Identity Resolution Moves into the Contact Center

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As with marketing, the key to using identity resolution in the contact center is maintaining up-to-date data.

Much of the success in quickly resolving the identities of customers relies on what data companies hold about them in their CRM systems—the people and places to which particular consumers are known to be connected, the devices they use in these sessions, behavioral attributes. These are all very fluid sets of data that are constantly changing. The more sophisticated B2C companies work really hard in resolving identities, McKay points out.

“Many organizations never recognize that their data is a single source of truth and rarely embrace the fact that they need to have an ongoing cleansing and appending process to their CRM,” McKay laments. “It’s a lot of data, and it changes all the time. What I know about John Doe today will certainly change by the next time I interact with him. So, therefore, I need to be vigilant about keeping that info up to date.”

There are, of course, a number of subscription services that can help companies maintain their data in a way that keeps it as close to a single source of truth as possible. Identity resolution is also increasingly being baked into other solutions—such as customer data platforms (CDPs), data management platforms (DMPs), and customer identity and access management software—as a necessary feature.

To say that identity resolution technology is evolving quickly would be an understatement. In Gartner’s 2019 “Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing and Advertising,” identity resolution was found to be coming out of the “Peak of Inflated Expectations” stage and moving into the “Trough of Disillusionment,” noting that marketers have largely figured out the best use cases and how to get the maximum returns from their investments.


That’s not to say that identity resolution’s time in the marketing realm is coming to an end. Identity resolution will continue to provide marketers with a superior way to personalize their offers to customers, says Logan Henderson, general manager of marketing automation at SugarCRM.

“I live in Atlanta and fly Delta. Every time I call in to make flight modifications, they have all the information they need about me right away,” Henderson says.

Research shows that it takes 17 meaningful interactions before the average customer completes a purchase, he adds. By using identity resolution to eliminate non-meaningful interactions around customer identification, the agent or marketer can spend more time on the meaningful interactions that can lead to a purchase.

Similarly, identity resolution provides marketers with the critical information they need about purchasing history, searches, clicks, and more to help them recommend the next best option, according to Henderson.

“You’re not just making generic offers; you’re making personalized offers based on their interests. Being able to pull together all of this information is something of value,” he says.

That has been the case for users of Listrak’s recently launched Growth Xcelerator Platform (GXP), which integrates identity resolution within Listrak’s suite of cross-channel marketing tools.

Within a month of leveraging GXP, Listrak clients saw a minimum of 25 times more return on advertising investment.

“Investing in identity resolution is a critical business decision for us. And having those capabilities integrated under a single platform provided some really important synergies,” said Marcelle Parrish, chief marketing officer at On Campus Marketing, an online superstore for college dorm supplies, care packages, and other essentials for college life. “GXP helps us better identify visitors in order to grow our list, maximize conversion rates, and increase our trigger email revenues. It’s taken our results to the next level and will continue to have a significant impact for our business.”

Henderson adds that while identity resolution can save time for marketers, tying in contact center data has tremendous value as well. Using identity resolution and other data can indicate if a customer has an unresolved issue, like an outstanding refund or a complaint that has yet to be settled. Those kinds of issues need to be settled before marketers start pitching additional products or services

It’s hard to overstate the importance of strong identity resolution for any company looking to become more customer-centric. It will continue to gain traction as smart home devices and mobile devices gain even further prominence in everyday life, Next Caller’s Prugar predicts. 

Phillip Britt is a freelance writer based in the Chicago area. He can be reached at spenterprises@wowway.com.

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