How hyper-personalisation delivers real benefits
For the last couple of years, the likes of Forrester and Gartner have been citing hyper-personalisation as the next big step in modernising the customer experience. In fact, the success of hyper-personalisation has been so undisputed that last year, Raconteur writers discussed whether hyper-personalisation is overriding the creative process in customer engagement roles. However, the reality is that the concept of hyper-personalisation is still very new and there is debate around whether it is being achieved at all.
In truth, the promised benefits of hyper-personalisation can only be achieved if the right technology is used in the right way. And the way to do it is with a centre-out strategy for implementing artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) to unify all customer data across all sources.
While customer data comes from several sources, including mobile apps, email, telephone and self-service portals, this information is frequently stored in siloes. Similarly, when a customer request is handled by one department, those updates may not be available for an employee to view in another department. When this happens, useful data for future engagement gets lost, the outcome being that customers feel undervalued.
Hyper-personalisation can be built into every customer engagement effortlessly by implementing AI into core systems. Using a central AI with all new and old customer data flowing through it, customer information can be easily sorted, stored and accessed by any customer-facing employee.
RPA plays the second important role in empowering hyper-automation by automatically sending updates to relevant departments when action is needed. That way, teams and data are connected and aligned on individual customer circumstances and needs.
So, before brands introduce flashy new innovative engagement methods and hyper-personalised experiences, customers simply want to be remembered. When brands can deliver a consistent experience across channels and departments, that is when hyper-personalisation can truly deliver the benefits it promises, including:
Emotional CX – Memorable customer service that evokes emotion gets the best results. Where this will be different for every person, a unique approach will be needed, which is where hyper-personalisation comes in.
With access to a unified source of customer context, brands can demonstrate they care by proactively getting in touch to assist customers when they need it most – when failed payments become more frequent, they can offer an account freeze, when an add-on insurance service needs to be renewed, they can send a reminder, or when a customer begins searching for baby items they can offer relevant goods and services to help them on their parenting journey. Building a strong relationship with the customer during important life events will future-proof the bond and encourage positive feedback via word of mouth.
Undercut competition – Using next-best-action AI technology and RPA to create automatic alerts, brands can be notified when customer context has changed, making it the best time to take action. Whether the next best action is to make a sale, offer an upgrade or renew a subscription, with hyper-personalisation brands can guarantee they are the first to offer a relevant product or service – even before the customer has started shopping.
Brand loyalty – Hyper-personalised experiences can save customers time or money, based on their individual needs. Brands that understand and react accordingly to known preferences with their first offer will win the trust of customers. With the added convenience afforded by hyper-personalisation, satisfied customers will have no reason to shop around for an alternative.
Customer success – With a better overall view of a customer’s preferences, brands can stand to improve sales success rates significantly. Not only are brands more likely to offer a product that a customer really needs with the help of unified data and AI analytics, but they can also offer it at a time when the customer is most receptive to improve the experience. This can include only contacting a customer outside of working hours, on payday or at the end of an existing warranty.
While hyper-personalisation may be the next step in customer service, transformation must start at the core of processes. There is no hyper-personalisation add-on service that businesses can apply to an old and tired existing CRM system to magically improve the overall customer experience. Instead, data needs to be the priority. So, with an AI built into the core of customer operations and RPA poised to take action when updates occur, the whole customer experience is based on personalisation according to a single source of the truth. From this point on, any decision the business makes on behalf of a customer will be hyper-relevant, hyper-convenient and hyper-successful.