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Personalization of customer relations in an omnichannel era: a major challenge for companies

Personalization of customer relations in an omnichannel era: a major challenge for companies
Jean-François Teissier
Jean-François Teissier Manager Odigo eXperience Services

Customizing customer relations is no longer optional. In a digital world, where conversations with brands begin on one channel, continue on a second, and end on a third, it is a necessity. Are you wondering how to remove the hurdles to personalization and create customer journeys optimized with context data? The answer is in this post.

December 20, 2019

On the one hand, customers have never been more demanding, mobile and connected. On the other hand, data control, and technology have never been so satisfactory. Personalizing customer relations has therefore never been as feasible as it is today. A high degree of personalization and contextualization is essential to offer the best possible experience for each customer contact.

It becomes absolutely crucial to attract the attention of potential customers, but also to retain those who are already loyal. Perceptions of the value proposition offered by the brand become multiple:

  • A channel adapted to the nature of the request,
  • Shorter customer journeys,
  • Simple and fluid associated interactions,
  • More authentic answers adapted to the customer and the context,
  • Suggested additional value-added services,
  • And even in many cases, a proactive approach that anticipates contact.

Contact center agent satisfaction is not to be outdone, as the personalization of customer relations makes it possible to better qualify requests and process them more efficiently. When Mr. White, who has to deal with water damage, calls repeatedly during a given week, the probability of the call being about the reported incident is close to 100%.

Thanks to personalization, both clients and agents now share a new form of experience that encourages symmetry of attention, where the latter have all the keys (competence, history, time) to effectively meet client expectations.

Blockers of personalized customer relations

Whether in a B2B or B2C approach, the personalization of customer relations allows a company to move towards its sole purpose: an efficient product/service that meets customer demand.

The personalization of customer relations is the result of a thorough knowledge of customers and their reasons for contact throughout the cycle of their relationship with the company. This means mastering customer journeys, the richness of the channels offered, and the ability to make them interact in harmony and logic.

To successfully complete a project of this nature which provides a positive end-to-end omnichannel customer experience, two main blockers must first be overcome: the organizational and technical ones.

The organizational blocker

The promise of digital transformation is to allow the development of seamless customer journeys. Unfortunately, this is still not the case in the majority of companies where, despite spending a significant amount to support digitization, the organizational structure has only evolved marginally.

There are formidable sources of data, experience, and expertise from contact centers that are not well known to marketing departments. Digital transformation has not sufficiently put the customer/company pair back at the center of the service offer equation. As a result, it can be seen that projects supported by programs for innovation do not meet the expectations of the targeted clients, as the latter are often not well understood or even caricatured.

To create effective customer journeys, it is necessary to break down silos between different services/functions (marketing, customer relations, IT, digital, etc.) that do not always work together. Each must make an essential contribution and will, in turn, derive a major benefit in the service of customer satisfaction.

The technical blocker

If we accept that an information system is the reflection of a given organization, it is easy to understand that the technical constraints to enable the implementation of new customer journeys are very real.

To personalize and contextualize, it is essential to have access to customer data at the very least, and if possible, be able to use and enrich them in real-time. In the age of the cloud, and APIzation, all this becomes possible within the framework of a concerted approach. It is no longer a question of separating front and back office, but of reconciling them in a dynamic that favors real-time processing of business flows associated with customer relations.

Recommendations for creating truly personalized customer experiences

When it comes to personalization, the key pair is the customer-centricity associated with the reason for customer contact. It induces a personalized customer journey based on a detailed segmentation (geographical, demographic, and behavioral), available and relevant interaction channels and, of course, the history of requests and other client-specific data.

The reason for requests and channels: real entry point for customer journeys

The right approach to personalize and simplify customer journeys is to think of them through the prism of the reasons for customer contact.

Identifying the 5 or 6 major reasons for customer contact will make it possible to set up high-performance scenarios associated with the CCaaS solution. Thus, our studies show that the “theft of a credit card” motive always leads to the same customer behavior – calling the toll-free number to report it – whether the customer is 18 or 65 years old. On the other hand, it seems to be accepted that the request to increase the overdraft limit follows other rules – “young people” use mobile applications, while other age groups prefer to get in touch with an agent.

The approach of a good CCaaS solution provider

Whatever the solution, it should aim to segment, working with the company’s teams, and answer the following questions:

  • What are the 5 or 6 major reasons for customer contact from which it is possible to derive sustainable and institutionalized customer journeys, which change very little over time and represent 80% of the requests?
  • How to deal with more complex requests, that must be rooted in empathy and seek to comfort customers?
  • Which devices to use to handle event-driven occurrences and how to “pre-package” them (e.g. a natural disaster for an insurer)?
  • What reasons for customer contact can be anticipated and processed by a customized outbound flow?

Do you want to enter into a personalized and contextualized relationship with your customers while benefiting from the quality support that is absolutely essential to meet market requirements? This is exactly what Odigo offers you with its Contact-Center-as-a- Service solution, in addition to extracting new data for continuous improvement and excellence!

Jean-François Teissier
Manager Odigo eXperience Services

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