Verint Systems has noted in its 2016 research an increase of 52% in customers preferring customised service. This year, eight out of ten customers prefer it when service is personalised to them. It is apparent that market preferences are developing at a rapid rate and companies need to develop in time with their consumers.
Effective communication – best of both worlds
When weighing up communication channels and tools, companies that target multiple segments might find it difficult to choose how to ‘speak’ to their markets; do they target the massive, growing digital market or reach the older audience that prefers the human connection? The answer is both.
It is not always possible to define a generation as a marketing segment, but the eight out of ten reflects quite reasonably the division between the younger and older market segments – 80% of the market is a significant chunk but the remaining 20% are consumer heavyweights with more to spend.
Verint’s research also uncovered some interesting customer preferences - the 20% who prefer the human touch, when interacting with companies, are more loyal, while those who prefer digital channels are more prone to shifting their business to other companies.
Two out of three customers believe that service online or via mobile devices should be faster and more intuitive. These preferences indicate the extent to which multi-channel communication (or omni-channel, as it is often called) is penetrating the market, customers are increasingly aware that they have options, and the demand is there for customer satisfaction and improved customer experience via these channels.
Customer intelligence and analytics tools allow for increased levels of personalisation. These tools can analyse data to provide more information within the contact centre environment so that agents can relate better to the customer based on that customer’s profile but more than that, the tool could link the customer with the agents best suited to conclude an interaction successfully within an efficient timeframe.
Personalisation increases the perception that the business-to-customer relationship is more than a superficial one, it is an ongoing, developing relationship that allows for transactions the way the customer wants them and when.
The demand for faster, intuitive service is inevitable. The rapid development in online and mobile technology now has consumers taking for granted the old ways of doing things – they want what they want right now. Technology can provide this experience to an extent but all of the channels and departments within a company must be linked, wherever possible. Channels must be broken down so that information is available to those who need it, to prevent unnecessary customer delays.
The human touch is essential, but perhaps more importantly, all channels (human or otherwise) must reinforce the customer’s confidence in a company’s ability to deliver service excellence.