July 20, 2020

Personalization and empathy: 4 ways to implement them in CX

Today, CX is what makes a brand stand out the most. As competition is fiercer and economic uncertainty becomes unpredictable, designing a CX that meets the current needs of customers is essential to drive a company's success.

So what can companies do to guarantee an amazing customer experience?

Recently, Martin Frascaroli, Aivo CEO, sat down with Damian Gona, Director of Latin America and the Caribbean at Zendesk. They discussed strategies to better connect with customers and tips for companies to implement.

Below are highlights from their conversation and specific tactics to include in your customer service strategy.

Why is personalization important?

Personalization at its most basic level is the practice of using customers’ information for a customized interaction, in step with their preferences and needs.

According to a study by Accenture, 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand when they're acknowledged, remembered or get relevant recommendations.

Maybe you’re wondering why personalization is so important.

The answer is simpler than you think: customers can’t help feeling attached to an experience or product created especially for them.

As a result, the right personalization can lead to higher customer loyalty, which can increase company profit by 70%, according to Gartner.

Surprisingly, 69% of consumers want a personalized experience, and yet less than 50% of brands are actually delivering it, according to Internet Retailing

So what do customers actually expect?

A one-way path towards customers’ expectations

First, customers expect companies to follow up on their data in order to enhance their experience.

This is because they can't stand having to repeat things over and over. Nothing's worse than being transferred from agent to agent and repeating the same story, right?

And plus, by knowing their information, the service, recommendations and offers are based on their actual needs, which streamlines communication.

According to a study by Zendesk, 76% of respondents expect some type of personalization, including interactions through their preferred contact channel, customization based on their account type or status, or recommendations based on their purchase or search history, among others.

Let's get to work: 4 ways to personalize experience

Personalization must be implemented at every step of the customer journey, from marketing offers and sales cycles to the quality of customer service.

Let’s look at some tactics you can start implementing to better connect with your customers.

1. Empathy and instant resolution as fundamental pillars

With customer experience, empathy is related to designing a strategy based on helping customers reach their goals as effectively as possible by understanding their current situation or background.

For example, it’s essential that service agents have each person’s information at hand when they call for help. Besides saving time for the company, consumers feel the brand knows them and understands their needs.

Really, what’s most important is providing convenience to make the customer's life easier. In fact, according to Forrester, 73% of customers state that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to deliver good service.

 Some concrete examples about being empathetic and problem-solving:

- Having self-service options that include FAQs, such as chatbots or knowledge bases. This speeds up the process by clearing up simple questions.

- Simple ticket generation.

- If you have a chatbot, that means you can provide transactional answers that connect to your data immediately.

2.   Offering an omnichannel service

 The rise of new social media and messaging apps is not limited to social contacts. It also unlocked enormous potential to change the way consumers interact with brands.

 Being omnichannel is all about being able to provide the same experience across all channels, regardless of the contact point a customer chooses to communicate with.

Related article: Omnichannel Customer Service: Why is it important?

This shouldn't limit the development of channel-specific features, like the use of multimedia or emojis. Instead, it means the tone, problem-solving capabilities and offers are the same on each of them.

3.   Data and analytics

One of the most important aspects of personalization is knowing your customers. Managing and interpreting data is essential to understand customers and identify opportunities.

According to Zendesk, companies today manage triple the data they did five years ago, and double the data per customer.

To manage this data and apply them correctly, multiple technologies can be leveraged. For example, many organizations integrate customer service feedback and chat solutions with CRM tools.

What’s important is to implement tools that include metrics management systems in order to use this information to enhance the experience.

Type of data to be considered:

- Basic data: which devices they use, their geolocation, if it’s the first time they're interacting with the brand or not.

- Activity data: what they're doing on your site or with your product, time spent there, pages visited, click activity, which ads or offers they look at, the types of products they previously bought, etc.

- Behavior data: a combination of the two above categories, in order to draw deeper conclusions. What type of content or products do they prefer? What channels do they usually use to communicate with your company? Do they use self-service channels?

4.   AI and predictive technology

 We’ve already talked about the increasing demand of digital channels. Another great advantage is that they allow for simple automation of communication, and with this trend we see the increasing use of chatbots within the market.

Some of them are more simple, with rigid information flows, and other are enriched with AI. These are capable of communicating naturally with consumers and deliver a more personalized experience.

Related article: How AI and chatbots help to improve customer experience

Instead of choosing from the menu, customers ask their quesiton directly and the bot answers and understands local slang, uses emojis, interprets audio messages and sends GIFs.This not only personalizes the experience by answering empathetically, but also does so by answering immediately and around the clock.

Conclusion

Simply put, customers expect to be treated according to their needs and preferences. They expect agents to be aware of their previous behaviors and customize the overall service and experience based on that.

If you want to learn more about how customer service solutions can help you personalize the experience, schedule a call with one of our representatives.