Match.com Founder Gary Kremen joked that his online dating service works so well his own girlfriend left him for another man she met on the site.
Match.com and other dating platforms are able to utilize customer data and cutting-edge match-making algorithms to give their users exceptional and sometimes unexpected dating options. By harnessing the power of big data and focusing on meaningful assumptions about its subscribers, dating services like Match.com are able to provide unique experiences that exceed customers’ expectations.
We see a parallel between online dating and customer service. Match.com and other dating sites match users with the best possible mates, while customer service matches user inquiries with the best possible outcome. And similar to online matchmaking services, the more insight brands have about their customers, the more opportunities they have to offer proactive customer engagement at exactly the right time. A McKinsey Report, published in June, argued that companies must be able “to apply advanced analytics to the large amount of structured and unstructured data at their disposal to gain a 360-degree view of their customers,” and that “their engagement strategies should be based on an empirical analysis of customers’ recent behaviors and past experiences with the company, as well as the signals embedded in customers’ mobile or social-media data.” Similar to the way in which online dating services allow people to connect in more dynamic ways than ever before, advances in cloud-based customer service technology are breaking down the traditional barriers which have impeded the customer experience.
The Cloud Brings Everything Closer
Until very recently, most people met through mutual friends or family, fell in love, got married and had children with people who either worked or lived in the same town. This is actually a classified psychological phenomenon known as “the proximity effect.” Online dating helps people expand their horizons by connecting individuals who may have not come in contact with one another had it not been for the matchmaking service. Similar to how online dating sites help eliminate the geographical limitations which prevent people from connecting, the cloud-based contact center is free from the four-walls of a “cube farm” and the expensive infrastructure tying it down, allowing brands to create meaningful connections with their customers anywhere and at any time.
Contextual Routing Is a Lot like Online Dating
The similarities don’t stop there. We can easily compare the algorithms used by these dating services to the next-generation contextual routing technologies used by LiveOps, which allow brands to have deep insight into a customer’s journey.
The McKinsey Report states, “the forces enabling consumers to expect real-time engagement are unstoppable. Across the entire customer journey, every touchpoint is a brand experience and an opportunity to engage the consumer—and digital touchpoints just keep multiplying.” Real-time contextual routing provides the ability to track previously fragmented customer interactions across channels, including websites, online shopping carts, voice, email, chat, mobile and social. Agents gain real-time insights into “positive” or “negative” customer experience patterns so they can react in real-time and trigger the next possible action, which can be either a self-service or live service experience. Once a pattern is detected, agents, via real-time contextual routing, can engage with the customer directly via multiple channels, including an HTML 5 pop-up, a proactive chat invite, click-to-call or a scheduled call-back to either resolve an issue or close a sale. Similar to the way that online dating sites personalize the interactions of their users, contextual routing gives agents the ability to tailor their interactions with customers and provide personalized experiences that go above and beyond what their customers expect.
Forget the Blind Date: Connecting for a Positive Outcome
Intelligent, contextual and skills-based routing provide marketing, sales and customer service organizations with unprecedented insight into their customer base and the ability to create exceptional experiences with minimum customer effort. How? By routing customer inquiries to the right agent at the right time. Much like matching two people based on their preferences and approaches to dating – the customer and the agent have to be “compatible.”
Just like online dating, the key to a successful relationship with your customers is to create a personalized experience in which the person on the other end feels understood and is treated like an individual. It’s true, sometimes blind dates can work, but more often than not they turn into awkward situations where you are asking for the check and trying to make a break for it as soon as possible. Real-time contextual routing makes it so agents aren’t going blindly into their interactions, and are instead equipped with the right knowledge to provide more personalized experiences than ever before.
Technology has revolutionized the way people connect, both in the dating world, as well as the customer service industry. We’d love to hear your thoughts on how being in a more connected world has changed the way you interact. Feel free to share your comments below.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.