Article : Six Ways To Personalise Customer Experiences
Can customer contact operators deliver the best of both worlds: efficiency and cost-saving on the one hand and ‘proactive’ corner shop service on the other? Here are six strategies designed to help:
1. Take control of relationships - throughout the entire customer lifecycle!
Fully understand the journey customers go through, from the time they make initial web site queries to the day they are no longer customers - and make intelligent and ‘personal’ interventions to encourage them to remain loyal and upgrade. During the new product registration period, for example, contact clients to ask whether they are happy with their new purchases and use the opportunity to better understand their needs/preferences and introduce complimentary products. Periods historically associated with high customer churn are also ideal periods to proactively make contact to highlight renewal deals and other special offers.
2: Make intelligent interventions based on customer insight and feedback
Analyse the enormous amount of data that exists about your customers and use the results to aid real-time decision-making and create more personalised experiences. Combine the information you have about customers (who they are, where they live, their preferences, likes/dislikes etc.) with past purchase and service history, customer feedback and real-time online activity data to:
- Highlight related products/services
- Point to special offers
- Switch ‘public conversations’ (i.e over social media) to one-to-one ‘private conversations’
- Offer immediate relevant support
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3: Use intelligent self-service to deliver ‘mass personalisation’
Take advantage of the latest technical innovations to deliver more personalised self-service experiences. These include:
- Web search facilities that incorporate natural language recognition technology
- Speech-enabled self-service systems
- Intelligent web technology that can spot when visitors are experiencing difficulties online
- Single click web help facilities
- In-app customer service
4: Turn your SuperAgents into Service Account Managers
SuperAgents are supposed to be able to handle any customer query at any time and via any channel. But if we expect them to be able to proactively manage customer relationships and prevent future contacts by anticipating customer demands, then we need to turn them into Service Account Managers. Working alongside traditional Account and Relationship Managers, the role of the SuperAgent will not only be to keep customers happy by fully understanding their needs but also to ensure that relationships are optimised for both supplier and customer.
5: Close the Context Gap. Don’t make customers repeat themselves
It’s common to find agents taking over calls from self-service systems and not being passed any details about the ‘context’ of the customer query - not even basic information about who they are speaking to and what their query is. That clearly needs to change. What’s the relevance to personalisation? An obvious one. It’s the difference between starting a conversation with "Hello, can I help you?" and "Good morning Mr Brown, I’m sorry you’ve been having problems with your new washing machine....."
6: Manage conversations holistically
Today, few contact centre agents have access to systems that provide a unified and holistic view of multi-channel conversation threads. Soon they will be common. Holistic ‘conversation management’ systems should not be confused with more basic multichannel contact handling systems. Several of today’s multichannel contact handling products handle voice, email, web chat and SMS on a single technology platform. However, they frequently don’t provide an holistic and unified view of all interactions across all channels in a single conversation thread on the Agent Desktop.
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About William Gray:
William has over 35 years experience working in the IT and communications sectors, with the last 20 years spent developing and supplying call and contact centre solutions.
About Macfarlane Telesystems:
Macfarlane has been a provider of customer contact solutions for over two decades. We have helped scores of public and private sector organisations transform the way they engage with their customers: enhancing customer satisfaction, increasing loyalty, reducing churn, improving performance and cutting cost-to-serve.
Published: Monday, October 5, 2015
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