Personalization has remained imperative in the digital world because each user, consumer and brand has different needs, wants and preferences. We all want a personalized experience, inherently. As the power of digital grows exponentially, there are larger obstacles with how we understand customers and ultimately, how to deliver a unique experience.
Lithium’s Chief Data Scientist @MikeW & Product Marketing Director @UlrikaH delivered a recent webcast about the increased popularity and importance of personalization. To kick things off, they mentioned the transition implicated by big data - where we now we have enough data to differentiate our customers from one another and drill deeper into their user preferences. Too many attempts of personalized experiences – even on our communities – today are still based on generalized grouping of customers, so the opportunity for true personalization is immense.
Creating a hyper-personalized experience on a large scale is not an easy feat. As a community manager, I am tasked daily with delivering a personal experience to our users to ensure they are successful with Skype. With the majority of Skype customers using apps across devices and the community encompassing discussions across the Skype experiences, we are constantly striving to guide our members to the content relevant to them. The goal being a more efficient and compelling community visit to convince members to participate and come back again.
I’m sure in your community you can find the same examples of members’ interest in topical discussions where masking out unrelated content creates a more relevant community experience.
Dr. Wu and Ulrika were able to outline the benefits of personalization to the business and the customer and how you can achieve both in tandem! What a concept…
My three takeaways from this webcast:
1. Utilize social as the best way to learn about your customers. Be aware of the cold start problem. To know your customers, you need to rely on behavioral and historical data, which you may not have or have access to. When people use recommendation systems and they don’t have enough information to run an effective search, they get poor results and thus, cannot make an effective connection with a customer. This is where the power of social comes in. It is effective for us to extract social data about a customer because it is usually relevant and accessible. It also allows us to open conversation with our customers rather than just merely digging with no interaction.
2. Personalization is mutually beneficial to both the brand and the consumer. By giving customers a personalized experience, a brand increases the likelihood of cultivating a loyal customer who will go on and share their story. The customer is able to better utilize a product or service and thus, the company will receive a high CSAT from them. Additionally, by providing a personalized experience, customers will convert quicker because they can more easily find information geared towards them.
3. A personalized experience is a rewarding experience. Gamification and extended profile have elevated the user experience on the Skype community. Integrating our Community members’ profiles with their social channels has provided invaluable insights to our customers and their data. With Gamification, we can provide recognition for areas in which the customers have expertise or interest, based on their more extensive and integrated profile. Everyone wins!
Personalization is becoming less of an option for brands, and more of a necessity. In order to better deliver a customer experience that is memorable, impressionable, and effective, one must prioritize personalization. Check out the Skype Community!
Personally :), I’m looking forward to Lithium’s next webcast Boom or Bust: 5 Social Media Trends Brands Must Invest In. Take a look at the sneak preview.
Claudius (@Claudius) is the Community Manager for the vibrant Skype consumer community and advocate for modern dialogue communities within Microsoft. Being a former community super user himself he joined Skype in 2011 to turn the old tech forum into a modern community running on Lithium. Throughout that community journey he also became an active contributor to the Lithium Community where he is pushing innovative ideas to advance the platform, thus earning him recognition as a Lithium Rockstar. Besides that, he is an open geodata enthusiast, gadget lover and game explorer.
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So the two weeks ago finally saw another installment of a European Community Manager meet-up.
With @JMcJohnston, @RobertT, @allensmith81, @AndyK, @RussF, @federicacrasa (and a few more whose Community accounts I couldn't find) this sent the hosting Microsoft offices in Edinburgh to light up as a hotspot of community expertise. We probably had the highest "Lithium stars density" outside of LiNC ;)
We almost didn't make it beyond the introductory round as sharing our background already triggered some very interesting discussions around business cases for communities, volunteer communities and proving RoI for established ones.
Scottish CM meetup hosted at the Microsoft Office Edinburgh
Next up @RobertT and myself each shared some of our most recent war stories from our communities: Approaching, planning and implementing a responsive community design including some lessons learned. For me personally that was a really rewarding experience to be able to talk through LSI data with an audience understanding what it's about (and luckily now one took pictures, even without an NDA ;) ).
Coming out of these workshop-presentations we then discussed some practical challenges:
What's the value of implementing SSO right from the community launch as opposed to start with FB / lightweight account creation?
Visual tile based representation of community content: Is it appropriate all the way down to topic and message level or does it yield more benefit for landing/front pages and categories? Also is there an age bias for a Pinterest/Instagram audience? And whether generation 60+ should be considered Instagrammers or Facebookers :P
At which step to involve volunteers / super users / community members into your org change or redesigns? How much weight to put behind their feedback to still allow innovation and prevent building an experience tailored for too small an audience that is not actually representing your community in a year.
Unfortunately at that time we had already run out of time and everyone needed a drink to soothe our vocal cords. Luckily Lithium had reserved a cool nearby with nibbles and drinks for some extended time to discuss.
All in all yet another great CM meet up event well worth freeing up some time on the calendar for. I recommend subscribing to the "Customer Meetups: Europe" area here on the Lithium Community to not miss out any similar events to grow your expertise, professional network and build your career in the community area.
Thanks again to @JMcJohnston and @allensmith81 for organizing it. Already looking forward to January 2017 :)
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