Can different touchpoints really be one voice to the customer?
It sounds as difficult as it does obvious: As a company, you must always speak to your customers with one voice. No matter at which touchpoint: voice, chat, e-mail, telephone or in the store – the customer expects to talk to the same “personality” at all times. And that should come naturally. We are addressing this challenge with the “One Conversation” program.
Let's start with the preconditions for the “One Conversation” program: At each touchpoint, we address our customer as we have come to know them. In other words, each channel has the same knowledge about the customer. Every contact at every touchpoint knows what has happened before – so we have an ongoing conversation, and not a series of individual, restarted dialogs. In addition, we also offer our customers content that is particularly relevant to them at that moment. Consistently across all touchpoints, too. Every activity in the direction of the customer follows a clear premise: What is the next best action?
A lot of requirements, a big task. But our target is clear: We will have “One Conversation” that leads to the next best action. Ideally, every customer would have that one advisor who knows them like no other. But since that's not realistic, we need artificial intelligence to support our customers in a meaningful way, as it’s not always an advisor with whom they are communicating.
What is the technical background for this?
We need an engine in the background that prepares the right interactions for our answering robots as well as for the human contacts. We call it the “individualization engine”, which will be the center of every upcoming interaction. Let’s think of this individualization engine like an outstanding salesperson: A personality who is always polite and friendly, knows their products inside out, knows and appreciates their customers almost personally and never stops learning. This personality knows exactly what the customer likes, what they don’t, and whether the situation is just right to sell them a T-Phone or whether it’s better to leave the customer alone today. With this kind of personal relationship between the business person, in this case the individualization engine, and the customer, we want to create lasting loyalty: A lasting business relationship that is more than just a short-term sequence of individual sales, one that leads to more satisfied customers – and an enhanced customer lifetime value.
The individualization engine is basically an empathy-driven database which analyzes and connects the relevant customer data to make a prediction about what the customer might expect next. This prediction is influenced by several factors: What is relevant for the customer at that moment? What is their history? Which touchpoint is it? And of course: What agenda do we have? All these ingredients form what we call the next best action.
The engine also takes target group-specific or, better, persona-specific factors into account. It therefore selectively plays out the information that is really relevant. For example, an empty nester will not necessarily see the latest gaming headset and, conversely, a very young customer will certainly not see a cell phone for seniors. The intention behind this is not pure sales, but rather the desire to understand the customer’s needs as closely as possible. And that requires an approach to the content that is appropriate for the target group.
If you take all the requirements together, the result is a very consistent customer approach across all touchpoints, or in short: “One Conversation”.