A key challenge in the Customer Service industry is around managing frictions throughout the customer journey and finding ways to improve the service experience. One of the more challenging topics is in the area of Credit Control. This briefing will focus on tactics and tools to help manage these challenges.
We welcome our guest speaker, Andy McNulty from SSE Airtricity, who will discuss their approach to handling sensitive issues around credit collections and proactive methods that can help set the stage for a positive engagement.
Matt Weil from VoiceSage, our sponsor for the event, will present on their latest developments in customer contact technology and how to overcome some of the barriers with a particular focus on credit collections.
For more details on the event and to book your spot, please visit our event page.
Cormac Farrelly, Digital Strategist with WSI, explores how Psychology can help us build better relationships with our customers.
I had the pleasure recently of attending Nathalie Nahai’s keynote address to the Customer Service community at a CCMA Ireland event in the RDS, kindly sponsored by BT.
In fact, the keynote was perfectly pitched to align with the backdrop of the Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition and Joseph Walsh from BT reminded us that this remarkable event is now in its 55th year.
In her presentation, Nathalie spoke about the BIG FIVE personality traits and how they can be used to predict emotional, behavioural and cognitive patterns.
Considering our customer is at the centre of what we do, it’s not surprising that Psychology should take a leading role in helping us better understand their needs and manage and respond to their behaviour.
First things first, I think it is important to acknowledge that customer expectations from brands are at an all-time high while trust is at an all-time low.
This in part is fueled by an online environment where information is available more freely than ever before; customers are more connected than ever with multiple devices and with the advancements in technology they expect a hyper-personalised experience from the brands they interact with.
With the introduction of GDPR and other data protection legislation in Europe, they also have greater expectations in terms of privacy and this, of course, leads to the trust issue.
Nathalie’s view is that brands need to cut through the noise so they can attract and hold the attention of the right people within their customer circle.
Once the brand has the customer’s attention, it is much easier to build a relationship and ultimately build trust by delivering great customer experiences.
So how can Psychology help us do this?
First of all we need to understand what drives our customers – Why are they coming to you in the first place? Why are they using your product or service?
In most cases, the underlying reason is “Homophily”.
Literally, it means a love of the same. If you meet a stranger but find some common ground, for example, someone you both know or you went to the same college or you both have kids, you are much more likely to bond with them.
What’s interesting from a sales and marketing perspective is that sources that are seen as homophilous or similar to ourselves, are much more likely to be perceived as credible, trustworthy and reliable which means that the persuasiveness and effectiveness of your communication is going to be greater.
The concept of brand storytelling is well talked about in content marketing circles but taking Nathalie’s insights a step further, the stories we relate to most, feel authentic to us and reflect our own experiences.
Brands need to consider this when they are trying to reach their audience using advertising campaigns. As a starting point the ad campaign strategy needs to answer the following questions:
- What is their demographic profile? (gender, age, background)
- Why do they need you? (what’s their story)
- How are they feeling? (excitement, anxiety, stress)
- What do they need now? (emotional / practical)
Let’s look at some examples.
The first is a Christmas campaign that was run in the UK to drive awareness around drink driving.
The ad is targeted at a very specific audience – Young Males and is promoted by Lad Bible, an entertainment channel that targets that audience.
The ad campaign ran on Instagram which again fits with that demographic. The campaign was very successful with 1.4 million views of the video.
The second campaign was for Lloyds bank. The concept is around “the next step” and Lloyds are promising that they can help their customers with the next step. It’s an emotionally charged ad but unlike the drink aware ad it is very universal in its reach.
Although the audience reach was different, the common thread between these two campaigns is that they were both able to leverage homophily to understand and most importantly mirror the experience of their intended audience.
The role of Psychographics and introducing the BIG FIVE
Using the concept of Homophily we can see how it is possible to really connect with our customers and start to understand what they are experiencing.
However when it comes to understanding customers and creating content and messages that will have the biggest impact, the Holy Grail is smart personalisation.
Nathalie introduces the concept of Psychographics which allows us to adapt persuasive messages to align with the customer or potential customer’s personality traits.
Tailoring the message (be that the ad copy, the social post or even the contact centre phone script) to match the person’s personality traits can be a very effective way of increasing the impact of the message.
Many of you will be familiar with personality assessment tests like Disc or Myers Briggs. The challenge with these tests is that they often want to box us into one single personality type but the reality is that most people exhibit multiple traits and personality indicators that can shift and change as we go through different stages of life.
However the Big Five model introduced by D.W. Fiske in 1949 is a little different. The model started with approx. 4,500 traits and ultimately distilled this down to 35 traits in 5 categories.
You are organised, dependable and self-disciplined and prefer to plan & aim for achievement.
You are energetic, positive, assertive & sociable. You tend to seek stimulation in the company of others. You exhibit a high degree of intellectual curiosity, creativity and a preference for novelty and variety. Interestingly people who score high for extravert are usually high in openness.
People who score high for agreeableness are good to have around if there is a customer issue or bad news to communicate – These are the people most likely to soothe things over.
However it is also good to have some people on your team who are low in agreeableness as they tell you how it is!
All of us experience this at certain times but if your baseline is high, chance are it relates to emotional stability.
Putting the BIG Five to work: Bullseye Targeting
OK – so now that we understand the principle of homophily and the BIG FIVE personality traits, it’s time to see how we can use these Psychological concepts to target our customers with personalised messages that they will be more receptive to.
Here are some examples of Digital ad campaigns online that target specific traits.
The first one is an ad for Men’s deodorant:
If you look closely at the language you will pick out words like “Adventure”, “Sport Defence”, and “Extreme”.
These action words are aimed at the Extravert type.
The second ad is around helping make your community a better place to live.
It’s about friends and family, communal goals and home life. This is very much aimed at the Agreeableness type.
The last example is for Evernote.
It’s about being organised and remembering everything. This ad is aimed at the Conscientiousness trait.
To create a personality specific campaign like these examples, it is key to fully understand the motivations behind each trait. We can summarise these as:
- Open: Creativity & intellectual stimulation
- Conscientious: Efficiency & goal pursuit
- Extravert: Excitement & social rewards
- Agreeable: Connection with family & community
- Low E.S.: Safety & security
We’ve spoken a lot about personalisation and the positive impact it can have.
However with this comes a lot of responsibility for brands. Just because it’s technically possibly to create hyper personalised campaigns DOESN’T mean that we should do it.
Brands have an obligation to protect their customer’s privacy.
If we get this wrong, we end up with a negative Psychological effect – Nathalie refers to this as the “creepiness factor” – The feeling that your every move, both public & private, is being watched, tracked, followed, analysed & capitalised on.
I mentioned at the start of this blog post that customer expectations are at an all-time high and in fact they are still evolving.
Our collective opportunity is to use this Psychological methodology to better understand our customer so we can better serve them, ultimately creating a “win win” for marketers, customer service and of course the customer!
Cormac Farrelly Cormac is a Digital Marketing Strategist at WSI and enjoys helping executives and management teams understand how to take advantage of digital technologies to support their business objectives.
Nathalie Nahai is an international speaker and author of the best-selling book, Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion. Her work explores the intersection between persuasive technology, ethics, and the psychology of online behaviour.
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Congratulations to all our winners!
This year’s prestigious Irish Customer Contact and Shared Services Awards ceremony was held last Saturday night, 10th November, in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin. The night was a great success and couldn’t have taken place without the support of BT and Cisco.
The event was attended by over 700 industry professionals. Once again we had a live video stream of the Awards ceremony and we were delighted that so many people logged on to watch the event live.
Our photographer was busy snapping photos throughout the night of the award winners and the fun, so please be sure to visit our Facebook Page to see them.
We also had a live stream of Tweets to our hashtag #ccmalive and the response was fantastic. If you are not connected to us already, please follow us on Twitter using the button below Follow @ccma_ireland
If you would like to learn about the winners and those highly commended on the night please download the Book of the Night.
We are delighted that through our raffle and the generous donations of attendees at the awards ceremony we raised €5,680 to be shared between two charities Childline and Enable Ireland. Many thanks to all for your contributions.
Are your dresses and suits dry-cleaned and pressed?
CCMA’s biggest industry event is this Saturday night (November 10th) with the hosting of the Irish Customer Contact and Shared Services Awards at the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin 4.
The event will be attended by over 750 leading industry practitioners from across Ireland for what promises to be a very enjoyable evening.
Once again, a big thank you to our Gold Sponsor this year BT and Cisco.
Once again this year we will have a live video stream of the Awards ceremony which will be relayed on the night. You will be able to access this on www.ccma.ie/live. Our Twitter hastag will be #ccmalive so if you cannot join us on the night please do tweet your messages to friends and colleagues nominated for an award as a live stream of Tweets will be on show during the ceremony.
#ccmalive is now up and running so feel free to send us your messages before Saturday!
As we do every year, we will be asking guests at the ceremony to participate in a raffle to raise funds for Childline and, new to this year, Enable Ireland.
Childline’s volunteers answer over 1,000 calls, texts and online contacts from children all over Ireland every day. Some of those children have everyday worries, while some are at-risk, with nowhere to turn. Childline is the only 24-hour listening service for children.
Enable Ireland provides vital therapy & rehabilitation services to over 7500 children and adults with physical and neurological disabilities.
Support of these worthy organisations helps them to continue to provide the best possible service – critical to our children’s health and growth.
Are you one of the 37 Companies shortlisted this year?
This year the CCMA have shortlisted 37 companies for the Irish Customer Contact & Shared Services Awards.
If you are new to these awards, we celebrate the highest standards and service excellence within the Irish Customer Contact & Shared Services sector by recognising and honouring the companies and people who focus on being the best.
Across 17 categories many leading Irish and International customer service organisations have shown that they are at the forefront in supporting their customers through a range of channels including on-line and social media. Congratulations to all who have participated and best of luck to those shortlisted.
The gala awards ceremony will take place on Saturday, 10th November, at the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin 4. Our host for the evening will be Andrew Ryan, music will be by The HeeBeeBeeGee’s.
If you would like to attend the awards or are interested in sponsoring an award category please contact Dorothy@ccma.ie
This year’s gold sponsors for the 2018 awards are BT and Cisco. Without their support, events like this wouldn’t happen, so we thank you.
For those who cannot attend, the awards ceremony will be streamed live so stay tuned as further details will be provided shortly.
Join us Tomorrow, 13 September, as WFO expert Mark Evans, MD of Welltel Enterprise, along with specialists from Verint share their approach to empowering agents to deliver true value as expert communicators delivering insight rather than information.
We are delighted to be joined by Dr. Bob Mann, Senior Director Verint (see speaker bio below) who will discuss how to leverage the customer experience as a business differentiator.
Get involved in the conversation and stay for the BBQ!
Where: Morrisson Hotel, Ormond Quay Lower, Dublin.
When: 13 September, from 3 p.m.
About the speaker – Dr. Bob Mann - Bob has been working in ICT for 30 years with roles including functional and system test, product development, product management, product marketing, channel management and business development. Bob’s particular specialism for the last 25 years has been in Customer Relationship Management and Customer Access channels including CTI and digital channel-shift solutions.
At IBM he was WW channel manager for CTI products, and has under his name a number of the original CTI patents.
For the past 15 years Bob has been a key driver and consultant in Verint’s Customer Engagement Management solutions, most specifically into the Government sector both in the UK, North America and Australia, and so has a good overview of “best practice” in the global marketplace. In his current role, Bob is a senior director supporting the running of the worldwide practice for Verint’s Engagement Management Professional solution set.
We are now accepting entries for the 2018 edition of the Irish Customer Contact and Shared Services awards.
Its time to get the creative juices flowing for this year’s submissions!
These prestigious awards recognise companies that are the best in our industry sector. They highlight the tremendous work that our people undertake to deliver exceptional service to our many customers at home and abroad.
The application pack with details of all 17 categories and criteria for entry can be downloaded from our website.
The closing date for entries is 5.00 p.m. Wednesday, 5th September, 2018.
The 2018 Irish Customer Contact & Shared Services Awards hosted by CCMA Ireland will take place on Saturday, 10th November, 2018 in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin 4.
Entries will be accepted by e-mail only to email@example.com
We plan to host a judges call at 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday 11th July for companies who are considering entering the awards. The purpose of this call is to provide hints and tips on preparing a submission. The call will also be recorded.
If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities at the awards please contact Dorothy@ccma.ie
It may come as a surprise to you that 75% of American households will have a smart speaker by 2020. (Gartner). It may also surprise you that 90% of the population of the United Kingdom can now be addressed via either Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. Would it surprise you to know that nearly half of all retail payments in China are now made through WeChat, the Chinese version of these messengers?
In 2017, Google’s word recognition matched that of a human for the first time. It will soon be better than humans at recognising objects from your mobile phone camera, your home security system, or your in-home digital personal assistant.
CCMA, in association with our sponsor Webio, is hosting a breakfast briefing on Thursday 7th June, on the topic of “The Future of Customer Service”. At this event we will give you the understanding of what is happening in the world of conversational interfaces from two companies implementing these technologies today.
Colin Lewis leads a team at OpenJaw Technologies, a Chinese owned travel technology company with insights into how Conversational interfaces change the customer journey in that industry. Brian Heron is Principle Designer and Director at Each & Other and is working on projects implementing these approaches in the retail and finance sectors. This really is golden opportunity to gain the inside track on the fastest growing technology in history.
If you would like to attend please click “Register for Event”
CCMA Live Stream
We are streaming our conference live from Killashee house in Naas, Co Kildare on Thursday 24th May 2017.
The stream will start at 9AM and you can view it directly on this page.
Join in the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #ccmasummit