We’re seeing a welcome change in the way companies view customers today. We hear it described as customer journey, a 360-degree view, enhanced user experience or by other tactical phrases that put the customer first.
The approach works for sales and marketing teams because they are able to pinpoint their messages based on knowing their customers. And customers benefit because the information they receive is more aligned with their needs.
It all starts with a customer profile that is fleshed out by purchase patterns, page views and information the customer shares voluntarily.
Ultimately, the goal should be to have a single, global profile for each customer that is visible to all business units and brands within your company.
The singular profile serves the business and improves the customer experience. But it may come as a jolt to some customers because the global identity approach is fairly new.
Here are some best practices – I call them my RCAs – for helping customers get comfortable with a single profile:
- Reassurance: Customers with multiple profiles within a business may feel as if they are losing their other identities. Help them by providing information about the changes and why they are occurring. Announce the global profile plan with a personalized email or other communication and explain the value of having a single profile that spans business units or brands. Promote the values of single sign-on (SSO), expanded brand awareness and a consistent user experience across multiple company sites.
- Coaching: We all appreciate guidance during change, and tips about using the new global login will go a long way toward acceptance and adoption. Explain that SSO opens customers to many more sites and brands. Mention in the login prompt a few of the other brands customers can access with their single login. (The goal is to avoid having users get an error message when they try to use an old login at one of your brands.)
- Acclamation: A customer who is engaging with the company for the first time will need a deeper explanation on the landing page of how they can take full advantage of the global login. Provide examples of how they can use their profile to access other brands within the company. It’s also a great way to introduce new customers to brands they didn’t know you own.
Much about selling the change involves transparency on the part of the company.
And as we have seen, as long as users understand and are comfortable with how you are using their information, they will respond enthusiastically.
By Craig Ferrara