Three Ways to Get Personal in a Multi-Channel Environment

It’s hard to read about our industry lately without mention of the word multi-channel.  We all know that channels of communication are changing and the influx of email, click-to-chat, and SMS activity has been the talk for quite some time now.  An organization’s ability to impact every customer interaction in a complex and demanding cross-channel world relies on four vital capabilities:

  • The ability to analyze structured and unstructured data holistically, across all channels
  • The ability to identify and act upon insights in real time
  • The ability to make context-aware decisions
  • The ability to provide personalized customer service

Today I will focus on personalization, something that is too often overlooked.

While some channels are easier to personalize – by soft skills, agent type, coaching and more – other channels that are text-based and lack two-way dialogue can be on the one hand, short and to-the-point.  On the other hand, they can be robotic, impersonal and drive traffic to higher cost methods of communication such as a branch walk-in or a phone call. 

Let’s get personal for a moment:

What is the customer’s preferred channel?

One of the most creative ways to be personal with your customers is to reach out to them by their preferred methods or be available to them in their preferred method.  But how do you know this?  Often the traffic from your website, their history of communication and even their own words will tell you.  “I really wish I could do this online“ is just one example of how users of speech analytics technology can track the types of activity that may be best suited for web and mobile devices.  And if the patterns of your customers aren’t lining up with your corporate strategy for channel management (i.e. drive customers to cheaper channels)  then it’s time to investigate tools that capture customer intent to personalize the channels you encourage, and often force, your customers to use.

How do I ensure that all channels have a personal touch?

It would be easy to answer this question with, “just ask them.”  However, watching and listening to the interactions occurring on the phone, email or chat are ways that sources of customer dissatisfaction can be monitored.  Most speech and text-based analytics solutions today do nothing more than identify words spoken.  But speech solutions that do more than just identify words also identify customer dissatisfaction and are able to tie what’s communicated to the root-cause of their dissatisfaction.  This allows agents to leverage specific techniques that make a customer feel special, drive them to buy more and get them to stay around longer.

What tools can the agent use to deliver a personalized touch?

At NICE, we see thousands of customers each day using contact center quality monitoring to evaluate the detail and the soft skills of agents in all channels.  While most organizations use coaching as the next step hoping that the agent will improve, companies today are realizing the power of real-time contextual information on the agent desktop.  How does this look?  The old methods offer a traditional up-sell attempt or even scripted empathy.  New ways offer a personalized recommendation of a product or service based on demographics, buying history and even the words the customer chooses during the interaction (using real-time speech analytics).  We can coach agents to recognize these patterns and hope they will deliver the punch line, or take a personalized touch and present more than mundane CRM information on the screen.  Let’s give our customer-facing personnel the offerings and next-best-actions for even greater success.


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