How do I predict my customers’ behaviour?
Predicting your customers’ behaviour and and using this information to optimise the customer journey can lead to an excellent customer experience. The following article discusses some of the methods you can use to predict behaviour and how it can be utilised within the customer journey.
Make use of business analytics and business activity monitoring (BAM) and customer analytics to better understand patterns of behaviour
You need to track patterns of customers’ different behaviours through business activity monitoring and analytics – and over time build up an understanding of what makes them tick (effectively a picture of their digital DNA) that allows you to predict with a degree of probability what the next interaction is likely to be. If you are a utility provider, for example, and one of your customers has just moved house, it’s likely by looking at the patterns of behaviour of similar customers over a period of time that you will know what the next interaction will be. From phoning you to provide their latest meter reading, or alternatively complaining about the electricity supply, or that they may need to pay their bill.
The likely nature of the call will vary, of course, according to customer demographic or profile. However, monitoring customer behaviour over a prolonged period may tell you more precisely that 80% of the time customers are simply phoning to give you their latest reading.
Use your understanding of the customer to present a range of different service options
Triangulating your BAM and business analytics functions with your customer relationship management (CRM) and customer interaction management (CIM) allows you to present customers with a range of different service options, relevant to their past behaviour and preferences. Your CRM platform will be registering, tracking and logging the last interaction with the customer involved and what the outcome was, giving you a historical perspective. In the meantime, your analytics engine will tell you what certain types of customers have done in the past and then predict what they are most likely to do in the future.
When the customer contacts you therefore, you can use techniques like caller line identification (CLI) or other mechanisms to first pinpoint who they are, then pull their records in from your CRM to look at their history, and then start the process of deciding where to route them within the organisation. Multiple options can be provided to the customer, typically via interactive voice response (IVR) or mobile/visual IVR. Where the enquiry is routine, self-service options can be presented to improve the efficiency of the customer experience and reduce the service cost incurred by the business.
Leverage the latest soft evaluators to anticipate issues with compliance, streamline difficult conversations and optimise individual interactions
The ability to harness a real time speech analytics capability can be a real differentiator for customer-facing businesses, enabling them to keep abreast, in real time, of what is being said by agents in the contact centre and how it is being said. The latest available soft evaluator functionality goes beyond this, helping to encourage agent empathy and gauge the emotional state and stress levels of both customers and agents by evaluating their voices, and improving conversations in real time.
Businesses can use the capability to start to coach agents to calm down and defuse difficult conversations while information can be delivered in the background to help make decisions on the next best action for the customer – and ultimately resolve the problem there and then. In effect, it’s about predicting not only what the customer might want but also what’s going to get them what they want with the least amount of effort in the fastest possible time – and cost your business the least amount of money to provide.
Anticipate when customers are about to leave and offer promotions or discounts to keep them on side
Businesses are starting to make use of the latest predictive capability to work out when customers or prospects are about to leave their website – typically when their cursor starts to move from the middle of the screen towards the navigation bar. Systems can then be configured in such a way that a move to leave the site and start typing in a new URL in the navigation bar at the top of the page is then met with a real-time special offer, with a code to type in to qualify for a discounted voucher, for example, or some other kind of promotion or concession. In the same way soft evaluators that measure the emotional state of a customer during an interaction can be used to determine when they are becoming stressed and guide the agent down a pre-determined route to control the outcome. Ultimately then, it’s a clear demonstration of how the ability to be able to predict what the customer is thinking and what they are likely to do next can be key in controlling the final outcome to benefit both your business and your customer.