The two things consumers globally value most in a service interaction are a fast response and a first-contact resolution, according to the Genesys report “The State of Customer Experience.” This isn’t just about speed. When it comes to a personalized, positive customer experience (CX), it’s about relevance.
Organizations are more likely to resolve customer issues quickly and completely when they’ve listened to and understood those customers’ expectations and needs. This enables them to provide personalized customer service interactions with relevant answers, information and recommendations.
The Business Behind Personalization
The Genesys report finds that personalization enables organizations to increase customer value in the short and long term, as well as grow revenue and reach. More than 80% of the 5,517 consumers surveyed say they’d purchase additional items from companies that consistently personalize their customer service experiences.
Nearly as many would buy more often and recommend those companies. And more than half say they would pay more to buy from companies that personalize their experiences.
Despite the clear value of personalization, just 35% of the 646 “CX Leaders” surveyed say their company offers a highly personalized customer experience today. Disconnected technology and data are common problems among many organizations and hamper the ability to respond to customer preferences — especially in real time.
Another issue is that some organizations don’t know which types of personalization customers really want. According to the report, marketing offers and loyalty programs are low priorities for consumers.
The most valuable forms of personalization happen during customer service interactions. According to consumers worldwide, “Receiving the services I need at any time and in my preferred channel of choice,” and “Being connected straightaway with the right person to help me” lead the list of preferred ways that organizations can personalize customer experiences and customer journeys.
AI Sharpens the Senses
Offering services customers need at any time and in their preferred channel requires having well-designed journeys and the technology to remove any sticking points. This involves using data and artificial intelligence (AI) to listen and understand predicted intent. Then you can serve up the most appropriate resource — whether that’s a bot, FAQ page, or a human interaction.
Predictive routing provides the most efficient way to optimize contact center resources, ensuring that your most valuable resource — your people — dedicate the bulk of their time to high-value interactions. Personalizing voice interactions requires employees to have a comprehensive view of the customer. This enables them to not just close the call quickly, but they can also focus on customer education, proactive communication and resolving complex issues.
Empowering employees to deliver that personalized experience is at the top of surveyed CX Leaders’ strategic agenda for the next two years. Their No. 1 initiative, according to the survey, is Improving employee experience with new technology — and by connecting existing technology.
Other top priorities include “Enhancing analytics for real-time insights, analytics and reporting” and “Using data and AI for customer understanding and personalization.” Personalization is a top CX objective for building customer loyalty and unlocking new revenue.
Tech Stack Support and the Case for the Cloud
Supporting this from a technology perspective is leading organizations to rethink the tech stack – particularly with a view to all-in-one platforms. Some 71% of the surveyed CX Leaders are implementing a CX platform that integrates systems, such as CRM, ERP and communications platforms, to support their strategic priorities over the next two years.
Cloud-based technology is critical for the long-term effectiveness of these strategies — for data visibility and agility to innovate. Two leading benefits of the cloud, according to the survey, are better access to data across channels and being able to add capabilities, features and channels faster. Being able to remove friction quickly while also innovating at the speed of the customer is essential for overall competitiveness.
Personalizing experiences at scale requires the orchestration capabilities of cloud-based automation and AI. In addition to the intent mining and predictive features, these technologies also close the loop with real-time analytics — allowing you to learn and adapt. The result is a virtuous cycle of relevance and personalization in customer service that builds loyalty and drives long-term business performance.