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CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE Know Your Customer: Marketing And CX Friend Or Foe? By Carolyne Gathuru K now Your Customer (KYC) has become the auto strategy for both customer experience and marketing spheres, with both parties preaching the need to not only know ones customer, but go the extra mile to find out minute details about them in order to drive both sales and service. If one doesn’t know ones customer, then business development and service delivery are in jeopardy, for communicating from a vacuum cannot deliver exceptional results. KYC in business circles forms such a basic fundamental upon which sales and customer experience strategies are built and executed, with continuous efforts in place to devise creative ways and means to find out customer types, needs, preference, behavior, attitude, inclinations, and peculiarities; all geared towards delivering marketing, business development, and customer experience results. And although KYC in its original form was a risk management strategy initiated by the need for businesses to verify client identity and assess potential risks of illegal intentions for due diligence purposes, it has since taken a life of its own and is the go to core factor for understanding current and potential customers. Technology today has broken the knowledge banks, and information on customers is that much easier to access, collate, analyze, create simulations and trends, and ultimately make more informed marketing and customer experience decisions. However, as with all good things, the shadow of unpleasantness always threatens to creep in if not checked. Knowing customers is a quite a competitive differentiator and with the high tech state of the art tech solutions in place to further understand customers, unchecked inroads are serving to crease What is done with the customer information needs to be outward facing angled toward listening to the voice of the customer, with a view to tapping in to suggestions for improvement of products or services, tweaking deliverables toward what the market will receive enthusiastically, and identifying specific customer focused opportunities. 20 MAL25/18 ISSUE customers’ brows. Delightful customer experiences happen where a brand knows exactly who their customers are, what they need, when they need it, how exactly they need it, and of course where they need it. These delightful tech based solutions for personalized marketing and customer experience, towards new customized product development, niche marketing initiatives and creating lasting impressions are evolving daily. Recent happenings indicate though, that there is need for brands to actively draw the line between the much touted "KYC" initiatives and being invasive. Customers who have customized marketing material thrown at them online by brands, and conversations directed to them that are highly personalized, have not only indicated great discomfort, but gone forward to describe these as ‘creepy’. Now as we all know, customers are human beings, and human beings are highly emotional and irrational creatures, with emotive decision making the norm, it is therefore in no way positive for customers to feel this way. This is not a feel good feeling that will draw customers towards continuous patronage and use. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whereas the EU has made headway with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that seeks to protect personal