In January, InMoment released the 2017 CX Trends Report. The report uncovered some valuable information about brand and consumer expectations—particularly when it comes to providing personalized support.
In the report we defined personalized support as, “When you reach out for help, the associate and/or the self-service channels already knows who you are (name, status, loyalty, VIP, etc.) and demonstrates strong knowledge of your recent interactions.”
In comparison to a personalized purchase process or advertising experience, an average of 45% of consumers worldwide ranked personalized support as their first priority. Consumers in North America and the United Kingdom ranked personalized support nearly 10 percentage points higher than the global average, while German consumers weighted the different types of personalization most equally. No matter the country, though, consumers put high value in unique, personalized experiences.
Traditionally, marketing has played the biggest role in personalizing the customer experience—for example, using personal information to recommend a new product or present consumers with a specific ad based on their interests and purchase history. Our research showed that although customers appreciate being recognized by name, they value personal interactions that demonstrate a brand is interested in more than upsell opportunities.
“Knowing my needs are far more important than knowing just my name or my status on a screen that they look at.” —American consumer
Fortunately, both consumers and brands agreed that advertising was the lowest priority for customer experience personalization. Many organizations still report marketing as the owner of the customer experience, though, so it’s particularly important for marketing leaders to work with customer support and operations leaders to provide that personalization in a much more coordinated way.
Here are three keys to personalizing support across your organization:
1. Gather quality customer data
Personalized experiences begin with quality, actionable customer data. In addition to gathering good data, businesses need to de-silo that information and share it across the organization. Employees at every level of an organization need all the information they can get to deliver a great customer experience.
2. Hire the right people
A large part of successful CX programs is making customers feel valued. One of the best ways to do that is by hiring employees who are invested in your brand and helping customers on a personal level. Personalized customer experiences create brand loyalty, bring in new customers, and drive revenue, but the most important thing your organization can do is build a team of individuals with the singular goal of making customers feel like they are an individual—not a number.
3. Empower employees
My colleague, Brennan Wilkie, recently had an experience where he purchased a bed for his daughter from an online retailer. He and his daughter were counting on the bed arriving at a specific time and date. While the bed arrived on time, the package was missing hardware crucial to assemblage. This oversight meant that the bed that Brennan’s daughter was looking forward to—and planning on—sleeping in would not be built that night.
Brennan called the online retailer’s support line and explained the situation to the customer service agent. Understanding the urgency, the agent apologized and offered to reimburse Brennan if he went to the nearest hardware store and purchased the necessary parts.
By empowering this agent to satisfy consumer needs by means outside of the normal process, this brand enabled Brennan to build the bed that night and make his daughter happy.
Personalized support is valued globally. Invest in creating more meaningful and personal experience for your consumers. In addition to valuing personalized support more than any other type of personalization, consumers have come to expect these types of experiences. Make sure your brand delivers it to them.
To learn more about customer experience in 2017, download the full CX Trends Report here.