Personalization Is a Strategic Imperative

In a recent interview with The Financial Brand, Salesforce SVP of Financial Services Rohit Mahna offered perspective on the importance of personalization during the COVID-19 crisis and the opportunity it offers us to deepen relationships with our customers. “This is the one time when you have to take a step back and say, ‘This is not about the product, this is about the household or this is about the small business.’ Right now, it is about understanding what the exposure is for each customer. How can we help them with that? If we do well by the customer, they will bring more of their business to us in the future when times are better.”

While Mahna’s remarks were oriented toward the banking industry, they present sage advice for organizations in any industry. Personalization — really understanding who the customer is — has taken on a new level of meaning and urgency for the contact center.

People need answers and access to relevant information quickly and they’ll use their preferred channel — or multiple channels — to get it. Contact centers have had to scale their workforce, which is now largely remote, and their operations to accommodate this demand. And, going forward, we’ll all need to ensure the customer experience we deliver aligns with customer expectations that are inevitably shaped by recent events.

The underlying business drivers for personalization (the why) haven’t changed. But the ways in which we deliver them (the how) has changed. Customer experience leaders will still need to use customer experience to differentiate their brands, build trust and loyalty, and ultimately, boost satisfaction, retention and lifetime value.

We’ve learned a lot from the past few months and, hopefully, we can apply what works well. Here are three areas where we see customer experience leaders adapting to deliver truly personalized experiences going forward.

AI-Powered Contact Center

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the foundation for personalization; its applications span the entire customer journey. Here are just a few examples.

  • Self-service. Use AI to make bot interactions easier for the customer. Use voice, chat or social bots to transform traditional call deflection into fast access to specific information on a customer’s preferred channel — with the option to route to a live agent, if needed.
  • Predictive routing. Understand the customer’s intent so you can route the interaction. Predictive routing supports multiple scenarios and tiered rules. Connect a customer to an agent they’ve spoken with previously or, if they’ve spoken to multiple agents in the past, connect to the one with the best satisfaction rating. The possibilities are nearly endless.
  • Predictive engagement. In uncertain times, you can’t afford to miss a single opportunity to connect with a customer or constituent. Predictive engagement assures you can connect with your online customer at precisely the right time, with the right information, because agents have a full view into the customer journey and context.
  • Employee and workforce performance. Boost your workforce performance by matching outcomes with each employee to identify training needs and pair the best resource for each customer interaction. Identify employee skill gaps, personalize training modules and assign them to the employee during low utilization hours. Give agents a virtual assistant that provides tips and knowledge base articles to enrich the employee-customer conversation in real time.

Empowered Remote Employees

In her recent No Jitter article, “The Global Workforce: Forever Changed,” Robin Gareiss observes, “The silver lining of the COVID-19 quarantine orders might be a crash course in the appreciation of working remotely — though unplanned, business leaders can’t help but notice the value of this new normal.”

Research shows that more than half of contact centers are likely to continue allowing employees to work from home. So, it’s essential to ensure those agents have the best tools to securely handle customer conversations on any channel. This means a simple, intuitive desktop with out-of-the-box integration to your CRM systems and other critical business tools, full customer journey, and context across channels to boost first contact resolution. You’ll also want collaboration tools that allow access to expertise on demand.

A remote workforce requires empowered management, with quality monitoring and supervisory tools, powerful reporting and analytics, and workforce management to ensure you understand your business and manage those personalized experiences across channels.

The Power of One

The type of personalized experiences we’re talking about require the power of one: one routing engine for all interactions across all channels; one source of truth for reliable customer data; one application for both core contact center functions and the workforce engagement management that enables empowered agents.

Cloud: The Common Denominator

Relying on traditional on-premises systems to deliver personalized experiences in the new normal just won’t work; those systems were never designed to support the capabilities we’ve outlined. There’s one requirement to enable all these capabilities: cloud. And not any cloud — not on-premises systems hosted in the cloud. This requires a true, modern cloud solution. You can make sure a solution is truly cloud by asking yourself: Does it enable you to innovate — quickly?

The Genesys CloudTM platform empowers you to deliver personalized experiences rivaled by no other customer experience industry player. We’re here to help you deliver on the promise of personalized customer experiences — however they evolve with changing times.

Watch this webinar to learn how to get personalization right for your customers.