Perhaps you remember the refrain from the popular sitcom, “Cheers,” “Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name.” Everyone wants to be treated as an individual. And now big companies also are trying to make you feel like someone special. Even McDonald’s, which owes its decades of success to conformity, is testing a create-your-taste menu.
Customers today expect and demand more personalized products and services, and they want to be treated as individuals when contacting customer service.
Personalization, a business strategy that focuses on mapping solutions and services to individual customer requirements, has become a cornerstone strategy for building brand loyalty.
However, the personalization concept doesn’t fit well with traditional methods of extending customer service. The customer service we have come to know and not love typically consists of calling a toll-free number, having your call answered by an integrated voice response (IVR) system, entering a string of numbers you may or may not know offhand, then responding to a series of voice commands until you either eventually get to where you want to go or give up trying.It doesn’t have to be that way. Verint’s recent acquisition of Contact Solutions advances the Verint Customer Engagement Optimization™ portfolio with the addition of cloud-based solutions that enhance voice and mobile self-service through automation and analytics-driven personalization. This new voice self-service solution from Verint uses Adaptive Personalization to improve the experience before customers have to deal directly with other people. This smart technology uses Automatic Number Identification, real-time customer interaction data, CRM and other back-end enterprise data to learn individual caller behaviors, preferences and patterns.
Then, it applies this information to intelligently streamline customer engagement and the problem resolution process in the IVR. The technology leverages stored customer information and ”adapts” to the behaviors, patterns and preferences associated with an individual’s current interactions and their contact history. It knows who you are based on the number you called from and a few simple authentication questions.
Because it knows who you are, it also knows your language, what products or services you customarily purchase, your account status, and whether or not there are unresolved issues, such as a shipping delay or payment dispute. It can even go so far as to tailor speed, complexity and menu options based on how your customers respond in the IVR. You can go directly to selections most likely to address your particular needs without having to navigate a confusing tree of choices.
In a world where no two people are the same, and for times when individual needs will change, this approach to customer self-service helps ensure the customer experience is optimal and personal at the onset of the call at first point of contact. It delivers many of the advantages of dealing directly with customer service representatives but without the inherent higher cost and delays.
Now that’s personalization that everyone can agree on.
Dick Bucci is a sought after analyst speaker and author with expertise on the contact center industry. His publications, market research and consulting services are leveraged by enterprises globally.
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