Prioritizing personalization by unlocking customer data

November 20, 2023
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Think about the last time you contacted an organization for help. What was your experience like?

Did it feel disconnected, where the contact center agent needed to ask a myriad of questions to understand anything about you and your issue?

Or did it feel seamless and efficient, with the agent knowing most of the information already so you could focus on a solution?

The difference between these two scenarios is the use of customer data for personalization. More specifically, the difference is organizations that have broken down silos between departments for an uninterrupted flow of customer data throughout the customer journey.

But while 90% of organizations claim to have sufficient data for personalization, operational silos impede its effective use. This leads to lost opportunities to increase customer satisfaction and retention*.

Think about it: Would you want to continue business with an organization if every interaction felt disconnected?

Twilio commissioned Forrester Consulting to learn more about the challenges organizations face when providing personalized experiences through the custom journey.

Here’s what they learned.*

Read the full study by Forrester Consulting commissioned by Twilio

Companies need to better establish customer context to drive personalization

Just 5% of leaders believe their teams can provide high levels of personalization across all stages of their customers’ purchase journeys.

At this point, having customer data available for personalized experiences is table stakes for contact centers. But many organizations struggle to build a context-rich customer profile to provide that experience.

The Forrester study showed that while most companies appear to have sufficient technology and data needed for this, up to 90% reported challenges in delivering impactful, contextual insights in a timely manner.That’s because these insights are strewn across multiple locations within the organizations.

Basically, it’s not easy for agents or sales representatives to access this information in a timely manner, if at all. And as a result, businesses are struggling to understand and engage with customers.

Disparate data collection, storage, and analysis creates data access challenges

However, any business knows that this is easier said than done. The Forrester study found that organizations struggle with unified data collection due to three reasons:

  • Poor integration of customer-related data systems across the whole customer journey
  • Difficulty establishing cross-channel customer context to deliver cohesive, actionable insights at the right time
  • Lack of modern, centralized data platforms hindering personalization insights

Let’s dive in deeper with each of these.

While most organizations are, in fact, collecting the data needed to provide deeply personalized customer experiences, they are doing so across several applications. That means the valuable data that contact centers are collecting isn’t available to the organization’s marketing and sales team, and the reverse is also true.

In order to gain a holistic, in-depth understanding of their customers, organizations need these applications to become integrated.

Cross-channel customer context difficulties

Organizations also collect and store their data across system types, including customer relationship management software (CRMs), customer feedback, analytics, and contact center solutions. And while there isn’t inherently wrong about this, contact center agents and representatives often don't have access to all of this information—especially in real time.

Ninety percent of respondents reported to Forrester that greater access to real-time customer data would significantly enhance their company’s capacity to serve their customers. But half of the leaders surveyed said that agents and representatives do not have full access to cross-channel contextual customer data collected and stored across these systems.

Need for modern, centralized data platforms

When agents and representatives need to switch between applications to gather the data needed for personalization, they lose an average of eight minutes per customer interaction. As in, it takes eight minutes longer to work through any issues customers are presenting.

However, organizations have been historically hindered by data across systems, applications, and even between on-premises and cloud solutions. This information needs to be centralized. One way leaders reported unifying this data is with tools such as customer data platforms (CDPs), which centralizes customer data from multiple sources and makes that data available to systems of insight and engagement.

Connect the dots with a unified data platform

Tools such as a CDP can help unify data across contact centers, sales representatives, and even marketing departments. That unified information can be used to create a thorough customer profile that the organization can use to solidify customer relationships.

The Forrester report found that respondents expect improving access to customer data to lead to  a myriad of benefits, including:

  • Higher customer satisfaction
  • Higher rate of call resolution
  • Improved agent productivity
  • Higher purchase satisfaction
  • Better sales conversions

This leads to empowered customer service and sales representatives. And as a result, loyal customers.

Dive in deeper with the Forrester study’s recommendations for businesses seeking to unify data to create more personalized customer experiences by reading the full study here.

Join Twilio and guest Forrester Consulting for an interactive conversation on how to unlock customer sata to increase personalization across sales, support, and marketing.

Register for the webinar today.