Hyper-personalization is tantalizingly close to the verge of the next boom in 2023. From personalization’s inception in the 1980s to becoming a marketing word of the year in 2019, the buzzword has become indelibly etched in every marketer’s lexicon.
Personalization has moved from hype to hyper over the years and will take on another remarkable resurgence. Crunching customer data is at the crux of it all, and applying data insights to decisions is the most challenging barrier to the success of a hyper-personalization strategy for 53% majority of marketing influencers, according to a report by Ascend2. In a marketplace where anticipating and surpassing customer expectations is the norm, brands need to connect meaningfully and engage in authentic conversations. Here are some pointers to consider.
Embracing scalable and flexible APIs
Service providers need to craft hyper-personal messages to their customers in real-time. Digital-first enterprises should move away from disintegrated and modular technology stacks that are proving to be a disservice to the end customers today. Considering how customer needs and digitalization have evolved, enterprises need to have a holistic API strategy that is scalable and cloud-driven. Regardless of what channel a customer uses, AI-infused personalized APIs are highly likely to deliver seamless support. Through programmable communications, enterprises can leverage API frameworks that support omnichannel customization across the customer journey at any channel in real-time.
Voice and messaging APIs are at the core of creating programmable communications that drive interactions. Prime examples include those in domains such as retail and banking, where online merchants communicate with shoppers right from their identification to purchase and delight them with a discount for their next purchase through messaging or other channels. Banks leverage APIs for their messaging, authentication, account details, payment, and loyalty programs.
According to Forbes, enterprises already down the road of API development for digital transformation need to relook at how their ecosystems operate and squeeze real strategic value from them. CX practitioners need to get strategic about their APIs, considering the current omnichannel environment, proliferation of connected devices, need for deep insights, and the importance of heightened data security.
Personal versus personalized
The already-tensed line between privacy and personalized experiences is getting tenser. With a robust data-driven path to tailoring individualized experiences, enterprises do a world of good to customers. Ill-informed data-driven approaches risk violating customers’ trust. According to Gartner, customers desire contextualized and personalized experiences but expect their data to remain secure and private.
The 2022 Gartner Customer Service and Support Survey reveals that 71% of B2C and 86% of B2B customers expect companies to be well-informed about their personal information. Privacy concerns highlight issues around data breaches and ethics. CX practitioners must keep an eye on local regulations (such as the GDPR or CCPA) that keep redefining standards around how data is collected, stored, and used.
Humanizing the experience
Customers seek a personal touch. In most support scenarios, the bot tries to resolve the issue. Despite cases where the issues are successfully resolved by a bot, returning customers would always desire to interact with a human agent. The clarion call is to bring in the spirit of empathy to CX, and it will take time and effort for the “empathy factor” to permeate the mainstream. Great relationships surpass outstanding transactions.
Customers love resolving issues quickly by themselves. With the help of conversational commerce (AI bots, messaging, voice assistants) infused with contextual and personalized recommendations and human-like interactions, service providers can handle multiple cases with minimum human interaction and boost brand loyalty. In a website, for example, effective chatbots zone in on what the customer is searching for and provide relevant help with convenience and speed. We see novel NLP models crossing new frontiers today, and this could chart a new path that organizations are likely to follow in the future. The demand for “interactions on the fly” will increase, and smart conversational commerce is the way to drive these conversations.
A long-term strategy would be a flexible and scalable gig support model. Consider the case of Movate’s OnDemand network of global gig experts who are specialists or product practitioners, and they in turn support customers with relevant advice. Explore a blended model that complements full-time agents with a gig support model that flexes based on demand fluctuations. Personalized human connections are possible with an on-demand, gig-based support model that provides relevant solutions to struggling customers. The result is empathetic support that leads to tangible cost savings.
Tips for a hyper-personalized strategy
Understanding customers individually is critical, and a hyper-personalization strategy lends a competitive edge to a brand. For example, proactively knowing if a customer is undergoing financial duress and is likely to cancel a subscription helps brands to offer customized plans at a competitive price to that customer. Top tips include streamlining the process of aggregating relevant and precise data via an automated engagement program. Based on reliable data, segment customers into sub-sets such as average spending, interaction history, CSAT levels, and other sub-sets. Next, target customers with hyper-personal interactions across omni-channels or a customer’s specific channel of choice. Gauging the success of targeted campaigns is vital for monitoring metrics like retention rates and revenues. With the increasing number of data breaches, it’s worth reiterating the value of privacy protection to guard against negative brand perceptions. Brands must ensure customers know how their data is being collected and utilized with the option to have complete transparency in their profiles. Helping customers view and manage their data boosts trust and reputation.
Brands have never been more reliant on digital channels than in today’s era of digital acceleration. In a 2023 economy witnessing recessionary headwinds, brands need to connect meaningfully with customers and employees. Hyper-personalization’s finest hour is here, and brands need to get “hyper” about personalization to maximize revenue, reduce cost and churn, and elevate CX. Now is the time to craft moments that matter.
Guest blog post written by Sid Victor, Head of Support Services at Movate. Movate is a digital customer experience services company disrupting the industry with agile human-centered innovation and an outcome-focused approach.
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