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4 Tips for Personalizing the Customer Experience—and Boosting CSAT

4 Tips for Personalizing the Customer Experience—and Boosting CSAT

Our data analyst team analyzed 65,000+ conversations for our Observe.AI Insights series and found the best ways to personalize customer conversations

In the age of ChatGPT, customer experience risks becoming completely generic and commoditized. But that means the opposite (personalized, white glove, empathetic customer service) will become even more valuable.

In fact, we found there is a direct correlation between having a more personalized conversation and success. 

“When content creation is this easy, it’s going to be apparent when it’s not real,” said Kirthi Kalyanam, the L.J. Skaggs Distinguished Professor and Executive Director of the Retail Management Institute at Santa Clara University, during our Customer GPT Innovation Day. “People are going to value authenticity more than anything else.”

So what does a personalized customer experience look like from a contact center agent perspective?

We analyzed 65,000+ customer conversations to find out why personalization matters and how to help agents have more personalized conversations.

Top Performers Use Personalization Techniques 20% More Than Bottom Performing Agents

In our analysis, we found that agents who hit their goals more often were 20% more likely to use personalization in their conversations than agents who did not hit their goals.

Top agents use personalization techniques 20% more than bottom agents

Today’s customers expect more personalized experiences from the brands they interact with, and businesses are turning to customer data to create a more personalized customer experience. 

Why personalized customer experience matters

Personalization is essential in the contact center because it helps agents to connect with the individual customer and their unique needs. By leveraging personalization techniques, agents can provide personalized recommendations, targeted solutions, and tailored support that meet the customer's expectations. Personalization is also a key factor in driving customer loyalty and retention.

Customer Experience Personalization Leads to Higher CSAT

Our data shows the higher the personalization, the higher the probability of customers expressing positive sentiment. This is good news any way you spin it. 

For service centers, higher positive customer sentiment may mean return customers. For revenue generating contact centers, it means a higher probability of a sale or conversion.

Customer experience personalization techniques lead to higher CSAT

When customers feel that their needs and preferences are being acknowledged and addressed, they are more likely to feel satisfied and loyal to the brand. Personalization can also help to build a stronger relationship between the customer and the contact center agent, which can lead to increased trust and confidence in the brand.

By approaching customers empathetically and delivering personalized experiences, contact center agents can win the loyalty of customers and create a strong emotional connection with the brand.

4 Simple Ways Contact Center Agents Can Create a Personalized Customer Experience

So we all agree when agents create a personalized experience, everyone wins. 

The customer has a better experience, the agent performs better, and the contact center hits its marks.

So how do you do it?

In our analysis of 65,000+ conversations, we found specific phrases top agents used to create moments of personalization.

#1 Use the calendar

According to our analysis, agents can personalize conversations by simply referring to seasonal events. Phrases like “happy holidays” or “happy weekend” can be enough to give the interaction the level of authenticity Professor Kirthi Kalyanam is referring to at the top of this story.

Using the calendar can help improve the customer experience

Saying "happy holidays" or "happy weekend" can help to build rapport and foster a positive relationship with the customer. When customers feel that they are being treated as individuals rather than just another transaction, they are more likely to feel satisfied and loyal to the brand.

#2 Acknowledge recent life events

Top agents in our analysis congratulated the customer on a specific milestone, life event, or celebration during the interaction. 

Congratulating a customer on a life event can help with customer service by creating a positive emotional connection with the customer and building a stronger relationship. When customers feel that a company cares about their personal life events, they are more likely to feel valued and appreciated, which can lead to increased loyalty and positive word-of-mouth referrals.

Congratulating a customer on a life event can help personalize the customer experience

Moreover, congratulating a customer on a life event can help to humanize the customer service experience and make it more personalized. This can help to differentiate a company from its competitors and create a more memorable and engaging customer experience.

#3 Listen and respond positively

Anyone who has called into a contact center knows feeling heard is important to a good customer experience. It’s always evident when an agent is just going through the motions or distracted.

Responding positively can improve the customer experience

Data shows that when agents not only listen, but also respond affirmatively, good things happen. Phrases like “That’s fantastic”, “I love that”, or “That’s my favorite” help agents communicate that they're actively listening and are on board.

#4 Asking simple watercooler questions

Sometimes the simplest of phrases can still have positive outcomes. According to our data, typical watercooler questions like “How’s your day?” or “How’s the weather?” or “How is your evening?” are enough to make a positive impact.

Moreover, these questions are entry points to potentially more genuine conversations about life beyond the reason for a call where an agent can continue to build rapport.

Asking watercooler questions are enough to make a positive customer experience impact

Tailoring the watercooler question for specificity is important, of course. Don’t ask “How is your evening?” in the morning, otherwise it’s a red flag to customers the agent is reading off a script—or perhaps a robot.

Get More Data-Backed Insights

There’s a lot of noise out there right now—but nothing beats insights based on the numbers. If you liked what you read above, we have more where that’s coming from. Check out the links below:

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Sneha Iyer
Data Analyst
LinkedIn profile
July 18, 2023
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