We can all agree that a great digital customer experience is now more important than ever. It's about relevant, real-time, and personalized content. At the same time, it can be hugely challenging to deliver such personalized experiences and interactions to customers and prospects.

This becomes even more difficult with changing consumer behavior and increasing expectations, accelerated by COVID-19. Personalization is therefore high on the corporate agenda. Accenture Interactive and Adobe help organizations out with a recurring knowledge program around digital customer engagement. This year's topic: real-time personalization.

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Keynote: Van Belleghem on personalization

“Do you first create a vision for your company when it comes to personalization? Or do you look at the interactions you already have with your consumer and try to improve them?” These are some of the most common questions businesses grapple with when it comes to personalized customer experiences. This was also one of the questions asked during the first session of the exclusive community initiated by Accenture Interactive and Adobe—to shed new light on a better digital customer experience. None other than Steven van Belleghem kicked off the first virtual meeting.

Using inspiring speakers, best practices, and break-out sessions to exchange ideas, the community insiders get–and share–the knowledge they need to make a difference in their own customer experience. How exactly do you keep your customers digitally engaged? Especially now that the need for online visibility is gaining momentum due to the pandemic.

Jan-Pieter van Hemert, Head of Digital Marketing & Digital Development at Pon Automotive, can confirm this: “The most important reason for me to participate in this community, is the fact that there are great opportunities in the increasingly digital omnichannel world. Collecting insights, applying personalization and digital customer intimacy are examples of this. Given the company, and the themes that are discussed, this can become a very fun and interesting community.”

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Using inspiring speakers, best practices, and break-out sessions to exchange ideas, the community insiders get–and share–the knowledge they need to make a difference in their own customer experience.

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Lead by example

To explain the power of personalization, Van Belleghem shared a number of unique examples of other countries.

In the Benelux, we often have to take many steps to plan and go to a doctor's appointment. In China, however, they do it rigorously differently. With the Ping An app, users can immediately speak to a specialist after submitting a number of complaints based on the symptoms. If there is actually something wrong, they will be immediately referred to the nearest location. When medication is needed, the app ensures that it is delivered to the user within one hour. It’s a completely different model in which personalized care, and thus the customer, is central.

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Countless examples in the fields of e-commerce and food ordering have personalization as the starting point.

Digital signage makes it possible for drive-thrus to display a different interface per visitor. This can be based on current weather conditions and the availability of ingredients; it can equally well be based on customer data. When you link this to an existing customer profile, placing an order becomes easier every time. A specific customer’s favorite options are displayed immediately. This saves a lot of time because they no longer have to search for something that has been ordered many times before.

By personalizing an interface, customers experience more convenience and may come back more often.

Empathy as a driving motivation

What is the best starting point for personalization: starting with a vision or starting with the customer's experiences? Steven van Belleghem delved deeper into the theme and gave an important insight.

“A full understanding of the customers wants and needs, from every layer within the organization, is essential,” he said. "What I think is necessary for this, especially when you are dealing with different (internal) stakeholders who have a voice in customer interaction, is a way to increase their empathy for the customer."

Because in the end, it's all about the customer. They are the driving forces behind an organization. Then he took it a step further: “What is the best possible customer experience for your brand? I challenge you to visualize it. Reverse engineer it. And then make sure that the ideal customer experience becomes a reality.”

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Food for thought

After the session with Van Belleghem, the participants were invited to various breakouts. These virtual spaces are ideal for discussing the details, sharing challenges, and asking questions. This gives you new insights and connections, but also provides input for the follow-up sessions.

For example, questions were asked about the best starting point: "Do smaller initiatives work?", and "How do you go from a vision of personalization to actual action?" In addition, data and compliance were mentioned, like "How do you deal with the GDPR when it comes to personalization?"

That is why the follow-up sessions with the community are aimed at realizing better digital customer experiences. Three separate and interactive workshops focus on the value proposition of real-time personalization, the role of processes, data and technology, and how you enable this within your business. In this way, the participants not only get answers to their questions; it offers them access to unique knowledge and exchange with like-minded people.

Therefore, Kuldip Singh, SVP Digital Transformation Customer Solutions at EON, positively looks back on the first session: “It was a good kick-off with an inspiring talk by Steven van Belleghem. There was room for reflection with like-minded community members in a relaxed atmosphere.”

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Have you become curious about this community around digital customer engagement? Do you have additional questions or do you want to participate in the next session on April 8, 2021? Click here to contact us!

Check here for more insights on the business of experience.

Tu Ngo

Senior Manager – Accenture Interactive, Experience Platforms, the Netherlands

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