What Is a Persona Profile?
A persona profile, also known as a buyer persona or customer persona, is a fictional representation of an idealized customer or user. Put differently, not all customers are alike or have the same persona profile. So, if you want to provide great customer service consistently, an agent needs to interact with different customers differently.
Personalizing customer interactions is valuable for enhancing customer satisfaction and building strong relationships. One practical approach to achieving this personalization is by utilizing persona profiles for interacting with customers. By leveraging persona profiles, an agent can tailor their customer interactions to match different customer segment preferences, needs, and characteristics of customer persona profiles.
Most agents cannot identify the different persona profiles for the customers they interact with or are not trained to be adaptive to match their communication style to the persona profile communication styles of the customer interaction. Therefore, most call centers do not understand the impact of different customer and agent persona profile communication styles on customer experience (CX) performance.
What are the Four Different Persona Profiles?
Both customers and employees use one of four persona profile communication styles (i.e., supporter, influencer, analyzer & driver) as their primary communication style when interacting with others. Identifying customer and employee persona profile communication styles and applying adaptability style strategies helps agents determine the best way to interact with all customer persona profile communication styles successfully.
Call centers and agents who provide great CX (e.g., high FCR, call resolution, and NPS ratings) have high adaptive style ratings for treating different customer persona communication styles differently. An agent needs to identify the persona profile of a customer they are interacting with quickly and adapt to their persona profile communication style to deliver great CX and for improving customer satisfaction (Csat).
How to Determine an Agent's Ability to Adapt to Different Persona Profiles?
To determine agent adaptability capabilities, we use the following customer survey question: "On your call, how strongly do you agree that the agent's communication style was a good fit for you?" To assess agent adaptability capabilities, SQM uses an Agent Adaptability Score. This score is based on the percentage of customers who rated them top box response (i.e., Strongly Agree).
The below figure shows agents' adaptability score by call center Csat performance. For the average performing Csat call centers, 62% of customers felt that they strongly agreed that the agent's persona profile communication style was a good fit for them. For world class Csat performing call centers agent adaptability score is 78% or greater. However, the 4th quartile Csat performing call centers are extremely low at 49%.
It is important to note that agents with high adaptability scores have the same customer satisfaction ratings across all customer persona profile communication styles. Put simply, there is no deviation among the customer persona profile communication styles.
Low agent adaptability scores represent a great opportunity for most call centers to focus on improving their agent's ability to quickly identify the customer's persona profile communication style within the first minute of the call and train them on how to adapt their communication style to match the customer's persona profile communication style.
Persona Profile Communication Styles Distribution
Our research shows that each persona profile has a significant percentage distribution, which suggests that for an agent to provide a great customer experience and improve Csat, they need to understand each persona. By identifying the customer persona profile communication style quickly, an agent can potentially avoid the behaviors that can create poor customer experiences by using behaviors and word choices that match the customer's persona profile communication style. Some forward-thinking companies are using artificial intelligence sentiment analysis to determine customer persona profiles and provide that information to the agent at the beginning of the call.
How to Use Persona Profiles to Personalize Customer Interactions?
Creating and using persona profiles can be an effective way to personalize customer interactions. By developing persona profiles, you can gain a deeper understanding of your customers and tailor your interactions to meet their specific needs. Here are some steps to create and utilize persona profiles for personalized customer interactions:
- Analyze and identify patterns: Analyze the data to identify commonalities, trends, and patterns within each customer segment. Look for shared characteristics, needs, pain points, and preferences. This analysis will serve as the foundation for creating your persona profiles.
- Create persona profiles: Develop fictional personas that represent each customer segment. Give each persona a name, photo, background story, and detailed characteristics. Include information such as age, occupation, hobbies, goals, challenges, and communication preferences. Ensure that each persona is distinct and reflects the key attributes of the segment it represents. Also, use the survey questions to determine four persona profile communication styles (i.e., supporter, influencer, analyzer & driver).
- Identify customer persona profiles: If possible, use artificial intelligence sentiment analysis to determine customer persona profiles and provide that information to the agent at the beginning of the call. Also, segment customer persona profiles into distinct groups based on demographics, behavior patterns, or other relevant factors. For example, you might have segments such as young professionals, stay-at-home parents, or tech-savvy individuals.
- Conduct customer surveys: Survey customers using your call center and other touchpoints (e.g., chat, email, IVR, and website) using two customer survey questions to determine a customer's persona profile communication style. Question 1, "On your call, how did you express your expectations to solve your inquiry?" and question 2, "How expressive were you with the agent trying to solve your inquiry?"
- Define personalized interactions: Once you have your persona profiles, brainstorm ways to personalize customer interactions for each persona. Consider how you can tailor your messaging, products or services, and communication touchpoints to align with their preferences and needs. This might involve creating targeted marketing campaigns, customized product recommendations, or personalized support experiences.
- Implement personalized strategies: Use the insights from your persona profiles to inform your marketing, sales, and customer service strategies. Craft personalized content, offers, and experiences that resonate with each persona. Leverage customer data and automation tools to deliver customized messages and recommendations at various touchpoints throughout the customer journey.
- Monitor and refine: Continuously monitor and analyze customer interactions, feedback, and outcomes. Collect data on the effectiveness of your personalized strategies and make adjustments as needed. Regularly update and refine your persona profiles based on new insights and changing customer behaviors.
Remember that persona profiles are fictional representations, but they should be grounded in real data and insights about your customers. By using persona profiles, you can enhance your understanding of your customers and deliver more personalized and targeted experiences, ultimately improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Matching an agent's communication style to a customer's persona profile communication style will create a stronger connection and enhance their experience in doing business with your organization, resulting in higher call resolution and Csat ratings.
Each persona impacts the preferred way a customer and an agent acts, thinks, and makes decisions. By identifying the persona profile communication style, an agent will be able to use behaviors and word choices that match the customer persona profile communication style.