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At NewVoiceMedia we're often heard talking about caller personalisation - the concept that when you call into a supplier you get the personal treatment that you might expect in real-life.

But the phrase 'caller personalisation' can be a bit dry - so here are some examples of personalisation that you might have had experience of.

A restaurant

Perhaps there is an amazing Italian or Indian restaurant in your neighbourhood. You might go there once a month for a meal with your family or friends. Over time the proprieters will get to know you and as you arrive give you a knowing smile and a welcome using your name. Instead of asking you whether you are eating in or taking out they will usher you straight through to the table at the back that you like.

"Wine madam, and a beer for your husband? I'll bring the menus over now - but olives to start?" Before you have said anything you've had a hugely personal experience that adds to your perception of the restaurant and its staff.

A butcher

You might use a local butcher in your village. Every Saturday you wander in with the family, again to a smile and a welcome by name. "I've kept back a leg of lamb for you - it's our last one and I thought you'd be in!" You then ask for some suggestions on what to buy, "Well you enjoyed the pork tenderloin last week, so how about some of these nice loin chops we've got in - they are from a farm not too far from you actually."

You are having an intensely personal experience that you wouldn't expect to get in a large supermarket. It adds a huge amount of value to the base product.

The garage

Perhaps you have been using the local mechanic to fix your family's cars for a number of years. When you have an emergency problem with your vehicle you are able to ring them up, "No problem, drop it in this afternoon and I'll have a look at it." Because of your previous experience with the garage they are able to prioritise you in their work compared to other first time customers. At the same time, because they have knowledge of your vehicle they have a good idea of what might be wrong before you even arrive.

This saves time and money.

Caller Personalisation

You can probably come up with plenty of examples from your own life - the doctor or dentist, the bank or the local leisure centre. In real-life you'll experience a personal service every day. You appreciate the experience, and the vendor benefits by increasing your switching cost (I'd have to go through all the relationship building with a new restaurant, butcher or garage).

But when we think of calling into the contact centres of our larger suppliers on the phone, do we experience caller personalisation? Or do we get in a queue with everyone else, have to answer questions to prove who we are, build a relationship with someone we have never spoken to before and who doesn't know anything about our account?

In most cases this call might be our only contact with this supplier in the entire year - it seems such a waste to not make it count.

That is what we mean by caller personalisation. I hope it has been useful to explain it, and we look forward to delivering more and more services that help you to be just as personal as your customer's favourite restaurant.

What experiences of great personalisation have you had in the off-line world? How do you personalise the experience for your customers when they call you?

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About Charlie Cowan

Charlie is passionate about cloud computing and how it can help real businesses to run more profitably.

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