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`Have you ever walked into a bar or restaurant and immediately have the waiter know who you are and the chef knows your exact preferences when it comes to your favorite dish. This is what tasty and personalized customer experience looks like. Well, doing this on a small scale might seem easier, but imagine a doing it for few thousands or few million folks – seems daunting, isn’t it?

When you look at the current ecosystem, brands face a daunting task of catering to the masses without compromising on 1-to-1 personalized engagements. Customers are more dynamic & presented with a lot of options to choose from; yet, Brands are expected to understand each one of its customers and provide contextual & personalized engagements in real time over and over again. If there is a gap between a customer's expectation & brand's experience, the brand loses its customer.

In order to achieve meaningful & sustainable 1-to-1 personalization, a brand must incorporate FIVE vital dimensions in its CX strategy. I call it the PENTERACT of Real-Time Personalized Customer Experiences. Let us have a look at them one by one.

TRUST as the foundation

This is essentially the most important facet of CX Penteract. Seamless onboarding, secure registration & progressive profiling are one side of this facet. The other side is a comprehensive preference & consent management mechanism where a customer’s consent is recorded and seamlessly incorporated in all systems involved in orchestration. If you are able to do this, your customers will TRUST you and believe your promise.

UNIFY data from the ecosystem

A vital process in creating personalized experience is to unify customer information from a wide variety of sources into a customer 360-degree view. This involves resolving identities & enriching profiles by merging or unmerging relevant information. Unification is accelerated when incoming-outgoing integrations are simplified - with extensive out-of-the-box features and simplified methods to develop new connections when needed.

LIVING profile that is dynamic and in-the-moment

The importance of this facet is phenomenal - the unified contextual profile that is created must be dynamic and living. It needs to continuously accumnulate in-the-moment information to create the latest or recent view of a customer. In simple terms, the profile has to be living and breathing all the time for the orchestration to be relevant & provide maximum value to customers.

UNDERSTAND the customer through insights

A brand needs to understand its customers through insights, intelligent recommendations & ultimately figure out what could be the next best action to maximize value. Deriving insights and being able to strategically create & activate segments / cohorts / flows based on the insights essentially enhances a brand’s understanding of its customers.

ACTIVATE in-the-moment across systems of engagement

The rich understanding of customers’ needs to be put to use in form of activation audiences, flows & journeys. Simplified out-of-the-box integrations coupled with seamless new connector development will make things easier here. A brand should be able to seamlessly create and activate journeys, flows & audiences that help get closer to 1-to-1 personalized engagements. You also should be able to figure out which of the multi system customers journeys is / are as close to the golden path to purchase of a customer.

Now, the problem is the belief that the CX Penteract can be achieved via multiple CX systems - each system with its own version of unified customer data integrated every other system on a many to many basis. Stakeholders should realize that this setup is non-sustainable wherein it significantly increases the points of failure, load on each CX system & makes it impossible to seamlessly slot in future innovations or use cases thereby increasing overall cost of ownership with limited value.

However, the above drawbacks can be eliminated with a Customer Data Platform functioning as the central nervous system of your brand’s Customer Experience providing a single source of truth for in-the-moment customer profiles & seamlessly listening to events & orchestrating experiences across all connected systems.

SAP Customer Data Solutions encompass a Customer Data Platform that natively incorporates identity, access, consent & preference management capabilities – which essentially helps in covering the five facets of the PENTERACT of Data Driven Personalized Customer Experiences thereby achieving sustainable 1-to-1 personalization in the long run.

Checkout the latest & greatest content on SAP Customer Data Solutions at https://www.sap.com/india/products/crm/customer-data-management.html

Happy to hear your thoughts on the Penteract of Real Time Personalized Customer Experiences!

In my next post, we will look at how SAP CDP can help in your B2All engagement strategy!