Celebrate CX Day With a Fresh Approach to Personalization

Happy CX Day! Today is a great time to celebrate the fact that we live in the experience economy.

As consumers, the experience economy means we have freedom and control over how we live our lives. I can watch my favorite TV shows when I want to — and I can get recommendations for other shows from an application that knows me and has learned what I like. We can participate in an online exercise class any time — day or night — whenever it’s convenient for us. And the choices for getting food, from groceries to prepared ingredients to fully cooked meals, offer something for every lifestyle. What makes this possible is the same thing that creates great customer experiences in your contact center: personalization.

You may think you know personalization. After all, for the last several years, it’s been impossible to read an article about customer experience without seeing the idea of personalization — and probably a few steps for getting started with it. But here’s the thing: While everyone is rushing to personalize their customer interactions, many businesses get it wrong.

We’ve all read the statistics on how much more a customer who receives a personalized experience will buy. Unfortunately, this often results in a business-centric approach to personalization. What the company knows about the customer is used to target them with the specific purpose of selling them more, whether the contact is a sales interaction or a customer service one. In the worst case, this weaponization of personalization results in an overload of messages as well as ads that follow you around the web, even after a simple informational search.

But ask a customer what they expect personalization to do for them and zombie ads don’t make the list. They may want personalized emails, content and offers, but they also want you to know when they don’t want to be contacted. They want you to do more than recognize them; they want you to use everything you know about them to make every interaction with your company easy. They want to be treated as if they were your only customer — every single time they contact you.

And you can’t get anywhere near this with business-centric personalization.

It’s time to re-think personalization. Turn it around. Instead of having it focused on what the business wants, have it focused on what the customer wants.

Some companies and their employees already understand this. The agents recognized in the Genesys Heroes program truly make customers feel like their only customer — a unique and valued individual.

One of this year’s winners, Thapelo Kwenane of Harambee, spent 18 minutes on the phone with a jobseeker who’d been looking for employment for seven years in an impossible South African market. And he found him the opportunity of a lifetime.

When Marco Rossi of Swisscard realized he couldn’t get a PIN to a traveler through the usual means before a long business trip, he hopped in the car to hand deliver the PIN before the customer took off on a flight.

And when Ingrid Skjærseth of travel company Ving had to tell a disabled customer that she couldn’t fly unless she was accompanied, Ingrid got corporate policy changed to allow her customer to make the trip.

As our CX Heroes show, customer-focused personalization in your contact center is essential. But it’s not enough. Every employee at every level of the organization needs to be customer-centric. And management across the company needs to support these efforts, too.

You can see how to do this with our on-demand CX Day webinar “Getting personalization right for your customers.” Founder of the CXPA and former Microsoft Chief Customer Officer Jeanne Bliss and Genesys CEO Tony Bates discuss what it takes to create customer-focused personalization. Watch it to learn how your organization can deliver a better customer experience this year.

CX Day reminds us of how customers need to be at the center of everything we do. It’s a time to evaluate what we’re doing right with our experience at Genesys — and how we can provide more of what our customers want, every single day. It’s the time to set our course for the next 365 days and focus on both how we can become even more customer-centric and how we can help you do the same.