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Customer Experience

Turning reactive CX into proactive CX

For decades companies have invested billions in issue resolution — that is, taking action to rectify a problem after a bad experience has taken place, knowing that it will prevent some customers from leaving, while others will churn regardless.

It’s the ultimate gamble, because some customers may give you a gold star for service recovery, our research shows on average nearly half of consumers choose to decrease their spending after a bad experience.

Thankfully, the technology available today allows companies to take an alternative route — to be proactive and take action to prevent the bad experience from happening in the first place.

Technologies like Artificial Intelligence have enabled organizations to analyze the massive amounts of data customers leave while they’re progressing through the journey, and spot potential issues before they occur.

It means they’re able to course-correct during the interaction to keep the customer on track, and to prevent calls, chats, and emails from piling up in your support center.

Metrics are fueling automated actions

Companies have made significant investments in technology and processes that gather customer feedback without having to do much manual labor. But gathering the data is just one part of the equation. Understanding what to do with it is just as important.

Because metrics are only as good as the insights they provide. Traditionally, CX (customer experience) teams analyzing data would linger on questions like:

  • Why did our NPS dip this past quarter?
  • Why have call center complaints increased?
  • Why are sales down for a particular product?

These metrics are lagging indicators. That is, they only tell you about a problem after the fact.

The best companies go beyond the metrics to understand why things happen.

For example, instead of tracking just an NPS score, an organization could not only identify a shift in its metrics in real-time, but also understand what’s driving that. Say for example a broken link on a webpage is causing customers to drop out of the purchase journey, the technology available today not only flags that while the experience is still happening, but immediately understands why it’s happening.

Now, you can prioritize the fix, and prevent the issue from impacting the next customer — all without waiting until for your NPS scores to finally flag that there’s an issue.

That’s called proactive CX. Organizations today have a mountain of data at their fingertips, and they have the technological power to analyze all of it in a matter of seconds thanks to advances in AI.

So rather than wait for an unhappy customer to raise the flag that something’s off, you can identify the set of circumstances or behaviors that indicate the experience isn’t going to plan, and course-correct in real time to make sure customers get the experience they wanted.

Customer service and customer experience have become one and the same

Successful customer experience programs bring everyone in the organization together. Leaders need to break down silos and depend on each other, while also understanding who depends on them. CX leaders can’t sustain proactive programs without knowing what customers are saying, how they’re feeling, and what their pain points are, at all times.

Contact centers offer a key role in being a direct line into the customer experience. They’re often the first ones aware of customer friction and are sitting on a treasure trove of data. What do your customers tend to complain about? What are the most common questions they ask you? If you can gather this information, then you can answer customer questions before they’re even asked.

When barriers are removed and a top level view of this data is made available to everyone in your organization, issues can be escalated to the appropriate teams in an instant.

For example, if your contact center is seeing a rise in comments around packaging of a new product, an automated contact center solution could trigger an alert for the product team, sharing the relevant data points to solve the issue before it begins to affect your bottom line.

Organizations like Change Healthcare strengthened their proactive customer experience by combining their CRM data, VoC data, and observations from account managers. This allowed them to identify customers at risk of churning and intervene to save those accounts.

66% of customers won’t tell you when they’ve had a bad experience — 2024 Consumer Trends Report

As a result, Change Healthcare saw their ticket-resolution rate for dissatisfied customers climb from 65% to 90% within a year and their most loyal customers increased spend 13x faster than their least satisfied customers fueled by gaining a more complete picture of their customers.

Staying ahead of the curve provides real value

Proactive customer experiences mean taking a birds-eye approach to the products, services, and experiences your organization provides. Taking a hard look at how people are feeling, what they like, and what they don’t like and understanding their needs and emotions at different points of their journey.

Today’s customers expect brands to anticipate their needs and go above and beyond when it comes to providing an excellent customer experience. The brands that win do so by operating proactively, with the right infrastructure that allows them to put themselves in their customers’ shoes, and know exactly how to design the right experience, every time.

Free eBook: 2024 Global Consumer Trends Report