In the travel industry they discuss how to best personalize the offerings of tour operators. I am not convinced that focusing on this particular area is the right thing to do.

Some time ago I had dealings with the marketing head of a cable provider and was very curious to know about how personalization works in his company: ‘You’ve been offering personalized services for years in your company. Does that not complicate your end requirements?’

‘As a rule, no,’ was his reply. ‘Personalization is important at the moment when you are offering something because the customer is encouraged to decide on the spot. But when you then offer a parallel six packages, 95% take only one of the packages.’

Exactly how important is personalization? Is it a phantom or a real requirement? Isn’t herd instinct, perhaps, more important for a buying decision? Should you personalize as always? Or, should you streamline the processes instead?

The answer probably lies somewhere in the middle, and is probably not even nailed down as yet. In recent years we have seen many shifts in customer behavior. The sense of freedom grows with use.

From the perspective of customer experience, this aspect of customer relationship is an interesting playground with plenty of room for creativity.