Your organization has released a new product, and the management is certain that their consumers would love the product. After all, they have invested quality time in understanding the consumers’ persona. So, the organization is all ready to showcase the product to their target consumers, the consumers begin receiving e-mails, SMS, push notification, social media updates, etc. about the product. Now, one would think that pitching the right product to the right consumer is directly proportional to successful a business plan—it turns out, consumers started blocking the brand for receiving endless updates through multiple channels that some consumers don’t even prefer.
Well, this isn’t even a surprise. In our previous blog, we spoke about how important consumer experience is for a brand and ‘consumer preference’ is a crucial part of it.
What is consumer preference management?
Today, it is no longer about “let’s send a notification about our product through an e-mail”, it is all about “does the consumer wish to receive the notification via e-mail?”. Essentially, this is what consumer preference is about.
The consumers are in control here. They decide whether they’d like to receive information, notification, or offers from the brand and if they do, through what channels? Organizations have thousands of consumers and each consumer has his/her preference of being reached out and it is imperative for a successful business, the consumer preferences are respected, managed, and met with.
In fact, according to a survey, 36% of companies that say they are not collecting preference management data, 33 percent say they do not know enough about it and 21 percent of these companies say at least half their consumer base is frustrated as a result.
So, why is consumer preference management so important? Let’s find out.
Benefits of Preference management
The benefits of efficient consumer preference management entail how important it is to provide exceptional consumer experience. Consumer preference management is advantageous to both, the consumers and the business. Here’s how-
Advantages to the consumer
- Personalized consumer service: consumers appreciate inter-personal connection with the brand. Once the business understands the preference of the consumer, they can send across offers, information, and notification with a personal message that consumer can connect to- this invariably enhances the consumer experience for sure.
- Confirmation of data security: when you obtain your consumer’s consent and assure that them you will reach out to them on their preferred channels only, consumers will confide in your brand for their data security. For instance, when your send across offers to your consumers via e-mail only, they understand that all their information is available and secure on the database for e-mails only and not anywhere else.
- Better contact rate: efficient preference management enables the brand to reach out to multiple consumers. When there is a record of preferred channels of each consumer, they will be contacted accordingly and higher the chances of getting responses.
Advantages to the business
- High ROI: the business knows exactly which consumer to reach out on what channel. Instead of making vague attempts in connecting with the consumer, the brand will capitalize on channels that consumers are present on and will actively engage with the brand frequently.
- Helps in consumer retention: when good consumer services are coupled with understanding consumer preferences and approaching them accordingly, consumers would certainly be willing to engage with the brand for longer durations. You wouldn’t want to push a consumer away by bombarding him with constant offers, promotions and notifications, rather retain them by sending messages at the time and on channels consumer prefer.
- Brand and goodwill enhancement: businesses that adopt preference management know exactly how, when and where to reach out the consumer. Eventually, the consumers will get talking about how the brand cares for the consumers’ preference and does not flood them with messages unnecessarily.
So, now that you know consumer preference management is a win-win situation for the consumer and the business, it is viable to implement consumer preference management in the best way possible. We have listed down some best practices.
Preference management 5 best practices
- Provide rational choices: of course, preference management always boils down to the consumer’s choice. However, it is always feasible to provide consumers with rational choices. For instance, if your company does not have the bandwidth to reach out to the consumers on social media channels, it is best to not give them that option at all.
- Offer an intuitive and quick process: consumers certainly appreciate organizations respecting their preferences. However, not many consumers have the time or inclination to provide explanation of their preference. Let this be an easy, quick and intuitive process.
- Be responsive to change of preference: preference management is an on-going process. Today, the consumer may opt-in for e-mail notifications and tomorrow they may request for SMS notification. Always be prepared to track and manage their change of preferences.
- Share consumer preferences org-wide: 41 percent of responding companies do not share preference data across all departments and divisions! Complying with the consumer preference should be the objective of the entire organization and the details of consumer preferences should be shared org-wide.
Organizations need to come to terms (some already have) that consumer-centricity has attained a whole new level. It is now the consumers who will decide if they need any more of the brand’s information or are interested in offers and if yes, they decide on how and when to reach out to them.
Finally, no matter how brilliant your marketing strategies are, if you pitch in your product or service (even if they are relevant and highly beneficial to the consumers) at the time and on channels NOT preferred by consumers, it will most certainly be ignored by the consumer.