In a recent blog post, I described how Amazon uses “Transparency” to their advantage, in building customer loyalty. There’s something else they do well, that makes me and millions of others more loyal customers: They’re really good at capturing data about the things that I like, and using that data to engage with me in ways that I consider relevant.
Now, I’m not talking about my purchase history, or the static information in my customer profile. Sure, like most companies, Amazon uses my purchase history to know what kinds of books I've bought in the past, and suggests similar books for me to purchase in the future. This is a practice that nearly all businesses are familiar with, many put to use, and some actually do well.
But purchase history is only the tip of customer preferences. There's a far greater depth of customer preference data that exists beneath the surface of the purchase.
I’m talking about the “Wish List.”
Amazon gives me an easy and convenient way to keep track of books that interest me, but that I don’t necessarily purchase.
This Wish List data is like customer profiling gold to a company.
Wish Lists capture customer desires and preferences, and can be used to more precisely segment customers. And more precise segmentation enables more relevant communication with customers. And more relevant communication means more engagement. And more engagement leads to greater loyalty, and greater value for both customer and seller alike.
So, if you’re a data-driven marketing organization (you are, aren’t you?!), you’re utilizing customer data in smart ways to engage with your customers. And you’re always looking for ways to acquire better customer data. The “Wish List” method is a great way to capture data for two big reasons:
It provides value to the customer.
Think of how companies typically acquire segmentation data beyond what’s captured through the purchase history. They augment their internal customer data with data gleaned from external sources. They conduct customer surveys, or solicit information from the customer, in ways that don’t directly benefit the customer. But a Wish List is different – customers perceive the wish list to be entirely about them, and therefore perceive great value.
Wish-list data goes deeper.
A wish-list is a door to the inner mind of the customer. The typical customer only buys a small percentage of the things that they would like to buy. Think of a customer’s purchase history as the tip of the customer-preference iceberg. In contrast, the wish list is the entire ice berg, and can give you a lot more valuable information to more successfully navigate the customer relationship.
What “Wish List” opportunities exist in your business?
How and where can you capture deeper data about your customers’ needs, desires and preferences?
And how can you use that data, to build a better customer relationship?