Up Close and Personal: Customers Increasingly Demanding Personalised Service

February 8, 20186min

Customer expectations are ever-rising, competition is fierce, and retailers’ number one priority at present is improving Customer Experience.

A study by Walker revealed that by 2020, Customer Experience will have overtaken both product and price as the key brand differentiator.

Customers do not want to deal with companies that offer a poor service. If you have phoned a contact centre and experienced inadequate service you will probably feel let down, and the company in question may well lose your business.

For customers to stay loyal to a brand and businesses to win new customers, companies need to invest in Customer Experience. A staggering 62 percent of companies view Customer Experience delivered by the contact centre as a competitive differentiator (Deloitte). Gartner even predicts that by 2018 more than 50 percent of organisations will redirect their investments to Customer Experience innovations.

A seamless journey

Omnichannel takes the customer through a series of touchpoints on their journey from online, to store, to purchasing, and delivery. Companies need to ensure that their omnichannel is seamless and easy to use. Businesses that adopt omnichannel strategies achieve 91 percent greater year-over-year customer retention rates compared to businesses that don’t (Aspect Software). However, for those companies that do have an omnichannel strategy in place, 87 percent of customers think that brands need to put more effort into providing a seamless experience (Zendesk).

Customers now expect service to be slick and effortless without delay or errors, and for all the personal data consumers have become used to providing, they increasingly expect to receive a personalised service experience in return.

It’s all about you

Whilst personalised emails have been around for a number of years, the next level of personalisation has seen retailers create custom content and personalised promotional offers.

Major online retailers and music providers offer personalised content and some even deliver personalised home pages. With consumers time-poor and reluctant to sift through lots of product information, retailers use technology to predict what they are going to purchase based on their buying and browsing behaviours. Although many retailers are stuck at the level of ‘mass personalisation’ but new big data, cloud, automation, and communications technologies are heralding one-to-one personalisation at scale.

Increase efficiencies with technology

The advancement of technology in the contact centre is causing a stir, particularly around artificial intelligence (AI) where there is uproar on how AI will contribute to people losing their jobs. A study by Gartner predicts that by 2020, more than 85 percent of customer interactions will occur without a human.

However, AI will also help contact centre agents to get rid of the mundane everyday tasks that are part of the job and hand them over to technology instead. This could include anything from call routing to answering basic questions that an auto attendant or Web Real Time application can assist with. Essentially, the more advancement in technology in the call centre, the more contact centre agents’ roles will be refocused on soft skills to deliver empathetic, personal service and advice.

Delivering the personal touch

With intelligent call-based routing using CRM records and intuitive self-service options, your customers can connect to the right people and services that they need to speak to – at the right time. This will help resolve their queries quickly and effectively. Inbound automation speeds up low-touch interactions and frees up your best-skilled contact centre agents to solve complex customer issues and add value to higher value interactions.

Agents will then be able to focus on more difficult queries that require a one-to-one conversation with the customer. Inbound automation will also enable companies to personalise content and offers by handing the enquiry over to an agent to speak with the customer, who can then deliver the personal touch over the phone.

With routine and mundane tasks being handled by AI, contact centre managers and agents can focus on creative strategic thinking to improve customer service.

Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) helps companies to create the ‘wow’ factor in personalisation by empowering agents with the technology and information they need to deliver a seamless Customer Experience. When a customer calls the contact centre the agent instantly gets a screen pop on their screen which tells the agent who the customer is and what their history is.

This reduces the repetition of the agent having to ask the same mundane questions to the customer and  eliminates frustration.

 


Jonathan Sharp

Jonathan Sharp

Jonathan Sharp is Director of Britannic Technologies.




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