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What to know before getting started with real-time interaction management (RTIM)

Most successful brands have one thing in common – they offer an exceptional customer experience. How do they do that? They make the customer experience feel personal. Think about Amazon’s personalized recommendations that make it easier to purchase items you didn’t even realize you needed. Or the way Spotify learns your music tastes and creates personalized playlists for you?

These acts of personalization create loyalty – something every brand strives to earn. And that’s one of the reasons, why we, as CX leaders, are always looking for the best tools to help personalize the customer experience for our clients. One tool that takes personalization to a new level is real-time interaction management or RTIM.

What is real-time interaction management?

According to Forrester, RTIM is, “enterprise marketing technology that delivers contextually relevant experiences, value, and utility at the appropriate moment in the customer lifecycle via preferred customer touchpoints.”

CMSWire offers a bit more context: “As a customer interacts with a brand – be it through a website visit, mobile app, or a customer service call – the system updates the profile instantly, reflecting new information that can influence the customer's journey. RTIM uses predictive analytics and machine learning (ML) algorithms to interpret this data, anticipate the customer’s needs, and determine the next best action.”

Let’s break down a couple of simple examples to showcase what this might look like from a consumer standpoint. If you buy a concert ticket online, you may receive a follow-up email for a coupon for band merchandise at the venue. Or, if you book a yoga class through an online app, you might get an offer for yoga mats and other fitness-related products though the app.

Essentially, RTIM allows brands to deliver the right message, in the right moment when the customer has a high propensity to act. If that sounds too good to be true, it’s not. But it’s also not without integration and implementation challenges. Not every organization is ready for RTIM. So, before embarking on an RTIM integration, I recommend considering six key factors:

1. Data quality

Real-time interaction management relies heavily on the accuracy of your data sources. If data is incorrect or missing key pieces of information, your decisioning will be impacted. A strong data governance program with policies dictating how data is collected, stored, processed, and deleted can help solve this issue.

2. Scalability and adaptability

Organizations with a large volume of customers or complex CX integrations may have significant data integrations with an ebb and flow of data volumes. It is key to ensure that underlying technology can dynamically scale to adjust appropriately to ingest, process, and respond correctly.

3. Team and expertise

The implementation and ongoing management of an integrated RTIM journey orchestration platform requires a range of specific skillsets. From technical skills necessary for appropriate platform setup to consulting skills to define and prioritize ongoing business objectives, organizations need to consider the breadth of experience needed. If this expertise is not available in house, consider partnering with a third party with proven experience in engineering, data science, and analytic consulting.

4. Omni-channel management

Customers are engaging across many different channels at different times. Actioning on a single channel provides a very limited view on the holistic experiences of your customers. In order to create positive customer experiences, consider all past and possible future interactions across channels for inclusion in your RTIM system.

5. Enhanced analytics

Predictive analytics is a foundation of intelligent real-time engagement and decision making. Analytic solutions should be tailored to your CX maturity stage, consider data quality and availability, and have customized models using your specific KPIs.

6. Business alignment

Competing priorities and conflicting approaches across business units creates challenges that affect internal business and customer experiences. It’s essential that you drive alignment across disparate business units to ensure a unified approach that positively impacts the business.

The takeaway

Real-time interaction management is a powerful way to personalize the customer journey, but it isn’t a plug-and-play solution. That’s why most brands choose to work with a third-party consultant for implementation and ongoing fine-tuning. At TTEC Digital, we can help you implement an RTIM solution. We bring decades of innovation experience in CX strategy, data and analytics, and AI to help organizations maximize their technology investments and create truly exceptional customer experiences.

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