Using customer personalities to drive CRM

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on July 18, 2003

Profiling and segmenting customers based on personality traits may be a long awaited solution to many of the problems of one-to-one customer relationship management. A new set of CRM tools, 'Customer Connections', from eLoyalty Corporation, now aims to influence customer behaviour by tailoring interactions to specific personality traits.

Based on a fresh application of tested and statistically validated behaviour models, eLoyalty has developed a number of initial offerings in its Customer Connections range. Among the first are applications targeted at improving the performance metrics of customer service, telesales, and collections call centres. Moreover, the company has developed another application that can enhance the impact of written marketing and campaign content.

The systems are built on a wide range of models, software tools, and implementation methodologies, including models to analyse and assess both customer and CSR (customer service representative) interaction styles, a methodology to mine and assess call outcomes, an internet portal to sort, parse and store customer interaction content, and a software engine to score written content.

Next generation CRM
Since the first CRM systems were conceived, many businesses have made significant advances by deploying complex technology solutions, and by using a huge array of customer data to try to personalise the customer experience. But, according to eLoyalty, a deeper level of personalisation - based on understanding each individual customer's personality traits - will be the key driver of the next wave of CRM innovation.

Personalisation of contact and relationships to this degree would deliver exactly the right information to the customer at exactly the right time, and will allow companies to identify and meet each customer's underlying psychological needs. Potential benefits of eLoyalty's rather innovative approach to CRM include:
·  Increased customer satisfaction and loyalty;
·  Greater success in up-selling and cross-selling;
·  Improved first call resolution rates;
·  Increased campaign and promotion effectiveness;
·  Lower call centre operating costs;
·  Reduced turnover of CSRs.

Implementing an architecture of multichannel touch points means integrating a lot of complex technologies and business processes. But while the implementation issues may seem challenging, the strategic intent is straightforward: To develop proactive and consistent strategies for each customer and each event, to positively influence customer behaviour.

Digging into the personality
A customer's personality traits indicate the deepest level of their needs and, as such, companies that can meet those needs will no doubt achieve the ultimate in personalisation - personally connecting with the customer.

But while this is an intuitively powerful concept, it has traditionally been seen as an unattainable goal. However, eLoyalty's Customer Connections offering specifically addresses the challenge using a scalable model to try to understand the personality traits of individual customers.

Language patterns (extracted from e-mail and call centre contact) can be used to identify underlying personality traits, as well as a wide variety of associated behaviours, including the language patterns best suited for a response to influence an individual. For example, the most appropriate response to a customer who shouts "Just get my bill right!" is very different from the response to "I don't understand my bill - can you help?"

By identifying the phraseology used by the customer, much can be learned - electronically - about their frame of mind and attitude toward your company, products and services. eLoyalty has published a white paper which describes in more detail how personalities can be automatically assessed in this way. The white paper is available as a free download from

Positive test results
eLoyalty has been developing and refining these offerings with a select group of clients for the past 9 months, and the first assessments have produced positive results in areas of customer satisfaction, first call resolution, average call handling time, and cross-sell rates. Based on the success of the initial engagements, eLoyalty is now working on several implementation projects.

The company has offices throughout North America and Europe, offering a range of enterprise CRM-related services and solutions, which include creating customer strategies, defining technical architectures, selecting, implementing and integrating CRM applications, and providing support for multi-vendor systems.

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