CX Personalization: How to Unlock Brand Loyalty in 2023:
In their efforts to support rising consumer demands for flexibility, simplicity, personalization, and many other “age of Amazon” factors, companies often find themselves fielding complex digital customer experience (CX) strategies. Some components take priority, such as personalization, where 90 percent of U.S. consumers find it appealing to have their experience customized to their wants and needs. As companies see customers demand a more comprehensive CX journey, personalization is a key aspect to offering a tailored experience and strengthening brand loyalty.
In 2023, customers' demands will continue to rise as they lean into experiences where they have more control and individual freedom. When Netflix and Amazon include immediate content and product suggestions, it remains clear that agility is more important than ever to effectively deliver personalization. To build agile CX strategies and create efficiencies in traditionally people-heavy customer service tasks, autonomous CX must play a large role in the transition.
Keep Up with Rising Demands: Autonomous CX
Over the past decade, the implementation of CX solutions, with a shift in consumers’ interactions with them, has been completely transformed. As part of this evolution, companies have adopted new solutions to tackle CX effectively, with autonomous CX—advanced automation strategies and tools that allow companies to create intelligent learning machines and give control to the customer—as a major example. Autonomous CX strategies and tools include knowledge bases, robotic process automation (RPA), and artificial intelligence (AI).
Often, CX strategies still rely on person-to-person interactions, which involve customers being put on hold and waiting for agents to pull up their information. Autonomous CX strategies and tools quickly pull up the customer profile, “understand” the problem, and provide the solution in a matter of minutes—either directly to the consumer or relayed through a customer service agent for a more high-touch experience. These solutions not only offer the ability to find the correct answer faster with the least possible friction, they also improve the company’s overall ROI while alleviating stress for the customer service agent.
Autonomous CX uses critical data and flexibility to create solutions for next best actions; these actions enable companies to provide a faster resolution, resulting in enhanced customer self-service. By feeding the right knowledge response and customer data into learning engines, companies can create robust engines that continue to improve over time and often more quickly than traditional solutions.
As an example, chatbots are a critical component to an autonomous CX strategy, given that 54 percent of customers say they would choose a chatbot over a customer service agent if it saved them just 10 minutes. When effectively trained alongside a human agent, chatbots can reduce friction, decrease wait times, and ensure customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention.
Take Your Time: Implementing Autonomous Tools
While autonomous solutions can significantly enhance the quality of work for agents and the overall value of the customer journey, there are best practices to ensure a successful launch. When 1,000 C-suite decision makers from top companies were surveyed on their CX activations, the results indicated that only 12 percent of companies had successfully implemented more than 80 percent of their CX projects. Oftentimes, due to lack of internal expertise, companies struggle to implement a CX strategy, and those struggles can lead to mistakes that cause reputational damage.
When onboarding autonomous solutions, one rule of thumb is to never exclude the human touch. While a digital CX strategy often aims for CX tools to graduate to autopilot mode, agents should work alongside the tool to remove the risk of putting it on the market without an extensive training process. This way, autonomous CX tools and strategies can alleviate pressure for agents while still supporting customers with high-quality service. For companies to succeed, a balance between technology and human interaction is critical, and technology should never completely take over the human role in a CX strategy.
Another recommendation is for CX agents and executives to start by training a solution through repetition. As confidence grows in the automated recommendations, agents and executives can make the decision to push interactions from assisted co-piloted to fully auto-piloted customer interactions. Ultimately, autopilot interactions allow human agents to focus on strategic, high-value activities and engagements.
Agents and executives should expect that it will take millions of interactions for autonomous customer engagement to safely navigate defined customer journeys. Every interaction should be full of context, understanding, and personalization that provides customers with quick answers and enables businesses to champion every moment.
Additionally, each company is different, so a personalized autonomous CX strategy must maintain alignment with each brand’s demands, products, and customers. As the most accurate step-by-step, brand-specific process is followed and tools are added with patience, a brand can implement autonomous solutions with control, offering exceptional personalization for its customers.
Venu Gooty is senior vice president of digital strategy and transformation at HGS, a provider of consumer engagement, digital CX, and business process management. Gooty has more than 18 years of IT experience.