Today’s customers will not accept being treated like everybody else. They want to feel special and feel they are being given the attention they deserve. As a result, businesses will, therefore, have to figure out how to inject personalisation into their interactions with customers.

This provision of personalised experiences is no longer a ‘nice to have’, only to be addressed once processes are up and running and shouldn’t be underestimated. It has already become a business differentiator as, according to Deloitte, 1 in 4 consumers are willing to pay more to receive a personalised product or service.

But achieving the right level of personalisation is often easier said than done. As often pointed out, when it comes to providing a personalised customer experience, local neighbourhood shops definitely have a competitive advantage over most of today’s big businesses.

They know you, probably your family too and your preferences. Knowing and anticipating your purchasing habits and maybe even your daily routine is part of their day to day job. They are also prepared and able to offer you a good deal to stop you from leaving after a bad experience.

This kind of personalised customer service is the one that all businesses would like to recreate. However – despite acknowledging the importance of personalisation – many businesses and their contact centres are still falling short.

Taking on the one-to-one challenge

In 2019, one of the biggest challenges for contact centres with regards to providing a personalised service will be that the customer experience is no longer measured on individual interactions. Instead, it is judged on the complete customer journey. In today’s digital world of multiple touchpoints, this presents complications.

Customers are interacting with businesses through more channels than ever. With online, social media and mobile applications, many contact centres are struggling to track the channels and deliver a consistent, personalised experience across the board.

This shouldn’t be dismissed as a side problem as it can in fact directly impact a company’s bottom line. According to a recent report, 8 in 10 consumers are willing to switch companies due to poor customer service.

In this context, businesses and their contact centres just cannot afford to get the customer experience wrong. A seamless customer experience is essential for businesses that want to remain competitive in today’s landscape, which presents a need for technology that can provide the personalisation demanded by consumers.

Tools such as cloud computing, for example, provide contact centres with the ability not only to engage with customers much more quickly, but also interact with them in a personalised way 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. Other tools, such as data analytics, also play a major role in helping contact centres move from the outdated ‘one-to-many’ approach, to ‘one-to-one’ customer interactions. 

Analytics will personalise your customer experience

If used in the right way, data analytics allows businesses to have access to how a customer perceives the entire journey. It can combine different forms of measurement across all channels, so past and present journeys can be evaluated to pinpoint the root cause of negative interactions. It can also make it easier to personalise the customer journey by providing valuable insights into how specific customers behave, allowing businesses to re-create the local corner shop experience on a much larger scale.

To put it plainly, through data analytics, contact centres can build a complete, real-time view of their customers by capturing customer feedback and interactions throughout their entire lifecycle. This can then be used to manage effective follow-ups and drive organisational improvements.

Analytics will also empower contact centres to make intelligent decisions around maintaining performance and satisfaction, from both the customer and the employee perspective. For example, by analysing voices for variations in pitch and tone or taking advantage of natural language processing to spot patterns in what they are saying, agents will be able to gauge the emotional state of customers and adapt to it.

This will enable them to track the most frequent topics mentioned by customers, as well as identify trending satisfaction issues. This could be the difference between proactively solving a problem for a customer or leaving them frustrated.

Also, analytics can be used internally to aid employees. Smart reporting can be used to reward employee performance, thereby driving employee engagement. Inefficient processes can also be identified and improved.

The business value of analytics can be seen through various metrics and across different functions. However, most importantly, the use of data analytics tools can help contact centres move towards one-to-one interactions that are tailored to customers’ specific needs and preferences. In today’s hyper-competitive world, that’s an opportunity that can’t be ignored.