What’s the Hype About Chat Personalization in Customer Service?

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In an interview with our CEO and Co-Founder Reetu Kainulainen, he outlines the benefits of chat personalization — and explains how support teams can personalize automated chat conversations with CRM integrations.

There’s a lot of hype around personalization in customer service — and for good reason. Research by Epsilon found that 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from companies that offer personalized experiences. But how can CS teams offer chat personalization with automation? And why should they bother?

Avoiding bad bot interactions

With first-generation chatbots, automation used to come at the expense of personalization.

“We all know these bot experiences where you want to know if you can return an item, and they blast you with a giant block of text like: ‘Here’s our policy!’ That’s not really a great experience.”

- Reetu Kainulainen, CEO at Ultimate

Unlike these clunky chatbots, personalization is built in to the powerful virtual agents (or IVAs) available today. How? Through smart CRM integrations.

Providing exceptional customer experiences

93% of support teams report that customers have higher expectations than ever before. This demand for a better customer experience is — at least in part — what’s driving the pivot to personalization. But it’s impossible to personalize interactions if you don’t have access to a customer’s data.

When you choose a headless automation provider that integrates into your CRM system, the virtual agent sits inside your contact center software — just like your human agents. This means your IVA has access to all of the customer information it needs to personalize chat conversations.

Reetu explains that, with a CRM integration “we see that maybe this customer is logged in, so we get their name already. We see the domain or the language they’re coming from. So at the beginning of the message — without the user saying anything — we can already start the personalization.”

Creating seamless customer journeys

Choosing an automation provider that integrates into your existing tech stack allows support teams to fully automate more processes end to end. The virtual agent can collect information such as order numbers, and provide customers with fast and accurate responses.

Reetu offers this example of how a virtual agent can resolve a customer query using information from the CRM: say a company has a returns policy of 2 weeks, the virtual agent can check when the order was placed. Then the virtual agent can say, “‘For this particular item you can return it, because you ordered it 2 days ago.’ And that’s a great experience.”

In order to solve an issue, customers might reach out to brands multiple times, and through different channels. So another benefit of personalizing chat experiences through CRM integrations is that support teams can have an overview of these different points of contact.

“If the customer comes to chat and you see that this customer — let’s say 2 hours ago — sent an email, then you can address that. ‘Hey, I see that you contacted us 2 hours ago,’ and maybe you even bump up the priority.”

- Reetu Kainulainen

Why bother with chat personalization?

Customer experience is becoming a growth-driver in its own right, and personalization is at the heart of exceptional CX.

“It’s tiny little things, but if you really want to move the industry towards [a place where] automation actually can drive customer experience, then personalization is the key.”

With 76% of customers now expecting personalized experiences, it’s clear that consumers are demanding more from the brands they choose. Companies that offer personalization in customer service will keep their customers coming back for more.

Supercharge your support with personalized CX