Adapting existing processes with automation and personalisation.

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Personalisation is an opportunity

Natural Language Processing (NLP) has transformed the way we work and play. This branch of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has had a positive impact for business and consumer.

The world we live in today celebrates diversity. Individuality has become more expressive. Everyone does not understand everyone’s identity. But customer service agents or solutions should be able to identify customer needs and many strategies have been developed to deliver the best service possible.

AI is still new for growing businesses and is a proven strategy for big business. So how do we automate this key element of personalisation? There are tools available that streamline processes by totally automating them, semi-automating, or even a decision-making automation that reduces the number of human-to-human transfers, routing the user to the best person to close the conversation. Now we need to adapt these processes, leveraging conversation data to build relationships.

Personalisation is not a problem for your marketing team. It is an opportunity for your business. According to McKinsey & Company, personalisation is key to increase ROI. They found that “companies that excel at personalisation generate 40% more revenue from those activities than average players.” Today businesses are competing with companies that are digitally native, many of them deliver personalisation autonomously.

Personalise Interactions

Consumers want personalised interactions. We promote brands that connect with us on a personal level. People will remain satisfied and keep supporting you as long as they feel understood. Customers who do not feel understood will try find an alternative. Personalisation is key driver for repeat engagement and loyalty, and most customers expect it, many demand it.

Technology suppliers and vendors are becoming increasingly aware of this need for personalisation and are trying to help businesses thrive by adopting and optimising automated tools to support contact centres. This customer service approach will help you with loyalty and retention.

Automating tasks will empower your human workforce. Bots can handle the repetitive tasks that demotivate humans, reducing attrition. People can handle tasks that need them, or takeover when automated responses do not satisfy.

Understand the Consumer

It is important to understand that automated experiences can still feel personalised, without being overly complex. If a person logs in or uses an authenticated channel, bots can address them by name and systems can send content and reviews post-purchase. But you can go further and must.

The goal is to go as far as possible. Try start a conversation asking about their previous purchase or experience or send related offers when they would normally make a purchase.

Most consumers expect personalised communications from brands and get frustrated when they receive unrelatable offers. It is all about leveraging that relationship to deliver the best offer to the suitable person the right moment.

Humans can be more personable than machines, but even we can fail at it. Sometimes our own emotions can interfere, and we forget meet the other person in the correct tone. Therefore, more contact centres are providing agents with empathy training. Not everyone wants to hear a soft tone, but it is better if we do when they might be expecting it. Sometimes we do not require understanding, we just need to be responded to, and the quicker and clearer that response is, the better.

This can be problematic as most AI bots will either do too much, or too little, depending on the individual and how they are feeling at that moment. There are tools available with most bot platforms that attempt to understand sentiment of a conversation, but there nowhere near perfect and can cause more trouble than they solve. Content management may not be effective either, some brands are still learning the hard way not to write conversation responses like they write website FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) articles.

Understand your capabilities

Focus on reaching a consistent level of personalisation that your business can handle to always meet set expectations. We see three options to personalise and maximise productivity:

  1. Employ and train enough human resources to personalise every interaction in real time.
  2. Introduce many solutions to automate all responses.
  3. Invest time into developing a balanced workforce of people and machines.

Developing a balanced workforce will help drive your business into the future. Automated interactions are becoming the favoured option for contact centres, but we are seeing less personalisation than is possible. Businesses who do not try to personalise experiences will find it difficult to compete in the future.

Conversation data has been a huge driver for personalisation. We know what customers are asking, have ways to calculate sentiment, can log success of responses and satisfaction of the consumer. This data is rich too showing multiple channels that customers are using, so we know where our users are and how the speak to us across different platforms. Many of these channels already authenticate users for you, but there are platforms available that will enable you to handle all interactions in one place. Recognising repeat queries from users can be a massive time saver.

It is vital you understand who you need on your team. Talented, knowledgeable people already exist in your business and can start to take on more responsibility, providing more job satisfaction. Existing agents should be part of the team that deliver digital transformation projects. They are typically the best brains to pick when designing automated journeys, they may even be your choice of Conversation Designer. Once a digital assistant is live, agents should be the ones using data to improve Natural Language Understanding (NLU) of your digital agents. Understand all the roles you need to support this new dynamic.

Adapt existing processes

Choices help us make decisions on what we need and want and can be necessary for us to decide what is important to us. Users should also get a choice in how we interact with them. Instead of trying to compute someone’s feelings, we could ask them. Imagine starting a conversation with a brand and before you ask your question you can personalise your experience. Think about offering a choice of facts vs. understand your unique problem. 

Keep it simple by presenting no more than two or three options. The need for personalisation is especially important today as more and more businesses are removing telephone options in favour of multi-channel digital presence, and the next generation are driving this change. 

Try adapting existing processes to personalise experiences. Understand all the data you are capturing and look for opportunities to capture added information. Find a platform that allows you to leverage conversations in a way that supports your business. Using strategic partners can help. 

Many of our customers have digital agents, or bots, that support their contact teams by answering frequent questions, routing customers to the best team, automating part of a process or the entire customer journey. Start by understanding in-house capabilities and discovering roles you should outsource. Vendors may be able to help you understand the analytics insights faster and assist in creating more dynamic customer experiences. 

There are always barriers, from time to finances, but knowledge shouldn’t be one. If you do not have the capacity to hire expert talent, use technology vendors to support your team. Talk to us any time about your digital presence or human-machine collaboration to see how you could transform your interactions with our full support. Request a demo below or leave a message with our digital assistant, Tobee.

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