The older consumers understand customization as a personal delivery, ie, delivered by a person, while customization to a younger consumer means personalized, not necessarily delivered by a person (actually not involving a person would be even better). In both cases though, the more you know about your Customers habits, preferences and behaviors, the higher the chance of being able to deliver something they truly like. Customization only makes sense if directly connected to the Customer perception of value, ie, what they truly like.

Technology is a great enabler of Customization, not only due to the fact that you can collect and make sense of piles of data about your Customers habits, preferences and behaviors, but also because it can allow the production batches, as small as necessary, for the mass customization. With the ever growing number of Customer profiles and variables to be considered on the process of personalization of solutions, regular humans would never be able to cope with the speed, smoothness and end-to-end solutions required in the attempt to deliver a personalized Experience to each and every Customer. The technologies that can collect needs and wants of the Customers, coupled with Artificial Intelligence to sort and make sense of the data transforming those into insights, coupled with the Industry 4.0 technologies, that drive the production of the specific demands from Customers, are revolutionizing the marketplace. As an example, in the past, Customers that did not like yellow M&Ms had to buy them mixed with other colors within the package and had to separate them, one by one, by hand, if they didn’t want to deal with them. Today, you can go to the M&M website and fully customize your bag of M&Ms. You can choose the colors you want, as well as being able to customize them with your name or your company’s logo printed on all the M&Ms in the bag. M&Ms produced per your spec, delivered at your door. Another example is the website of the Brazilian Havaianas flip-flops or sandals. In the past you had to go to the store and purchase one of the pairs already spec’d for you, based on market research of the best-selling combinations of colors, shapes and accessories. Now, you can design your own pair, with the colors you like best, with the accessories or features you like the most. This batch of 1 single pair will be manufactured for you and delivered at your door steps as well.

These are great examples of Hyper-Personalization, that directly addresses the Customer’s needs and wants. There are other interesting examples that are only possible due to technology, like the retail subscriptions for clothing, makeup, food and many others, that study your preferences and deliver packages fully aligned with your particular taste. You can receive highly customized outfit every week, eat only the food you love and experience the things you value the most, indulging yourself with amazing Experiences, simply by accepting new business models and technologies into your life. You can be provided with hyper-personalized solutions with very low effort that can make your day-to-day life a continuous Memorable Experience.

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