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How technology
can help a
CX team deliver
a personalized
customer experience

Author: Maria Riddick

Customers nowadays want a personalized customer experience (CX) and a positive end-to-end experience, and today’s technology can be a tremendous asset. CX technology can give your CX team on-demand access to the information they need to help meet and exceed customer expectations. In addition, when used correctly, technology can help to strengthen customer relationships and improve customer retention.

Research has shown that people will walk away if your service is poor or unresponsive. According to Gartner, “By 2025, customers will pay a freelance customer service expert to resolve 75% of their customer service issues.”1

With technology, such as digital self-service, customers no longer have to waste valuable time with seemingly infinite loops on customer help lines. They can get the information they need and be on their way.

Of course, people are still an essential part of the equation for helping to ensure a positive end-to-end customer experience, and finding the right balance to create that customer personalization is key. Here are five ways your CX team can combine technology with a human touch to create a more personalized customer experience.

Offer intelligent search

Consider the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI), which is making search more user-friendly and helping to create that customer personalization. Rather than having to scroll through a potentially long list of options, customers can simply conduct a search and often quickly find what they are looking for. If the experience was helpful, they’re more likely to turn to you in the future.

CX technology that uses intelligent search is an important element of customer self-service. When done well, it can increase conversion and boost customer engagement. Search engines that use natural language and are self-learning are crucial to a successful CX strategy to help ensure customer personalization.

Deliver what people want: a personalized customer experience

Customers don’t want to be bombarded with spam and irrelevant messages. Instead, they want offers and prompts for products they’re likely to be interested in.

But delivering a personalized customer experience does not mean just selling to your customers. What really matters to customers is the entire experience they have when they interact with your brand from start to finish.

Delivering a personalized customer experience means understanding your customers’ needs, making it easy to troubleshoot and resolve service or product issues, addressing questions or concerns promptly and proactively when possible, and doing so throughout the entire process with empathy.

Make sure that the algorithms in AI learn from the questions and issues your customers are identifying so that AI identifies the issue that closely matches what the customer is actually asking. It’s frustrating for customers when they type in a question in the AI chat box and receive an answer that is totally unrelated. Task your AI engine with proactively learning about your customers’ likes, dislikes and purchase patterns and fine-tuning those insights, so the right solution is delivered quickly and customers receive that personalized customer experience.

Once you have the necessary information to create a personalized customer experience, the CX team should act on it. Use customer feedback and behavior data to refine and tailor how your customer experience team communicates with customers.

Use technology to basic answer questions

One of the first places many people turn to for answers is your website. So a CX team should have a reliable tool in place to efficiently deal with customer queries. Consider adding a live chat option or virtual assistant to your website. You can task your chatbot with answering simple queries and coordinating basic transactions at any hour of the day.

No matter how you set up your chatbot, CX technology should make it easy for customers to quickly get the answer they’re seeking, otherwise you risk losing them to a competitor.

Create a unified experience

If you begin a purchase on a computer but switch to your mobile device, it’s frustrating to have to start all over again.

To help minimize that frustration, your CX team should unify customers’ experiences, no matter where they are on their journey or which device they’re using. Your customer experience team should enable your in-store staff to see the customers’ online activity and respond based on the whole picture. In addition, make your digital self-service experience available on every device so customers on the go can tap into the benefits of convenience anytime, anywhere.

Combine technology with a human element

Going digital does not mean your customer experience team should eliminate the personal element. Make the most of CX technology, like virtual assistants and chatbots, to exceed customer expectations, but don’t forget to add some humanity. Use AI to filter customer inquiries straight to the function they need—semantic analytics can tell when customers are angry or being sarcastic, for example—and send them directly to a human agent who can deal with their problem.

Remember, customer experience goes well beyond a customer’s initial purchase. It is about the end-to-end experience customers have when interacting with your brand. So, when a customer contacts you with a question or problem with a product or service they’ve purchased—no matter how terrific your product or service is—if they have difficulty getting support, their experience won’t be positive.

By using the right technology and combining it with the human element, your CX team is in a better position to build and strengthen those all-important customer relationships and deliver that positive end-to-end experience. To learn more, discover how Verizon’s Customer Experience Services can help you boost satisfaction, retention, renewals and wallet share.

Maria Fernandez-Riddick is a customer experience transformation evangelist at Verizon Business Group. She has been instrumental in the creation and adoption of customer experience disciplines. She holds an MBA, a master’s certificate in project management and is a Certified CX Professional and a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.

 

1Gartner, Gartner Top 10 Strategic Predictions for 2021 and Beyond, Kasey Panetta, October, 2020.