Personalization: A key tenet of User Engagement in Social Business
Alakh Verma, Director, Platform Technology Solutions ,Oracle
In today’s constantly changing and the most competitive business environment, consumers are seeking more personalized care and services for any engagement before they enter into any transaction. It is natural that relationship begins with humble greetings and smile with natural conversation and then understanding the needs and behavior in the process.
User engagement involves a mixture of quantitative and qualitative analysis. Quantitative analysis offers useful patterns and is generally more scalable and easier to conduct. User engagement also involves contextual study and ethnography. These provide information including person, what their routines are in daily life and what their needs are for which they have visited the electronic website, physical store or workplace.
Few weeks back, I walked into Wells Fargo branch in San Jose, to carry out normal banking chores to deposit a cheque. I was overwhelmed by warm greetings by its store manager, Robert Borcherding and he offered to fill out the pay-in-slip while I was waiting in the queue for the teller. Considering it might take longer, he came in again to offer assistance to accept my cheque for the deposit by personal banker. He kept talking and displaying his humility to offer the best care he could while I stayed in the store.
Last week, when I walked in his store again for some other banking transaction, I was pleasantly surprised to receive his personal greetings by my name with smile and again offer to assist with humility. I could see his urgency to satisfy me the fullest. This time, I was in his store to meet his banking manager, Rosa S Aguirre, for refinance on a scheduled meeting. When he saw that she was still busy with some other customer, he offered to carry out all necessary photo copies of all my documents that may have been needed by her. While he was doing this act of an extended personalized service, he was winning my trust and my heart in the process. By then, Rosa was free and ready to meet with me with all ready documents for my meeting. I would categorize this act as clear display of personalization that would go long way of building trust and gaining, growing and retaining business for his store and for Wells Fargo in general. On the other hand, I receive numerous aggressive and disturbing call center calls from their competitive bank for their services and I refuse to take those calls. I am sure many of us would have faced similar episodes in our lives and we appreciate the significance of Personalization and Personalized care in business settings.
Customer Services have been widely used and misused and now businesses need to re-evaluate the paradigm shift of customers’ needs and expectations. With recent technology and tools, we can easily build and deploy virtual web store where consumers may get near real term user experience with personalization and personalized care.
Personalization implies that the changes are based on implicit data, such as items purchased or pages viewed. On an intranet or B2E Enterprise Web portals, personalization is often based on user attributes such as department, functional area, or role.
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There are three categories of personalization:
- Profile / Group based 2.Behaviour based 3.Collaboration based
Web personalization models include rules-based filtering, based on “if this, then that” rules processing, and collaborative filtering, which serves relevant material to customers by combining their own personal preferences with the preferences of like-minded others. Collaborative filtering works well for books, music, video, etc.
There are three broad methods of personalization:
- Implicit 2.Explicit 3.Hybrid
With implicit personalization the personalization is performed by the web page based on the different categories mentioned above. With explicit personalization, the web page is changed by the user using the features provided by the system (such as Oracle WebCenter Sites). Hybrid personalization combines both two approaches to leverage the best of both worlds.
Personalization is also being considered for use in less overtly commercial applications to improve the user experience online. Facebook introduced Instant Personalization recently. This new technology is different from Social Plug-ins, which many B2B and B2C sites are already using. Social plug-ins include things like Facebook live streams and “Like Buttons” and are intended to drive user engagement and make a website more ‘social’. With Instant Personalization, Facebook shares data with a handful of non-Facebook websites.
Oracle WebCenter personalizes the online buying experience with a comprehensive, highly scalable user engagement platform and applications. Built on a foundation of proven capabilities, including personalization, business user control, cross-channel support, and a flexible platform, WebCenter boosts cross-channel business growth and advanced features help customers quickly find desired products, learn about new offerings, comparison shop, register for gifts, preorder products, redeem coupons, and easily complete their purchases.