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Putting the CX Focus on the Self-Service Interaction

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Image: Illia Reznik - Alamy Stock Vector
With CCaaS in such high demand today, it’s hard to imagine the term disappearing from our communications lexicon. But should it? One key market player, NICE, believes so.
“CCaaS is too constrained. Interactions is the point,” said Paul Jarman, NICE CXone CEO, speaking of the company’s preference for the term “CXi,” or customer experience interactions. Having introduced their CXi vision a year ago, Jarman and other executives reiterated NICE’s positioning and shared a new mission statement, “driving CX fluency with CXi,” at a recent analyst briefing (see related story).
The issue in focusing on the contact center—CCaaS—is that a customer’s digital journey doesn’t necessarily start there. Rather, it might start with a visit to a company website, a third-party rating site, social media, or a search. Customers want frictionless, personalized, and dynamic interactions across any of these digital entry points on demand, Jarman said.
With CXi, “organizations can intelligently meet customers where their journey begins, enable resolution through data-driven conversational AI, and engage agents to successfully resolve any needs event,” he added. NICE, of course, sees the CXone platform as the enabler for CXi.
Self-service, an increasingly important CX technology, is a core component of CXi fluency. But it has to be smart, successful for every interaction, Jarman said.
Undoubtedly, self-service is gaining in popularity for CX, as Metrigy found in its 2022 “Customer Experience Transformation” research study conducted with 724 companies globally. Looking out through 2023, 67.1% of companies in our study will have adopted self-service, making it the most widely adopted CX application. Today, more than 50% of transactions start with self-service, the study also found.
Metrigy has identified four core drivers for self-service adoption. They include:
  1. Companies want to be able to respond to customers’ needs as fast as possible, in a dynamic way that doesn’t require them to wait for an agent’s help.
  2. They want to improve the customer experience. Using AI, they can customize interactions and direct customers to the exact information they need to solve their problems quickly.
  3. They want to empower their agents and increase their value to the organization, upleveling them to take on more complex issues by offloading the simple and routine to self-service.
  4. Reduce operational costs—smart, or AI-powered, self-service can learn from optimal interactions to build and automate interactions over time.
If companies can achieve these goals, CXi fluency can follow. This requires breaking away from the status quo by applying intelligence to all self-service interactions. For an optimal self-service strategy, Jarman had these recommendations, based on NICE product capabilities:
  • Be proactive—Head off customers coming to you by reaching out to them first
  • Preempt—Utilize search engine optimization to ensure customers can get information they need through Google search and provide website guidance to preempt the customer from engaging with an agent
  • Automate—Respond to more questions, so customers don’t need to queue up for an agent
  • Empower agents—Deliver fast and efficient agent engagements by ensuring agents have visibility into the journey and data at hand
AI, via NICE’s Enlighten AI, underlays all of this.
“We are the first ones that can make CXi possible,” Jarman said. “It's our job. Our second job is to make it easier ... to keep making it easier and easier and easier, again and again and again.”