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There will be a clear social contract: Fair exchange of data for an exceptional experience

Many consumers are still ambivalent about sharing their personal data in exchange for more convenient and personalised experiences. Companies need to earn trust by giving consumers greater control over their data and demonstrating the value of data-driven experiences.

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Shantanu Misra

Head of Product for Dialogflow, Interim Head of Conversational AI, Google

When a business provides its customers with truly personalised experiences, it fosters powerful loyalty and advocacy that differentiates its brand. But that personalisation must be developed over time. You need to earn the right to ask customers for their data by clearly demonstrating how it adds value in their journey — and clearly communicating how their data is protected.

If we consider how the internet has developed, application and data layers were previously separate. A media player, for example, was just that. Today’s media players, such as Spotify and YouTube, know all about you and, as a result, can personalise your experience. We’re now seeing a shift toward “Web 3.0,” which aims to combine the best of both worlds — customers maintaining control of data while engaging with highly personalised products.

This shift will impact contact centres, as well. Historically, customer engagement teams haven’t taken advantage of all the data they can access. But now, with cloud software, data and AI, they can create their own version of Web 3.0 — being intentional with customer data to deliver more precise experiences.

A new mantra for data: Do more with less

The early rush toward customisation followed the premise of: “Let’s do whatever we can to give a highly personalised experience.” And that led to a huge pushback — even though consumers love that tailored experience, they’re concerned about the potential misuse of their data. This is a particularly sensitive issue given the types of information found in the contact centre: credit card data, transaction details, even health records.

There’s enough awareness now about users having rights over their data. CX leaders shouldn’t assume they can indiscriminately put user information into an engine and try to personalise from that. The mantra businesses must adopt is: “How do we achieve this outcome using as little data as possible?” In other words, they need to do more with less. And this requires identifying the experience they want to provide and working backward from that.

The mantra businesses must adopt is: “How do we achieve this outcome using as little data as possible?” In other words, they need to do more with less.

Data is borrowed. Trust is earned.

A great deal of contextual and event data in the contact centre remains unused. For example, if customers are calling after Black Friday, they should have a completely different experience than if they call in February. This means companies can often personalise an interaction without even using a customer’s personal data.

Once you start taking steps toward personalisation, customers begin to trust you with their information. That virtuous cycle allows you to provide even better experiences and develop a meaningful connection between your business and your customers.

Being able to chart your customers’ course across physical and digital channels — and sharing that context with a contact centre employee — provides opportunities for extremely powerful experiences. It can virtually eliminate the need for customers to repeat themselves. Over time, these shifts will change CX entirely.

Learn more about the tools powering data-driven experiences