Personalization is everywhere – or is it?
Here at Coveo, we’re constantly thinking about personalization. When you spend every day asking, “How can we make this more relevant and personalized?” personalization starts to become an obsession. Ushering companies into the “personalized future” just isn’t something you half-heartedly approach.
When you’re thinking about the impact of personalization all day, it starts to shape how you view your other experiences, constantly spotting the ones where personalization could really make a difference to save time, money and frustration. So, we asked a few of our employees: where would personalization have an impact for your life? Check out their answers below – and then tweet us (@Coveo) how you would answer!
I own and play a lot of video games, of many different styles and consoles. My tastes often come and go. For a few weeks I’ll want to play retro games mostly, and then switch to simulations or shooters on a whim. Having machine learning personalize and recommend games for me based on my current tastes would save me the hassle of having to browse through every game in my collection to find the one I would like to play.
I have been doing a lot of shopping for baby clothes these days because, well I had a baby and I don’t want to spend a lot of money on clothes that are going to be spit up on, puked on and blow out on. I joined a retail store’s member club shortly after having a baby. Every time you buy something, in store or online, you give them your information to get points. When you log in online, they even have a personalized shop where it shows you what you may like based off of what you previously bought… but it never shows me anything that I actually want. One time, it offered me boys’ clothes. I’ve never purchased boy’s clothes, where did that come from?!?! It would be nice for them to know the age of my daughter since her birthday is in my profile, provide a better history of what I already bought either in store or online and offer me clothes based on what works for a, new eater, a new crawler or a new walker.
Cable companies are doing a (relatively) good job at recommending pay-per-view items. Even though, why did they think someone watching Game of Thrones and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood would enjoy a showing of Mayweather vs. McGregor fight? But I digress.
What I can’t understand is why they aren’t doing a better job at not only recommending shows already included in my subscription but also, systematically, recording them. It is frustrating to learn about a new show after the season already started, or have to remember when getting home to record that specific program you saw an ad for while at work (don’t get me started on the quality of the mobile apps that are supposed to enable me). Or why browsing through hundreds of channels while it is likely only a handful will be featuring content I would enjoy (at a specific time of the day). Provided my watching habits, my renting habits, and even maybe my Netflix and HBOGo profiles (yes, I would be ready to share that bit of privacy with my evil cable company); why can’t they truly create a personalized TV experience worth the high monthly fees they are asking for?
Things surrounding us are labeled as “smart,” but are they? Can my Roomba know that I have a guest coming and need some extra vacuum before 6 p.m.? What about all the random things at home that our kid keeps moving and we have to continuously put back? Most of these “smart” products require human interaction and often reset when they lose power. They don’t learn or evolve with us. Objects in my household should be able to go back to their original location, move and adapt based on my needs. And can someone just make my washer/dryer smart finally? I don’t care about the notifications it sends me regarding its various states… just wash my stuff and fold everything! There are so many repetitive tasks that us humans shouldn’t be doing and instead, we should be focusing on enjoying life, being creative and finding better ways of doing what we love.
It seems that guitarists always seem to be at the end of the technology advancement stick. While other hobbies are getting self-driving cars, we’re relegated to unwanted “self-tuning” guitars. Guitar players love gear, and love picking up new toys to play with. Why do we get new pedals, amps, and guitars? To spark inspiration. And of course, there are tools that allow us to have everything we want and more: typically these come in the form of amp-modelers, or multi-fx units. Now these tools have an insane amount of customization within a single box, arguably TOO much. But what if there was a way for these units to learn what pedals, or amps, you use the most? And be able to proactively recommend effects, or amps you may have not considered before to help you drive your inspiration further? Imagine plugging in your multi-fx unit, only to be greeted with a preset that’s made “just for you” – you may hate Wah Wah pedals, but with these presets, you may rescind that hate. You could discover wild sounds that you haven’t imagined before, or combine amps that you think wouldn’t go together. The possibilities are endless!
Why hasn’t someone figured out how to personalize my map apps? I am a tree hugger from the San Francisco Bay Area who drives an electric car and can enjoy the HOV lanes during commuting hours. My map apps (won’t name ’em specifically) should know that I prefer a route with carpooling options especially since I ride in them everyday!!
As someone who doesn’t eat meat, and often has to ask restaurants to customize my meal to leave out ingredients like bacon in salads or seafood in pasta, I’d love to see personalization of menus and food options at the restaurants I frequent most often. It’s incredibly frustrating to have to repeat my questions and requests to the same staff, at every visit. And of course, it always makes me feel like Meg Ryan’s character in When Harry Met Sally; difficult and annoying, when really, all I want is a meal I can enjoy. (I’d love it even more if I didn’t have to pay for the lobster I’ve removed from the salad!)
I really wished “smart fridges” were more than just “see your twitter feed while you grab yourself a beer” (which I would qualify as of the utmost uselessness). I wish my fridge was smart enough to figure out what food I already have and build a menu for the week so it would minimize the amount of food I, more often than I like to admit, waste. I’m not even asking for some video identification that’d be able to figure what’s in my Tupperware (although hot-dog/not-hot-dog would be a nice to have), just reading my grocery bill and keeping track of my menus would be enough. It’d be able to tell me what I’m missing for my meals every week and build a grocery list for me. In fact, it could also order it for me while we’re at it! So yeah, I basically waste too much food because I don’t know what to do with what I buy and I sometimes forget what’s at the bottom of my fridge and the fridge needs to be improved with something really smart.
One thing I’d like to personalize is the navigation system in my boyfriend’s car. Every day he tries very hard to find an alternate route to avoid traffic, and he has found one or two that work. The problem is the GPS embedded in the car always proposes the same routes and doesn’t remember the ones he “created” to avoid traffic. It would be nice if the GPS could remember those routes and propose the best one among the custom and the default trajectories, depending on the traffic of the day. I’m lucky to have a short commute so I can take the bus and not be affected by traffic, but it sure would be nice to have him home sooner to help me make dinner!
So there you have it, folks! These are the experiences we’re dying to personalize that will have an impact for our employees. Now we want to know: what experience do YOU want to see personalized? Tweet at us @Coveo!