How to Manage Customer Expectations with Proactive CX
Does this story sound familiar?
A parent tells a child to clean their room; the child says
they will and goes about their day. But they don’t. A little more frustrated,
the parent reminds the child. Yet dirty clothes still litter the bedroom floor.
Finally, at the boiling point, the parent marches the child
to the room and watches as they clean it. After a long journey, the task is
complete, but the parent is left feeling frustrated, having lost precious time
What if you flip the script of this story?
The child notices their room is messy and decides to clean
it up before going out to play. This proactive action leads to praise from a
surprised parent, who now devotes more time and energy to other important tasks
around the house.
Now swap the parent for a customer and the child with a
The customer service journey can be frustrating and
time-consuming when a customer must do the work to get results. When customer
experience (CX) is reactive, the customer experience relies on consumers to do
all the heavy lifting. But when CX is proactive, customer needs are anticipated,
and consumers are guided to the optimal result faster and more efficiently.
Customer service expectations are changing, and consumers
demand exceptional service in a timely, personalized, and proactive manner. In
a 2022 digital-first report by NICE, 95% of consumers revealed that customer
service impacts their brand loyalty, citing easy access to digital channels and
online self-service as essential factors.
Creating a proactive CX culture that can anticipate
consumers’ desires needs three things:
1. Smart self-service
Traditional self-service models are created using a
narrative approach, meaning customer service professionals guess which phrases
customers might use to express intentions. The narrative technique is reactive,
time-consuming, and can often be inaccurate. This leads to poor outcomes and
decreased customer satisfaction. Expenses also increase due to using outside
resources and management consultants to improve containment.
Smart self-service is proactive, time-saving, and precise.
This can be accomplished by using knowledge and data learning artificial
intelligence (AI). NICE uses both to discover and predict customer intents from
human conversations. This data-driven approach means more precision, new
insights, and prescriptions for the best self-service opportunities.
2. Intelligent omnichannel routing
Suppose a customer needs to communicate across multiple
channels. For example, they start with a voice call and then want to switch to
text or have details emailed after a call. The customer's intent and
interaction details should transfer seamlessly across channels without
requiring the customer to repeat information or questions when switching to a
More intelligent interaction routing determines the
customer’s communication style and experience preferences. It also identifies
the skilled agent with the best-predicted performance for the customer, then
directs the customer to the agent, improving their experience and business
3. Empowering agents with AI-enhanced coaching
AI allows agents to receive in-the-moment coaching with
embedded desktop tips based on phrases spoken or omitted, customer satisfaction
metrics, and AI-driven soft-skill behaviors. Real-time interaction cues help
agents improve customer satisfaction during an interaction. It alters their
approach and reinforces the skills they learned in coaching sessions.
CX isn’t the only thing AI improves. Service agents also see
a 25% improvement in job satisfaction when working with an AI-powered system.
Productivity dramatically increases as well with a 50% jump in operational
Like a child who takes proactive measures and cleans their
room before being asked, contact centers can surprise and delight customers
before help is needed. Providing an incredible CX experience is far more than
just a goal; it is a necessity.
If customer service causes friction or is time-consuming,
customers notice and might leave. But, if customer service exceeds expectations
with proactive self-service and seamless digital journeys, contact centers
enjoy intensified loyalty, increased revenue, and happy, delighted customers
with every interaction.