Catherine Forino at NICE outlines 6 ways to meet customers proactively on their digital journey to increase customer lifetime value.
There are several things you need customers to do. Stumbling about searching for ways to get answers to their service questions isn’t one of them. Yet that seems to be happening far too often these days because customer paths to quick resolutions aren’t clear or convenient.
According to an Accenture report, 78% of B2B and 65% of B2C customers indicate proactive service solutions are important but less effectively provided.
Post-sale service and customer support solutions are critical. Once a customer chooses your services, it is just the start of their journey towards a longer relationship and increased customer lifetime value.
With the right proactive strategy and tools, you can identify and direct every customer’s digital quest to the optimal outcome
Customer service is like a great teacher or involved coach. They proactively provide vital need-to-know information or enable others to easily find it themselves. So be a valuable and supportive CX teacher and coach. Guide your customers from the very beginning of their journey – no matter where it starts.
With the right proactive strategy and tools, you can identify and direct every customer’s digital quest to the optimal outcome. According to Aberdeen research, proactive engagement can also achieve a 94% decrease in service costs.
Here are six ways that being proactive can help save your customers time and effort while building a lasting loyalty to your brand.
1. Know What Your Customers Expect – and Provide It
Today, customers expect every service interaction to be effortless, efficient, and satisfying. They want to complete interactions with little friction and error from companies that are accessible when and wherever they need help.
Providing an exceptional customer experience (CX) with service isn’t just a competitive edge, it’s necessary for business survival. According to Salesforce, 45% of consumers will switch brands if a company doesn’t actively anticipate their needs.
According to Gartner, 60% of CX leaders state that their customer service function uses proactive service to resolve customer issues
How do you meet those expectations? By being proactive. Delight your customers by being one step ahead. According to Gartner, 60% of CX leaders state that their customer service function uses proactive service to resolve customer issues, and 85% of customers end up reaching out to customer service after proactive outreach.
Provide connected, personalized digital journeys where customers don’t have to start over or repeat information at any time. In fact, NICE discovered that 96% of customers expect companies to make it easy without the need to repeat information.
Gartner research revealed that easier, low-effort experiences reduce costs by decreasing up to 40% of repeat calls, 50% of escalations, and 54% of channel switching.
So, offer options that let customers find their requested knowledge on their own conveniently without having to contact a live agent.
2. Prioritize Your Customers’ Needs
Even if you’re using the most sophisticated CX technology and initiatives, you risk failure unless you focus on your customers’ needs. Simple and quick resolutions with minimal wait or hold times are their top priorities. Those should be your priorities too.
Develop a CX strategy that directs customers to the best digital channel to resolve their issues. Meet them in their web searches with a relevant answer at the top of their results. Provide a customer support chatbot to assist on your site. Offer an intuitive mobile app that connects them with answers quickly.
Simple and quick resolutions with minimal wait or hold times are your customers’ top priorities
Know where your customers need to go next, and, like an experienced coach, point them in the right direction. Provide in-the-moment answers and resolution by proactively delivering the right guidance at the right time, making their lives less stressful.
You can also give your customers (and agents!) a single source of truth for information with 24/7 availability by delivering knowledge. Not only does this provide convenience, it also makes your customers feel like experts.
3. Anticipate Customers’ Wants and Issues
Being proactive means anticipating the type of problems customers face so you can help resolve them swiftly by mitigating customer friction and maintaining control of the situation.
Customers prefer this. They want companies that communicate with them pre-emptively to let them know of potential product and/or service issues and updates.
Research by Aberdeen reveals that businesses with proactive engagement programs excel across three important categories of performance metrics: customer experience (CX), operations, and financial.
The figure below shows the substantial CX performance gains those firms achieve. In customer satisfaction alone, they are almost five times higher than other companies, and customer retention rates are 77% greater.
You can understand customer intent to build smarter and improved service channels, and analyze historical conversational data from voice and text interactions to identify and extract the best conversations based on those with optimal outcomes, such as the best CSAT, AHT, and FCR.
These insights optimize experiences by bringing a data-driven, empirical approach to service applications across all channels.
4. Don’t Make Customers Play Guessing Games
There are no guessing games with proactive engagement. Never waste your customers’ time waiting around for an answer or trying to find information they need. Reach out and engage them as soon as or even before they need you.
Lead every customer through the most difficult digital customer journeys with relevant content and guided assistance. Remove friction, elevate engagement, and deliver resolutions by proactively delivering the right guidance when customers need it most.
Provide information at the right moment that can help them reach resolutions quickly and seamlessly
Let them know what they can do to solve an issue. Provide information at the right moment that can help them reach resolutions quickly and seamlessly. Lead web and mobile visitors through their digital journey with the most relevant and appropriate offer of assistance.
Have your online knowledge always available on demand – even in your products. That way you can turn your customers into experts by enabling them to find what they need quickly.
5. Help Customers Help Themselves
Reduce the need for customers to contact live agents. Like a knowledgeable teacher, you can build confidence, trust, and loyalty, encouraging customers to complete tasks on their own.
Offer great self-service experiences by delivering the information they need where they can easily find it themselves through several tools:
CXone Expert helps customers resolve issues with CX-rich, automated, human-like conversational experiences by integrating OpenAI’s generative modeling used in ChatGPT. It also leverages Enlighten AI, custom-built for CX, and organization-specific data to create unique conversational AI models.
Enlighten XO helps update and streamline your self-service options with data learning from historical customer conversational data. It also yields reams of actionable data that agents can leverage to deliver hyper-personalized service.
Offer great self-service experiences by delivering the information they need where they can easily find it themselves through several tools
SmartAssist, our truly intelligent virtual agent, then uses the insights and automates bot training compiled by Enlighten XO to fully resolve customer service and support needs with the best experience possible. It allows your self-service to feel like a conversation – guiding the customer through with ease.
CXone Guide leads web and mobile visitors through their digital journey with the most relevant and appropriate assistance. By offering guidance with knowledge management and digital channels, it helps keep customers in the know even when they haven’t asked for help.
6. Proactively Engage With Customers Who Won’t Contact You
Some customers never contact companies when they have issues. They fear the process will be too time-consuming and cumbersome. Don’t risk losing them to competitors. Customer churn increases acquisition costs, and it can also limit growth.
You can still proactively engage with customers who don’t reach out to you by using ContactEngine. It’s our outbound proactive conversational AI that starts and runs intelligent, human-level conversations that engage customers to resolve issues.
Let customers know you’re thinking about them and you’re there to help whenever they need it
ContactEngine interacts with customers through their channels of choice to pre-empt their needs before they reach out for service. It manages intelligent conversations, transforming the efficiency and costs of operations, and revolutionizing customer experience.
Use it to keep customers informed on appointment changes, cancellations, and other important information through automated email or apps. Let customers know you’re thinking about them and you’re there to help whenever they need it.
Always Be a Step Ahead
Being proactive means anticipating and staying ahead of your customers’ needs. With the right tools and right strategy, you can remove friction along the digital customer journey and resolve customers’ issues the first time around faster and easier.
This will provide several key benefits to your customers and company: Improved first-contact resolution, greater self-service resolution, reduced call volumes, lower operational costs, and minimal customer effort.This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of NICE – View the Original Article
For more information about NICE - visit the NICE Website
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