We’ve all heard the saying “It’s not personal. It’s business”. But in the age of the customer, business has become deeply personal. Through the use of technology, it’s easier than ever to tailor digital experiences to the customer journey, serve up offers based on previous purchase behaviors, and deliver relevant content and messages at the right time in the right channel. Yet when it comes to the contact center, companies still struggle to create truly personal experiences.
What Does Personalization Really Mean?
In the contact center, personalization is all about the engagement specialist’s (agent’s) ability to read the customer’s needs at any given time and craft a conversation, regardless of channel, to meet those needs. For example, some customers need reassurance that they are making the right purchase decision. Others are looking for an advocate to help resolve an issue. Too often, companies try to force a false sense of personalization by using hollow techniques such as repeating the customer’s name at multiple points during the script. At best, the engagement specialist comes off as an actor delivering a synchronized monologue. At worst, it’s a manufactured exchange of information. True personalization creates an authentic engagement with value creation in which the customer is seen as a unique individual – not an identification number.
How Can You Be More Authentic? Flip the Script
One size does not fit all – in real life or in the contact center. Neither does one script. Instead, companies should leverage the principles of dialogue to authentically connect with customers. According to a recent STARTEK survey, 57% of consumers1 want to engage with a person who cares about them personally. This goes up exponentially depending on vertical with some verticals such as healthcare as high as 65%. By exchanging in dialogue, the specialist gains an understanding of the customer’s wants and needs and then can tailor the conversation to meet those needs.
Here are a few dialogue techniques that you can apply to talk, text, chat and email with your customers. Make your conversations more meaningful and flip the script.
Make it Easy for the Consumer – Provide clear direction on next steps and anticipate future concerns. Eliminate the need to drag on unnecessary conversation for the customer.
Communicate Clearly – Communication is a two-way interaction. Use adapting vocal delivery through vocal emphasis, perception checking, and engaging in active listening practices.
Ask Insightful Questions – Only asking clarifying questions provides limited information. Asking insightful questions addresses any unspoken assumptions that could lead to the consumer calling back.
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