Why is hyper-personalisation important?

By Bhavesh Vaghela, Senior Product Owner at Callsign

“Trust will lead to data, data will lead to knowledge, knowledge will lead to wisdom, wisdom will lead to hyper-personalised experiences, hyper-personalised experiences will lead to loyalty, and loyalty equates to survival.” These would be the words of Yoda if he were to consider hyper-personalisation in 2020.

While businesses understand that hyper-personalisation is an important way to stay competitive, there’s still an ongoing struggle when it comes to collecting customer data without being too invasive and downright creepy. This is reflected by the numbers, with only 36% of UK customers having greater trust in companies after GDPR, according to a survey from TrustArc. A small mistake in personalisation can have a massive impact. When customers lack trust in organisations, that leads to less data collected, which ultimately results in non-specific customer experiences and a commoditised service. That means companies can only challenge their competitors on the basis of price, leaving them in a precarious position.

This is where digital identity and authentication come into play. If a company wants to provide exceptional customer service, it’s imperative that they use both. While part of personalisation is about being digital, it’s also concerned with offering a journey to users that align with their desires, means and capabilities. If an organisation possesses the ability to offer customers an individual journey that relies on transaction type, access and ability, then they should see much success. By incorporating active and passive authentication into customer journeys whilst learning from feedback, then organisations can gain loyalty and trust with their customers.

Airports are an environment where digital identity and authentication can be observed, especially when it comes to travellers going through a mixture of both passive and active identity checks. As travellers go through the airport, they are required to undergo a number of checkpoints to prove their identity, while their identity is passively checked throughout the process. This customer journey has to be built and implemented with great care as there is a lot of potential friction that could disrupt their experience. Too many active identity checks could annoy travellers as they have to constantly present their ID. On the other hand, if there aren’t enough checks carried out it could concern travellers with the idea that the airline or airport is not following strict security protocols.

As customer habits evolve throughout this year, digital-driven banks and Fintechs will thrive in this environment, as lack of loyalty to a single provider will result in customers switching from one provider to another, looking for services best tailored to their needs. This will leave legacy banks in a difficult situation, as they still cannot provide tailored and personalised experiences to those customers who don’t have any access to personalised mobile experiences. This results in sections of the population being isolated from the advances in banking technology, such as enhanced biometric authentication. In order to solve this issue, a large bank will have to rethink how they represent data in their apps, in the same way a Fintech would, for them to serve as many sections of the population as possible.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways that organisations can provide an incredible service to customers and keep them informed in the meantime:

  • Approach with caution: Even if an organisation has the data to customise a journey, they should be extra careful to not over-personalise immediately, so not to scare off the customer. The personalisation could be toned down to be in line with customers who share a comparable profile who have also investigated the organisation’s services. From this, businesses will alongside customers and build up preferences over a longer period of time.
  • Providing the choice: Companies should give customers the option of whether or not they would like to receive such personalisation, allowing them to have a say in what information they would be interested in receiving.
  • Design with precision: Identity and authentication should be a key consideration when considering any hyper-personalised experience. For example, a frictionless experience with nominal authentication can be an issue since the customer’s opinion of security lends itself to the overall experience. Furthermore, security needs evolve over time. By combining passive and active identity with authentication, companies can be sure they are able to adapt to these changes.
  • Show transparency: Organisations need to exhibit transparency when it comes to what they intend to do with customer data, as well as communicate what the benefits are to customers.

In terms of personalisation, the customer experience is extremely dependent on digital identity and authentication. A user who has to jump through numerous hoops to check their account balance will ultimately grow to resent the process and even the company itself. However, authentication for transferring money may have to be more than just a simple SMS verification should the need for tighter security arise. Therefore, an organisation must possess the ability to provide personalised journeys based on ability, access, and transaction type. To refine user journeys on such requirements will be central in maintaining security whilst delivering personalised experiences.