Get Personal to Inspire Loyalty

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1 White Paper Get Personal to Inspire Loyalty Optimize self-service experiences to perform in the same way a person would. Customers will feel that they are being personally attended to via phone, mobile or the Web. #3 in the Series Customer Winning Self-Service 1. Intuitive 2. Conversational 3. Personalized 4. Anticipatory 5. Consistent

2 2 An empire built on personalized service. In 1961, Isador (Issy) Sharp opened a small hotel in Toronto, Canada. Issy s vision was simple, but revolutionary. Open a hotel with a commitment to superior design, top-quality amenities, and, above all, a deep commitment to personalized customer service. Today, his company operates in 38 countries and grosses more than $3.7 billion in annual sales. The company? Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Methodology By distilling billions of customer interactions and thousands of customer deployments, we learned there are 5 key imperatives of customer winning self-service. 1. Intuitive 2. Conversational 3. Personalized 4. Anticipatory 5. Consistent An empire built on a simple, yet lofty, principle: put the customer at the center of everything you do. In today s hyper-competitive business environment where the consumer is overwhelmed by choices at every turn, personalized service is a necessity, no matter your industry, if your company is to survive and thrive. That s why in the third imperative of our 5 Imperatives of Customer Winning Self-Service series, we outline strategies to help you get personal with your customers. Because by personalizing your self-service channels, you ll not only increase sales and lower costs, but you ll also help your company stand-out in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Show your customers you know them Making people feel special is a big business. Luxury hotel chains like the Four Seasons make billions by getting to know their customers and selling them a more personalized experience. But beyond a simple nicety, this practice instills something more important feeling of confidence that the hotel remembers and values your patronage. The desk staff has your preferences on file and you know that your needs will be attended to in a timely fashion. 3 Key Tenants of a Personalized Service Transformation While Forbes was specifically referencing banks, these tenants should apply to companies in every industry. 1. Have it your way is the expectation, not the exception. 2. Get serious about getting to know the customer. 3. Make it easy. (Source: Forbes magazine.) This speaks volumes in an age where 77% of consumers say that valuing their time is the single most important thing a company can do to provide them with good customer service. 1 And according to Forbes magazine, for companies such as financial institutions and banks, getting serious about knowing their customers is among the top three tenets of a personalized service transformation. 2 Nowhere are the possibilities for personalization more readily available, realistic to implement, and proven to perform than in your self-service channels, where helping customers quickly solve their problems, regardless of how they re contacting you (phone call, mobile app or Web site), can earn you a lifetime of loyalty. 1 Leggett, Kate. (2014). Demands for Effortless Service Must Influence Your Customer Strategy. Forrester Research, Inc. 2 Singh, Sonny (2014). Banks Must Recreate the Customer Experience. Forbes.com. Retrieved from: oracle/2014/03/19/banks-must-recreate-thecustomer-experience/

3 3 Creating loyalty-inspiring phone experiences For many companies, personalizing the self-service phone experience is often a natural place to begin their personalization efforts. By making customers phone experiences easy and personal, you re not only fulfilling the number one customer service demand of today s consumer, which is to streamline their experience, but by increasing simplicity by 20%, companies experience a 96% increase in loyalty. 3 Here are a few great places to begin: Greet by name: Easy, right? We agree. When a customer calls your interactive voice response (IVR) system, don t miss the opportunity to connect with them by using their name. It s great to hear from you, Mrs. Vasquez, or Thanks for calling again, Mr. Friedman, how can I help you? makes your customer feel more like an individual and less like customer number 3,567,492. (This of course can apply to your Web and mobile service channels, too.) Personalize your greeting: If you know when a customer started doing business with you, you have everything you need to acknowledge them. Try something simple, like Welcome back, and thanks for being a valued customer since Streamline payments: When receiving a payment, make it easier for your frequent callers by helping them expedite the process: You used your Visa ending in 2321 for last month s payment. Would you like to use the same card for this payment? Provide status updates: Always acknowledge recent transactions and provide proactive status updates whenever applicable. For example, We received your payment of $ yesterday. Thanks so much! What else can we help you with? or The order you placed on June 10th is scheduled to ship out tomorrow, and should arrive by Friday. How can we help you today? Gather customer feedback: For example, a cable provider might ask, Are you enjoying your new HBO subscription? or a telecommunications company might ask, We recently sent you a new iphone 6. Has it met your expectations? Asking questions like these not only show your customers that you care, but simple answers can be logged, analyzed and even set up to trigger follow-up actions like live-agent calls to resolve less than satisfactory responses. 20 % A 20% increase in simplicity results in a 96% increase in loyalty. Making self-service a conversation The most innovative companies are taking phone personalization a step beyond IVR prompts by using technology like Natural Language Understanding (NLU) and voice biometrics to provide a highly personalized self-service experience. NLU allows customers to simply ask your self-service systems a question, just the way they would a person, and get the answer they re looking for. Slangs, complex sentences, fragments are no problem as the system understands their natural speech and helps them quickly accomplish what they set out to do. While voice biometrics allow your customers voice to serve as their password and personal identifier. The system is 80% faster than traditional authentication methods and more secure than alphanumeric PINs and passwords, voice biometrics technology streamlines the self-service experience while saving companies an average of $15 million in a three-year period over traditional methods. 4 By using these technologies together, companies can identify callers instantly, record behavioral preferences and then serve them with fast, effortless service. 3 Spenner, Patrick. (2012). Marketers Have It Wrong: Forget Engagement, Consumers Want Simplicity. Forbes.com. Retrieved from: patrickspenner/2012/07/02/marketers-have-itwrong-forget-engagement-consumers-wantsimplicity/ 4 Research Now, 2013 Conversational Interfaces Survey

4 4 Delivering relevant interactions No matter your interests, we all understand the excitement of truly relevant interactions with the companies we do business with. Retail marketers have been harnessing our behavioral and demographic information for years so that they can segment their marketing and deliver more relevant experiences. Those same segmentation principles behavioral, demographic, etc. combined with new technologies are increasingly being harnessed in selfservice to deliver more relevant experiences that customers love. Creating more relevant experiences Many leading companies are using segmentation strategies in concert with conversational IVRs and intelligent virtual assistants to deliver more relevant, human-like, self-service experiences. A conversational IVR (leveraging NLU) allows customers to simply speak to your IVR rather than use touch tones or directed prompts to get their problems solved. An intelligent virtual assistant is a digital persona that delivers customer service on a mobile app or Web site. Using conversational technology, customers can simply ask virtual assistants for what they want, such as to get a question answered or conduct a transaction, and get exactly what they need. 40 % 40% of callers will transfer out of your IVR if there s not a first-level menu choice that matches why they re calling 32 % The combination of these technologies, as well as the clever use of segmentation, allows you to custom-tailor each experience to serve the unique needs of your customers. This approach not only delivers more consistent and relevant customer experiences, but is increasingly the experience customers expect. In fact, 83% of consumers say they prefer two-way conversational interaction over one-way interactions with technology. 5 32% of consumers are more likely to use an IVR if it has a natural, conversational interface Here are a few of the key areas where customers now expect a more personal experience: Proactive reminders: Use natural language prompts on your IVR and send automated proactive outreach to help deliver critical reminders. For example, an insurance company might deliver the following message through automated outbound text messages, and voice outreach as well as on the IVR, It s almost time to renew your auto insurance policy, which expires on August 16th. Would you like to review your renewal options? Product and service suggestions: Customers expect you to harness their buying preferences and demographics to serve them with relevant product and service suggestions. For example, a cable provider might ask, I hope you re enjoying your new Showtime subscription, and would you like to add HBO? Connected conversations: Having to give the same information multiple times is one of today s consumers top customer service complaints. 6 Connect their conversations across service channels to deliver a relevant experience across all channels and communications. For example, if a customer has recently placed an order on your Web site, or received a proactive reminder, and has now called your company, you might ask, Hello, Mr. Kent, are you calling about the order you placed on September 10? 5 Research Now, 2013 Conversational Interfaces Survey 6 Wakefield Research, 2014 Consumer Customer Service Survey

5 5 Reduce channel escalations by removing impersonal experiences Whenever your customers have a problem or want to buy a product, the Web is often the first place they turn with 50% of consumers saying they begin their customer service interactions online. 7 For companies, this is a good thing. The Web represents a relatively inexpensive channel where customers can (ideally) search for and find a way to solve their problems without intervention from a live agent. Yet companies are still failing to deliver the personalized Web experiences that customers want. In fact, 58% of people are saying they are currently unable to get the answer or information they need on the Web % 58% of consumers say they are unable to get the answers or information they need on the Web. Self-service abandonment is the result. And when your customers can t find the answers they seek online, they flood your contact center to get their questions answered, a reality that is costing retailers $22 million on average per year. 9 So if your Web experience doesn t tailor itself to your customers individual preferences or includes complex menus or navigation, it may be costing your company a lot more than you realize. Removing your impersonal experiences Many companies have replaced these impersonal experiences with intelligent virtual assistants on their Web sites and mobile apps. Virtual assistants can replace complex navigation or menus with a simple I want to box, or natural language voice-enabled prompts, where users can simply type or say what they need, and the virtual assistant gives it to them. Customers love these personalized experiences 71% say they would prefer to use a virtual assistant on a Website to help them accomplish their tasks. 10 Key elements of a personalized intelligent virtual assistant experience When designing your personalized online experiences using an intelligent virtual assistant there are three keys for success. Conversational: Your customer should be able to simply type what they want and get it. Slang, misspellings and grammatically incorrect sentences should be understood. Service oriented: Just like a hotel concierge, your virtual assistant should act as a personal guide. The search result should provide the one right answer and guide customers to the completion of the transaction with the least amount of effort. Always learning: Just like your favorite local restaurant, your virtual assistant should learn about you and tailor your experience to fit your preferences. Leading intelligent virtual assistants will capture customer usage data, and analyze and aggregate it to deliver real-time insights into customer needs as well identify opportunities for improvements. 7 Parature, 2014 Multichannel Customer Service Survey. Retrieved from: parature.com/premium-content/reports/ ParatureStateofCustomerServiceReport.pdf 8 Wakefield Research, 2014 Consumer Survey 9 Leggett, Kate. (2014). Embrace Continuous Improvement To Power Customer Service Operations. Forrester Research, Inc. 10 Nuance Communications, 2014 Consumer Survey

6 6 To stay relevant, you must dream bigger As Jerry Gregoire, the CIO of Dell Computers has said, the customer experience is the next competitive battleground. The companies who succeed in this new era will be those who optimize their self-service experiences to perform in the same way a person would. Customers feel as if they re being personally attended to at every interaction with your company whether via the phone, mobile or Web. To emerge victorious (with passionate, lifelong customers), you ll have to set the bar much higher than hey, it works. Whether you tackle incremental updates to personalize your self-service channels over the next few years or build something bold from the ground up, the most important thing is that you start personalizing those interactions now. Take the first steps now by scheduling a personalization strategy session. Just send an to subject line: Personalize My Self-Service. About Nuance Communications, Inc. Nuance Communications is reinventing the relationship between people and technology. Through its voice and language offerings, the company is creating a more human conversation with the many systems, devices, electronics, apps and services around us. Every day, millions of people and thousands of businesses experience Nuance through intelligent systems that can listen, understand, learn and adapt to your life and your work. For more information, please visit nuance.com. Copyright 2015 Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Nuance, and the Nuance logo, are trademarks and/or registered trademarks, of Nuance Communications, Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. All other brand and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. NUAN CS SP-03, Jan

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