Over the years, rapid advancement of digital marketing technologies and evolution in the e-commerce landscape has catapulted organisations into a new phase of connectivity, dominated by personalisation. Today, businesses operate amidst fierce competition to win customers who now demand more than just a good customer experience. The contact centre industry must reassess its operations to successfully address and deliver a personalised experience that meets the demands of consumers today. Eli Fillmore, Director, Customer Success, Contact Centres at InMoment talks about the growing importance of support personalisation.
Growing importance of support personalisation
InMoment’s latest annual CX trends study found that customers don’t just appreciate, but expect services tailored to their individual needs. The global study, which analysed close to 10,000 brands and 20,000 customers, highlighted that 45 per cent of consumers want personalised experiences, underlining how modern consumers have developed a fundamentally different connection to brands that is more personal and reciprocal than ever before. To be truly customer-focussed, brands must develop Customer Experience strategies that embrace personalisation. Brands who have invested in more personalised services like Johnston & Johnston and Cisco have noted double digit returns alongside an increase in satisfaction and customer loyalty.
The CX Trends study showed that consumers in different regions prioritise personalisation at some points more than others. For instance, consumers in North America and the United Kingdom said that personalised support was important to them more often than average (54 per cent and 53 per cent respectively), while consumers in Spain (41 per cent) value personalisation during the purchase process more than any of the other countries surveyed. ‘Support personalisation’ is the ability to use data to recognise a customer’s current situation and respond appropriately. This is important in all markets. Given the competitive nature of most industries today, support personalisation at customer service points and contact centres can be a critical enabler for success.
Brands securing the benefits of personalisation
Several leading brands have deployed personalisation strategies that have reaped positive results. Amazon is a great example of humanising technology for the purposes of support personalisation. Examples include proactive alerts on shipping status, and the ability to cross reference and recommend products, services, movies, music and more on Amazon Prime.
Many consumer and retail brands, including Nike and L’Oréal, have embraced the importance of this customer phenomenon and have introduced ‘portable’ e-commerce experiences, mobile apps and in-store beacons to help consumers continue conversations and experiences started online into the store, which substantially expands the range of personalised offerings.
Support personalisation in contact centres
Among the key aspects of superior customer experience management is the capability to provide customers with a carefully designed customer experience across all touchpoints. Consumers provide significant amounts of data to marketers and brands while browsing or shopping today, and implicitly want something significant in return. While consumers might not appreciate the complexities and expense of connecting the breadth of their interactions to create this single, unified view, they know it’s possible because of their experiences with CX leaders like Amazon. As a result, their expectations have risen, and so has the bar for every business. This applies to the contact centre experience where they want agents to know who they are, be aware of their history and customise their interactions accordingly.
Given the dynamics of the relationship between the modern customer and brands, personalisation of services must be a key priority of contact centres. They can then successfully anticipate customer needs and proactively personalise services for each customer call or enquiry. Data can and should be used to automate some processes to elevate ease and timeliness for customers; data must be used to empower contact centre agents with crucial technology and information that can be used to give customers an extraordinary experience. Successful integration of support personalisation into a contact centre involves monitoring and listening to what customers are saying, actively responding and optimising customers’ experiences by engaging with them at a more personal level.
Customers should be given the opportunity to communicate on a channel of their choice and even switch between channels without having to repeat personal information. InMoment’s recent study backs this practice, confirming that customers want the full range of both self-serve and full service options via mobile, email and even voice.
To be truly customer focused, brands need to implement customer experience strategies that improve customer service and care through support personalisation. Given the competitive nature of most industries today, support personalisation at customer service points and contact centres can be a critical enabler for success.