19 March 2018

The Personalized Contact Center Experience

Written by Martin Borowski, Posted in Contact Center, Unified Communications, ComputerTalk

The Personalized Contact Center Experience

In today’s digital world, customers expect flawless experiences across every touchpoint with your organization. The key to a flawless customer experience is relevance.

Your customers are looking for information and interactions that are relevant to them, and they don’t want all the fluff. The last thing they want to do is dig through webpages and IVR menus to find the right person or the right information. Relevance doesn’t just apply to information though. Customers also need relevance in the context of time, place, device and more.

The solution to the relevance problem is personalization. Personalization is the most powerful tool you can use to deliver a relevant experience for customers. At a high level, personalization consists of demographics and behavior. These two categories are then broken down into numerous data points that you will use to better understand the customer. In the digital age, this information is so readily available that we no longer ask the question “Why should I personalize?” The question now is “Why not personalize?

Data Availability

When it comes to personalization, many organizations believe that they lack the data or the resources to create meaningful customer experiences. The truth is that the data you need is available, and it’s only a matter of using it properly. The contact center provides an excellent example of such a data source. From contact center interactions, you can learn key demographic info, such as age, location, job title, and business-specific data points such as marital status, family size and income. In terms of behaviors, the contact center tells a detailed story about your customers without you ever having to ask. You can understand how customers use the IVR, what issues they frequently contact you about, purchasing patterns and even how they interact with your website or mobile app. Once you understand what your key data points are and where they come from, the next step is to use them properly.

Personalized Experiences

There are two ways to provide personalized experiences to your customers: automated and custom. Depending on the interaction type and touchpoint, one or the other might be more appropriate.

Automated personalization is built into your customer profiles. This is made possible through CRM integration with the contact center. Using the integration, you can customize a number of aspects of the customer experience. For example, if you know the preferred languages of each of your customers, you can skip the language selection menu in the IVR, and directly provide them with menus in their language. Another example would be automated detection of a customer’s purchasing history. The IVR could pull information about the customer’s last purchase and ask them if they are contacting your business about that purchase or another matter. These small automated modifications to the customer’s journey can make it much easier to interact with your business.

Custom personalization involves manual changes to the customer experience based on known or learned information about the customer. This can be as simple as a contact center agent saying the customer’s name when greeting them. A more advanced application of this would involve an agent reviewing a customer’s interaction history with the company, and learning about an ongoing issue that the customer has repeatedly called about. The agent could then transfer the call directly to a specialist that would address the customer’s needs.

The Value of Personalization

Personalization provides key benefits to businesses in a number of areas. The most obvious benefit from personalization is customer loyalty. Customers are more likely to do business with an organization that provides a familiar experience enabled by demographic and behavioral info. If a customer feels that the process of interacting with your business is effortless, they will not hesitate to reach out to you over and over.

Another benefit is efficiency. By personalizing experiences, customers spend less time being processed, interacting with you and solving their problems. This not only leaves a good taste in the customer’s mouth, but it saves you valuable time and money. Your monthly network costs are drastically reduced when you reduce contact time by mere seconds. The less time agents spend with each customer, the faster they are able to handle the next one, reducing idle time and reducing the number of contacts in queue.

In spite of all the benefits that it provides you with, the greatest value of personalization comes from an iterative feedback loop. By enabling personalization using your data sources, you are able to implement new ideas. As you test out your personalized customer experience, you will learn what works and what doesn’t so that you can improve. You will also learn what key data points you are missing, and attempt to gather that information so that you can improve the overall experience. The iterative feedback loop means that you are constantly testing new ideas to improve contact center operations, establishing whether they are working, and tweaking them to perfection.

Personalization in the contact center is no easy task. It’s important to understand when and how to implement personalization so that you can optimize customer experience. If you want to learn how to make it happen, contact us here: http://www.computer-talk.com/en/contact-us.



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About the Author

Martin Borowski

Here's a word about me...

I'm an art director here at ComputerTalk. I'm an expert in User Experience (UX), branding and identity, website planning and development, social media management and search engine optimization . I understand the capabilities and limitations and advantages of online media.

Follow me on twitter at @uxchamp