Personalized Customer Experiences with the Customer Data Platform

When you reach out to a business, what do you expect? Quick, efficient service. You expect the business to understand you, your needs, and the importance of your concern. After all, if you’re paying for their service, you deserve to at least be recognized. You expect a personalized customer experience.

If you expect this from the organizations you do business with, your customers expect the same from you. In this blog, we discuss the foundations of personalized customer experiences, including:

  • That customers expect personalized customer experiences that make them feel heard, seen, and understood.

  • That personalized customer experiences are data-driven. This means bringing all customer data, from any number of third-party systems, into a single location and a single, compatible format.

  • That agents must be empowered with data. Customer data should be made accessible through the single agent interface, letting agents deliver personalized customer experiences with ease.

Want to get more detail on creating better CX with the Customer Data Platform? Download Content Guru’s whitepaper: Data First: Your Essential Guide to the Customer Data Platform to learn more.

The Importance of Personalized Customer Experiences

Here’s a customer experience horror story.

The customer calls up your business. They’re forced to wait in a queue, then greeted by an agent who asks their name and their reason for calling.

The agent then takes a minute to cross-reference this information with the customer database, leaving the customer to sit and wait. They conclude that they’re not the person to help that customer, but that another agent could, so the customer is redirected.

Once the customer reaches that agent, they’re asked again for their name and reason for calling. Again they wait while the agent checks their details.

How many times does the customer have to experience this? How much time do they have to waste waiting for agents to search for data that should be instantly accessible?

The experience is dehumanizing and frustrating.

A personalized customer experience offers more.

The Foundations of Personalized Customer Experiences

Personalized customer experience is easier than it sounds. We’ve all experienced it at some point in the past; a personalized greeting, communications that answer your specific needs, and remember your previous interactions. If you’ve ever become a regular at a restaurant or bar you know the feeling. You want to keep coming back, again and again.

How can you create this feeling for your customers?

  • Customer data screen-pops – Nobody likes to be forgotten. When your customers get in touch, they expect you to recognize them. Something as simple as a named greeting can get any customer interaction off to a good start. First impressions count.

  • Complete interaction history – There’s nothing worse than being forced to repeat yourself. Customer journeys span multiple interactions, and forcing the customer to repeat themselves to refresh the agent’s memory is a guarantee to poison any good will they may hold.

  • Efficient resolutions – If a customer has to reach out to your customer service, something has nearly always gone wrong. The best way to improve customer experience is to boost First Contact Resolution through intelligent routing, ensuring that customers get the support they need the first time, every time.

Intelligent routing is the mark of great personalized customer experience. But what does intelligent routing look like, and how can you implement it in your organization?

The Route to Outstanding CX

Intelligent routing means drawing on customer and agent data to ensure that every contact reaches the best available outcome, every time. This is the core of personalized customer experience; understanding the needs of the customer and routing accordingly.

What does effective intelligent routing look like in practice?

  • Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) – ACD systems are the foundation call routing. The most common form of the ACD is skills-based routing. This assigns calls to agents based on that agent’s skillset, availability, and previous interactions.

  • Omni-channel routingThe modern contact center doesn’t just take calls. Contacts from every channel, from social media to email, must be allocated to agents for resolution. This routing must also cross channels, ensuring that customers are able to reach the most appropriate agents throughout their customer journey, no matter which channel they use. If a customer has previously contact you, an intelligent routing solution will ensure that they reach that same agent when they call up again. Consistency is key.

  • AI-powered customer journeys – The era of touch-tone IVRs is over. Today, AI-powered technologies support voice recognition and sentiment analysis, letting you gather information on customer intent and sentiment before the interaction even begins. This information can be factored into routing decisions, directing customers to the agents best placed to meet their technical and emotional needs.

Implementing intelligent routing requires data. And this isn’t the only way that the Customer Data Platform supports your AI transformation.

The Foundation of Your AI Transformation

Change is coming to the contact center, and that change is powered by AI. From generative AI agent support to conversational customer-facing machine agents, if you’re looking to take your personalized customer experience to the next level, you need Artificial Intelligence.

AI doesn’t exist in a vacuum; it requires customer data as a foundation and has implications for the way you handle customer data moving forward.

  • Training a chatbot or a Large Language Model requires lots and lots of data. That data has to be accessible and compatible. If your customer data isn’t in a single, consistent format, it’s useless in training any AI model. You need a Customer Data Platform that organizes your data into a single location and a single format.

  • After every interaction, agents must update a customer’s data. This post-call work represents the single biggest drain on agent time. AI can cut down on this. By listening in on conversations through Natural Language Processing, AI can automatically populate post-call forms, uploading accurate data directly to the CDP without the need for agent involvement.

  • Sentiment analysis is a method for ascertaining customer tone before they speak to a human agent. This AI-backed method assigns a sentiment value to each work in a statement to get an overall tone score. This information can then be used to route contacts. Customers with lower sentiment are then routed to the most experienced agents, best able to meet their needs. In this case, AI leads to more efficient, successful customer interactions.

In each of these cases, AI makes personalized customer experience vastly more efficient. As AI technologies become more common in our everyday lives, your customers will expect you to be leveraging them in their interactions with you. Future-proofing your contact center with AI is the first step to staying ahead of the competition.