By Mandy Reed, Global Head of Marketing
The start of a new year always comes with a slew of business predictions from experts, and 2023 has certainly been no different. I think we have learned to take these predictions with a grain of salt, considering them as we plan for the future but not necessarily fully embracing all of them. This is particularly true after the upheaval and uncertainty the world has experienced over the past few years.
Sometimes though we come across a prediction that feels very on the money. This year, one of the customer experience (CX) predictions for 2023 falling into that category is that ‘Personalization will get More Personal’. When you consider recent CX research indicates a personalized experience is important for customers in their purchasing decisions, it makes sense that businesses will work towards this in order to improve customer satisfaction. But what does it mean to make personalization more personal?
I like customer service expert Shep Hyken’s take on this in his blog post, Don’t Just Personalize the Customer’s Experience – Individualize It. In a nutshell, individualizing the experience is taking standard personalization one step further in order to create a unique – but not creepy! – engagement with the customer. This can be applied to marketing, sales, and customer support.
Personalizing the customer’s experience can mean a lot of different things to different companies and in different scenarios. I was reminded of this last week when I received an email from Amazon with a product recommendation. The recommendation was based on a recent product search and comparison I had done while logged into my account, so in that way it was personalized. However, I had ended my search by making a purchase, so it didn’t feel very personalized to have Amazon suggesting I buy a product I had just purchased a day or two before.
Sometimes those of us in marketing and sales are guilty of spinning the truth a little bit. Would I market that Amazon experience as personalized? Absolutely!
But was it really individualized to the true customer journey? Maybe not so much. . .
Back in 2013, V-Person™ technology became the first virtual agent offering to implement personalization – a recognition acknowledged both by the Patricia Seybold Group in their 2014 technology review and by the analysts at Gartner when they named Creative Virtual a 2015 Cool Vendor in Smart Machines.
For nearly a decade now, we’ve talked about our virtual agents and chatbots delivering a personalized self-service experience – with no marketing spin required! In this context, a personalized experience has always also been an individualized experience. It’s not just personalized because the user is greeted by name or is presented with relevant information based on the webpage from which the chatbot was launched. Users are given responses that are specific for them based on their account, subscriptions, invoices, member status, purchase history, location – the list goes on and on.
Over the years both our conversational AI platform and the technology that enables this type of personalization have improved, opening up additional possibilities and creating more seamless user experiences. The key to delivering a truly individualized experience through a conversational AI tool is integration. Without flexible integration options, you’ll never be able to make your personalization more personal.
Today personalized virtual agents are delivering more value to organizations than non-personalized solutions. They increase digital containment and improve user satisfaction by delivering comprehensive, tailored self-service experiences. They can also help individualize human-supported channels when deployed internally as agent assist tools.
It’s clear that technology is an important tool in creating more personalized customer experiences, whether that be on digital channels or in-person. When it comes to using technology to take those experiences from simple personalization to being individualized, the solution and vendor you choose is vitally important.
A great resource for any organization looking to purchase a conversational AI solution that will make personalized engagements more personal for customers or employees in 2023 is the new Chatbot Buyer’s Guide. It includes some important insights into the types of personalization you may want to consider implementing and what features and functionality the conversational AI platform you select needs to deliver that personalization successfully.
And if you’re interested in learning about how V-Person delivers a more personal and individualized experience, arrange your own customized demo with an expert member of our team.
Will 2023 end up being the year that personalization gets more personal? Only time will tell. But with the technology available today and the clear business benefits individualized experiences deliver, it would be foolish not to make this a strategic initiative this year.