Our cover story this month investigates how Fleur Twohig, Executive Vice President, leading Personalisation & Experimentation across Consumer Data & Engagement Platforms, and her team are executing Wells Fargo’s strategy to promote personalised customer engagement across all consumer banking channels

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This month’s cover story follows Wells Fargo’s journey to deliver personalised customer engagement across all its consumer banking channels.

Welcome to the latest issue of Interface magazine!

Partnerships of all kinds are a key ingredient for organisations intent on achieving their goals… Whether that’s with customers, internal stakeholders or strategic allies across a crowded marketplace, Interface explores the route to success these relationships can help navigate.

Read the latest issue here!

Wells Fargo: customer-centric banking

Fleur Twohig, Wells Fargo

Our cover story this month investigates the strategy behind Wells Fargo’s ongoing drive to promote personalised customer engagement across all consumer banking channels.

Fleur Twohig, Executive Vice President, leading Personalisation & Experimentation across the bank’s Consumer Data & Engagement Platforms, explains her commitment to creating a holistic approach to engaging customers in personalised one-to-one conversations that support them on their financial journeys.

“We need to be there for everyone across the spectrum – for both the good and the challenging times. Reaching that goal is a key opportunity for Wells Fargo and I have the pleasure of partnering with our cross-functional teams to help determine the strategic path forward…”

IBM: consolidating growth to drive value

We hear from Kate Woolley, General Manager of IBM Ecosystem, who reveals how the tech leader is making it easier for partners and clients to do business with IBM and succeed. “Honing our corporate strategy around open hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) and connecting partners to the technical training resources they need to co-create and drive more wins, we are transforming the IBM Ecosystem to be a growth engine for the company and its partners.”

Kate Woolley, IBM
Kate Woolley, IBM

America Televisión: bringing audiences together across platforms

Jose Hernandez, Chief Digital Officer at America Televisión, explains how Peru’s leading TV network is aggregating services to bring audiences together for omni-channel opportunities across its platforms. “Time is the currency with which our audiences pay us, so we need to be constantly improving our offering both through content and user experiences.”

Portland Public Schools: levelling the playing field through technology

Derrick Brown and Don Wolf, tech leaders at Portland Public Schools, talk about modernising the classroom, dismantling systemic racism and the power of teamwork.

Also in this issue, we hear from Lenovo on how high-performance computing (HPC) is driving AI research and report again from London Tech Week where an expert panel examined how tech, fuelled by data, is playing a critical role in solving some of the world’s hardest hitting issues, ranging from supply chain disruptions through to cybersecurity fears.

Enjoy the issue!

Dan Brightmore, Editor

By Craig Summers, Managing Director, Manhattan Associates Customer experience can be make or break for retailers. In fact, recent research…

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By Craig Summers, Managing Director, Manhattan Associates

Customer experience can be make or break for retailers. In fact, recent research shows that flawed customer experiences could be costing British retailers up to £102 billion in lost sales each year. This shouldn’t be news to retailers; the modern consumer demands a connected, consistent experience that is personalised to them, whether it’s online or instore. The same research found that running out of stock in-store was the biggest contributor to lost revenue, with 79 per cent of consumers saying they would not return to make a purchase if they found their desired item was out of stock. This frustration is only amplified if an out of stock product is marketed to the consumer. 

Personalisation isn’t anything new but if the basics aren’t right, retailers risk not delivering on customer experience. Many retailers still aren’t getting it right – and, explains Craig Summers, Managing Director, Manhattan Associates, inept personalisation is affecting the bottom line.

Misplaced Personalisation

The way in which retailers can engage with customers has changed radically over the past decade, from social media onwards. Add in the compelling appealing of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the promise of incredibly accurate and timely promotional offers, and personalisation has become a foundation of any retail strategy. Yet while the marketing activity is becoming ever more sophisticated, personalisation cannot be delivered by marketing alone. 

Without integrating marketing activity to the core operation, retailers risk repelling rather than engaging customers. Product offers that are out of stock in the customer’s size. Promotions not on offer at the local store. Incentives to buy an item the customer has already purchased – not a problem for a standard food or household item, incredibly annoying if it’s an expensive mountain bike or cashmere jumper. Customers are becoming increasingly familiar with ostensibly personalised offers that fail to deliver a great experience.

What is the thinking behind a promotion that cannot be purchased by the customer? Why set such high expectations when they cannot be met? Enticing a customer to click through an emailed offer may be the measure of marketing success – but when that customer is unable to make a purchase because the desired item is not available in his or her size, that is at least one lost sale and a bottom line retail failure.

Complete Experience

Are retailers listening to what their customers want from personalisation? Great personalised offers will not deliver any value if they are not linked to the rest of the business. Smart technologies, such as AI, without any doubt have a role to play in delivering personalisation – but they are not the foundation. The foundation is getting the basics right. It is ensuring that when a customer wants to buy a product – online or instore – it is available. It is about providing Store Associates with the ability to track stock anywhere in the supply chain, reserve it for a customer to try on instore or have it sent direct to their destination of choice.  It is about combining stock availability information with customer insight to make intelligent suggestions, both instore and via marketing promotions. 

Bottom line success is, essentially, about the quality of the interaction. And that means considering not just the accuracy of the promotional offer but the complete customer experience. What is achievable today? What can be done well? If a product is being promoted to an individual, is it available in the right size? Is it available locally, or only in flagship outlets? It is these disconnected experiences that are fundamentally undermining customer experience and brand value.

Conclusion

The future of customer personalisation is incredibly exciting. AI promises the ability to predict a customer’s desires before the customer. Fabulous. But only fabulous if that product is available to buy, at a time and place to suit that individual. Right now personalisation is about the retailer; it is about being clever with promotions.  It needs to be about the customer; it needs to be about delivering the quality of experience that drives sales.

Retailers need to go back to basics: use technology to recreate the ‘corner shop model’ of the past, at scale. By creating a truly immersive experience for their customers, retailers can find a way to make personalisation profitable again.