Deliver the personalised experiences today’s customers demand
Customers today have more options than ever about where they spend their money, writes Jonathan Wax, the vice president for EMEA at Nexidia.
They are constantly accosted by various organisations that are trying to either introduce them to a new product or service, or to position themselves as better providers of products or services that customers are already consuming from somewhere else. As a result, today’s customer have higher expectations and no longer accept being treated like everybody else. Instead, they want to feel like they are being given special attention.
This desire for special attention is not in words alone. A survey from Deloitte found that one in four consumers are willing to pay more to receive a personalised product or service, highlighting the importance and financial benefit of injecting personalisation into the customer experience
For contact centres as well as most digital businesses, achieving the right level of personalisation is often easier said than done. It could be argued that local shops such as your neighbourhood grocer have a competitive advantage over many of contact centres when it comes to providing a personalised customer experience.
After all, they probably know you and your family on a personal level. They also probably know your preferences, purchasing habits and maybe even your daily routine. What’s more, they will usually be prepared to offer you a good deal to stop you from leaving after a bad experience.
Providing this kind of customer service that works for both parties – the business and the customer – is ultimately the goal of all contact centres. However, despite acknowledging the importance of personalisation, many businesses and their contact centres are still falling short.
It’s no secret that meeting the one-to-one challenge has been made more complicated by the multiple touchpoints involved in today’s customer experience. From online to social media and mobile applications, today’s digital world enables customers to interact with businesses through more channels than ever before.
This means the customer experience can no longer be measured on individual interactions. Instead, it is judged on the complete customer journey and many contact centres are struggling to deliver a consistent, personalised experience across all these touchpoints.
When you consider that another report found that eight in 10 consumers are willing to switch companies due to poor customer service, organisations cannot afford to take any chances.
Contact centres must be prepared to meet the demands of customers and add that personal touch if they want to remain competitive in today’s business landscape, which is where technology has a key role to play.
For example, cloud computing tools are providing contact centres with the ability to engage with customers much more efficiently. Cloud-based technologies are also making it easier to personalise customer experiences by adding new channels or changing interactive voice response (IVR) scripts in real time.
But cloud isn’t the only technology with the ability to transform the customer experience and add tangible value to businesses. Data analytics is also becoming more important, helping contact centres move away from the traditional ‘one-to-many’ approach, to ‘one-to-one’ customer interactions.
The need for analytics
More and more businesses in multiple industries are now making use of data analytics tools to help personalise the customer journey. If used correctly, it can provide valuable insights into how specific customers behave and enable contact centres to re-create the local corner shop experience on a much larger scale.
For example, analytics can be used to measure the customer journey and build a complete, real-time view of customers. Journey analytics can be used to calculate the customer experience across multiple channels by capturing all their interactions with the business. This data can then be used to uncover areas where improving the customer experience is most important, as well as helping businesses to manage effective follow-ups and drive organisational improvements.
It also makes it easier for contact centres to maintain performance and satisfaction levels by empowering them to make intelligent decisions as needed. This applies to both customers and employees. Agents can gauge the emotional state of customers by using tools that analyse their voices for variations in pitch and tone. They can also use natural language processing to spot patterns in what they are saying. Data related to things like the most frequent topics mentioned by customers and trending satisfaction issues can then be tracked, which could be the difference between proactively solving an issue for a customer or leaving them frustrated.
From an employee point of view, intelligent reporting can be used to drive engagement by rewarding strong performers and providing real-time next-best-action guidance. Any inefficient operational processes can also be identified and improved to ease the burden on contact centre agents.
There is so much more that can be said about how technology can transform the customer experience and impact various metrics across different functions. However, we should not lose sight of the importance of delivering the personalised experience customers demand. By moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach and towards one-to-one interactions that are tailored to customers’ specific needs and preferences, businesses will be setting themselves up to reap the rewards of a happier, more loyal customer base.