Taking Customer Care Personally   


Solutions that offer contextual customer data, protect user privacy help brands offer personalised customer care via omnichannel messaging. Brands now have a chance to make good on their brand promise and score points in CX

Special Week Personalisation

Is there anything worse than an angry customer? Consumer complaints are a brand’s biggest weakness. Ninety-five per cent of customers said they would tell others if they had a bad experience with a brand, according to a report by Dimensional Research. Fifty per cent of customers said they were likely to share a negative expreince on social media.

The marketer ecosystem is currently abuzz with conversations around delivering stellar customer experiences to gain positive points with customers. But, the negative marking from poor handling of customer feedback is an old challenge that still plagues brands. Marketers need to focus as much attention, if not more, on retention as it does on acquisition. For example, a leading complaint from customers getting in touch with contact centres continues to be the need to repeat their grievance as they are transferred between agents. There are two reasons to avoid it; the customer relives the unpleasant experience every time they repeat the incident, and the longer they wait –  the angrier they get.

Customer satisfaction plays a big role on retention but so does resolution of consumer complaints. Companies can use the same tools for acquisition, such as omnichannel, personalisation and conversational AI that help convert customers to keep them hooked and happy. Emotions run high in customer service calls, especially if customers feel helpless. Knowing your customer’s history with the brand, their preferences between products and spending habits is precious when dealing with their complaint. Agents should have this information handy to take a call about how to move ahead.

Much to Learn

The hospitality industry throws up a pertinent use case. One customer’s bad review can leave a sour taste in the mouth for many more prospective customers who are bound to check reviews online before dining out.

POSist is a leading cloud-based restaurant technology platform that caters to more than 9,000 restaurants across the UAE, USA, UK, Gulf, Latam and Southeast Asia. In a recent PRIME (POSist Restaurant Industry & Market Evolution) report conducted in the UAE restaurant sector, they found that 60 per cent of restaurant operators have introduced some form of loyalty program for their regular customers. Using technology to know more about customers extends beyond hobbies and tastes to gather feedback from multiple sources such as reviews, aggregators and social media. The idea is simple — one customer’s complaints may spring up an opportunity to proactively solve the challenge for other future customers. Intelligence technologies can help brands understand more about their customers, and improve service that will eventually keep guests delighted.

Low Adoption Rates

In retail, companies are finding that agents are instrumental to business outcomes that go beyond customer satisfaction and net promoter scores. Talkdesk released its research report on contact centres which revealed a critical gap between the high availability of solutions and the low adoption levels within the industry. While retail is rallying around the importance of elevating customer experience (CX), many retailers have yet to seize the potential of using their contact centres to scale personalised service. In fact, only 30 per cent of retail contact centres are using artificial intelligence (AI) tools at scale to deliver the personalised experiences customers expect.

“CX professionals in retail understand that today’s customers expect highly personalised interactions whenever, and however, they may engage with a brand. They also understand that the AI tools required to meet and exceed those evolving preferences are available, yet most haven’t implemented them at the necessary scale,” said David Gardner, Vice President of Research and Insights at Talkdesk.

Smart Technologies Now Available

Cloud-based delivery models such as Communications Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) are giving companies the opportunity to scale up with flexibility. One such solution IntelePeer announced its omnichannel within IBM Watson Assistant to help businesses easily extend their AI-powered virtual assistants with voice capabilities. With this integration, businesses can improve enterprise operational efficiency. It also allows options for on-premises and hybrid contact centres.

Here, a natural language understanding model is designed to be more accurate at intent classification so companies can reserve human agents to fulfil the role of a customer relationship manager.

Voice Intelligence company Dialpad recently acquired Koopid, an AI-driven platform for an omnichannel customer experience. Together, they are working to extend empower brands to differentiate with personalised customer service. It brings full omnichannel support to Dialpad Contact Centre with cloud-powered solutions.

Khoros is cloud-native customer engagement platform built on AWS. Khoros’ digital contact centre solution integrates and augments existing enterprise software and communication channels and offers a simple interface, giving service agents a complete customer 360-degree view of the customer. With high churn among agents, it also solves for the agent experience.

Companies can now drive contextual and seamless experiences across all channels. This includes the ability to engage with customers via messaging and voice in a single experience, transcribe voice to text, make agile changes to interactive voice response (IVR) automation, and deliver inbound and outbound callbacks.

Recent solutions also keep in mind the debate between personalisation and privacy. For example, contact centre artificial intelligence technology provider Observe.AI introduced Selective Redaction to block personally identifiable information (PII), payment card information (PCI), and other sensitive information from recorded customer conversations without sacrificing contextual information required for intelligent business decisions.

It uses attention-based deep neural networks to selectively detect and redact relevant entities from customer information. “Today’s digital-first contact centre contains a wealth of business-critical yet sensitive customer information. By harnessing AI to increase accuracy and precision of the redaction process, we’re letting contact centres adapt to the needs of their businesses and selectively hide customer information without losing the context of their conversations. This not only solves the compliance problem but also drives better agent performance and business results,” said Swapnil Jain, CEO of Observe.AI.


Personalisation can offer some respite. It helps customers feel more in control during customer care conversations, reduces feelings of stress and defeat and leads to a higher chance of resolution. In the long-term, this impacts loyalty and elevates repeat purchase intent.

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