What is Customer Experience Automation?
In today’s competitive environment, having an excellent product or service isn’t always enough. Customer experience — how your customers feel while moving through your sales funnel — now plays a more significant role than ever. A good customer experience is a crucial factor driving successful B2B companies.
The challenge with customer experience (CX) is that it’s hard to scale. As a business grows, providing a personalized customer experience becomes more difficult, and organizations risk losing customers after just one unsatisfactory experience.
That’s where automated customer experience becomes an increasingly important part of a business strategy. Automating and digitizing key parts of CX workflows and processes can help build a loyal customer base, reduce churn, and create more efficiency throughout a company.
What is customer experience automation?
Customer experience automation (CXA) allows businesses to grow and scale by automating one-on-one customer communications and making them repeatable. These personalized yet efficient interactions can impact every part of a customer’s buying lifecycle, from the first touch to the completion of a purchase to ongoing customer support.
To adopt an automated customer experience model, organizations must first identify essential repeatable tasks throughout the customer lifecycle that could cause bottlenecks, frustrations, or delays. Then, they must create applications to help solve them. CXA can turn slow, hard-to-scale tasks that are prone to delay and human error into positive interactions that help customers find solutions quickly and feel engaged.
Why is there a need for CXA now?
More and more, customer experience is becoming a differentiating factor for business consumers. That makes CXA even more critical to B2B organizations, as having an adaptable automation strategy in place can provide a significant competitive advantage.
Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer study found that 85 percent of B2B buyers place the same emphasis on customer engagement as on product quality when they’re evaluating a company. The same survey found that digital engagement, which has accelerated in the last two years, has reached a tipping point. Going forward, 58 percent of consumers plan to continue to do most of their shopping online. Eighty percent of B2B customers expect to conduct their business online.
That 80 percent lines up with Gartner’s Future of Sales study, which estimated that 80 percent of B2B interactions will happen via digital channels by 2025. The study also predicts that “60% of B2B sales organizations will transition from experience- and intuition-based selling to data-driven selling, merging their sales process, applications, data, and analytics into a single operational practice.”
You don’t need to wait until 2025 to see the impacts, however. The shift is already here. To keep up with the competition and retain loyal customers, B2B companies need to take advantage of new data, analytics, and automation opportunities.
How is automation improving customer experience?
Traditionally, it has been more difficult to personalize and automate the B2B buying cycle because of its added complexity. B2B buyers often have a longer decision-making process, run through multiple stakeholders, and have more specific needs. These challenges can lead to lower customer experience scores, especially compared to those of B2C businesses.
CXA can help make improvements in each of those areas. For example, ActiveCampaign’s CXA Impact Report found that 44 percent of businesses that rely on customer service automation spent more time engaging with customers thanks to time saved by automation. That personal attention contributes to a better experience, turning customers into repeat buyers.
Adding automation to your site and services can remove barriers and friction, speeding up the customer lifecycle. The values that customers want — efficiency, convenience, expertise, and knowledgeable service — need to go beyond the surface level of flashy websites and design. Automation should ultimately help customers enjoy their experience with your brand.
The benefits of customer experience automation
The benefits of improving CXA can also translate to big numbers for brands. ActiveCampaign’s CXA Impact Report also found significant improvements in revenue-generating metrics for B2B businesses using customer experience automation. Surveyed B2B brands using CXA reported that customer leads increased by 110 percent, deal win rates by 92 percent, and sales effectiveness by 109 percent over the previous year.
CXA can open up opportunities for B2B brands in a few key areas. For instance, it can help to increase the speed of transactions and improve customer support. Research from Harvard Business Review found that, beyond product quality, B2B brands with high net promoter scores ranked well among customers for responsiveness, expertise, time saved, and decreased hassles. In addition, brands with good scores in these areas showed high customer loyalty, with 43 percent of customers being highly likely to buy again.
These numbers mean B2B brands can build a better customer experience that generates more sales and reduces churn. This can allow brands to develop long-lasting relationships and build a loyal customer base. In addition, customers can benefit from CXA by getting quicker responses to their queries and solutions to their problems. Automation can also help to remove some of the information silos plaguing many B2B organizations by unifying data and removing delays in accessing it.
How B2B brands can embrace CXA
Addressing customer service needs through CXA can help your organization stand out. Instead of having customers wait on hold, AI-powered chatbots can engage with them to answer easier questions. With chatbots taking care of most low-level queries, customers can quickly move to the next stage of the buying cycle. That leaves your support team free to focus on more personalized engagement with high-level customer-facing issues.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are also being integrated into CXA. These tools can be trained to comb through documents and quickly identify potential problem areas. For example, for B2B brands collecting customer feedback, AI-based tools can scan and flag common issues for the sales or development team to review and improve.
Workflow process automation is another area ripe for improvement that can translate into an improved customer experience. Using Robotic Process Automation (RPA), organizations can automatically move data between various channels, helping to eliminate gaps and communicate across departments while quickly providing accurate information to customers.
Start automating CX
CXA is still relatively new in B2B sales. However, many brands are successfully building customer service automation into their strategies, and low-code can help.
Here are a few ways to begin combining low-code and customer experience automation:
- Create your own low-code solutions to improve workflows and digitalize processes. This can help to remove information silos, speeding up customer response time and providing more personalized and relevant responses.
- Build more efficient customer support channels, including chatbots, to help reduce the burden on your support team and solve common customer problems more efficiently.
- Focus on customer feedback and engage with customers through automation, AI, and ML tools.
Consumer clamor for personalization and better CX aren’t going away. If anything, they will continue to be vital markers of success. Accordingly, B2B organizations must implement CXA into their business strategies now and ensure that customer experience is always a priority.