9 minute read · Published May 18, 2024

Can we be friends and automate it? How customer experience automation personalizes your user's experience

Latest Update May 22, 2024

Remember those days when we used to spend twenty, or worse, fifty minutes on hold with customer service, listening to elevator music on the phone? In those precious minutes you’d find yourself getting restless at first, then irritated, and then finally angry at the fact that the business at the other end didn't really care for you. 

B2B businesses faced this with their customers all the time. Thankfully, a better way of handling customer service emerged. Actually, a better way of looking at the entire customer experience has emerged. And, as happens with all new perspectives, innovative tools to empower customer experience teams have come to the fore. One such game-changer is customer experience automation (CXA).

It is a well-known fact that customers are looking for meaningful experiences throughout their entire journey with a business. The B2B SaaS business landscape is quite crowded and competitive and acquiring new customers is expensive. Retaining existing customers is far more cost-effective. But that doesn’t happen unless you can guarantee a “wow” experience for your customers every single day. 

Customer experience automation is about using technology to automate tasks that are routine and repetitive. It’s about making sure that every interaction, even though it’s happening without human intervention, feels personal to the customers. It's like having a team of tireless, data-powered assistants working behind the scenes to ensure every customer feels valued and understood. 

The problem with an expanding customer base and impersonal automation

The more your customer base grows, the better it is for your business, right? Well, ask the customer experience team, and you may end up rethinking the definitions of “better” and “worse”. 

When you have a limited number of customers, it's easier to remember their names, what they like, what keeps them up at night, and tailor your conversations with them accordingly. However, as you win more and more customers, sometimes exponentially in the SaaS world, it becomes increasingly difficult to give them all the same level of individual attention.

There’s so much data customers bring in, it is madness! Every single action or inaction is a data point, which can be used by the business. There’s quantitative data – purchase history, product adoption, and drop-off events. There is qualitative data – 1-on-1 feedback, responses to surveys, and word-of-mouth to their peer network. Managing and analyzing this vast amount of data can be overwhelming.

There’s only so much that’s humanly possible to manage. Scaling up a team of customer service representatives who can maintain a personalized touch is expensive. Not to mention, the time, effort, and resources required to train them and keep them up-to-date on the platform’s existing use cases or upcoming features.  

With so many customers, multiple touchpoints, and several customer experience managers and specialists involved in interactions, maintaining consistent messaging becomes extremely complex (and if we are honest, is nearly impossible). 

Yet, there’s no excuse for any situation where a negative experience might occur, because all it takes is one bad experience and all the positive interactions a customer has had with a business get negated. 

Gartner predicts that by 2025 a whopping 80% of B2B sales interactions will occur via digital channels. So, having a system to manage customer data and personalize interactions digitally becomes crucial.  CXA not only helps you navigate the data deluge but also empowers you to deliver the kind of personalized service that keeps customers happy and feeling like they’ve found “one of their tribe”. 

The power of customer experience automation

CXA is not just about resolving support tickets – sure it can do that too, but it’s way more powerful when you use it to personalize interactions based on individual needs and preferences at different touchpoints in a customer’s journey. 

85% of B2B buyers prioritize positive experiences – which means that focusing on customer experience and how well you deliver it could very well become a market differentiator for your business.

85% B2B buyers value experience as much as a company's products
  • CXA tools collect data from various sources: Everything from website interaction to customer surveys to support tickets can be integrated. This gives customer service teams an excellent 360-degree view of each customer.  
  • CXA leverages predictive analytics: Say a customer’s subscription is nearing renewal. CXA can automatically send an email as well as an in-app pop-up notification with a renewal offer. It has the power to predict future needs and proactively offer solutions without a human having to remember and retrieve information on when the next subscription is due.  
  • CXA tools can understand customer sentiment: Got an angry customer at the other end of the chat window using frustrated language? AI chatbots can identify the urgency – they understand the risk of leaving the customer with a negative feeling – and immediately prioritize their request or get a human representative on the line to solve their issue faster. 

Multiple touchpoints in a customer’s journey can benefit from CXA – it takes the grunt work out of personalization and yet, delivers a human-like touch at scale. 

  • Seamless onboarding: The CXA process can kick off from the onboarding moment itself. You can send your users personalized emails. For example, first-time users receive introductory tutorials, while advanced resources are readily shared with returning customers. CXA ensures a smooth start for everyone, depending on where they are beginning from. 
  • Smart guidance at different engagement points: Let's say a user on the free tier explores a premium feature. CXA can trigger a pop-up explaining the limitations while simultaneously suggesting an upgrade path. This can be followed up with an email two days later. Such personalized nudges guide customers towards higher-value plans without ever feeling intrusive or pushy.
  • AI-powered support post-sale: Chatbots powered by AI can take the lead on routine inquiries, freeing up human agents to handle more serious or complex issues. This reduces customer frustration and allows your team to prioritize where they can make the most impact.

There is, however, a pitfall when it comes to generic automation. It is easy for businesses to fall into the trap of one-size-fits-all communication, sacrificing personalization for efficiency. After all, it is much easier to develop a single drip email campaign for users from a specific region than to drill down and slice the population to understand whether their preferences differ or whether some segments have never signed into your platform for a second time. 

This reeks of a robotic experience where customers feel like just another number – they know you’re talking to them, and yet, you are talking to just about everyone else. Pre-programmed responses and basic segmentation fail to capture the nuances of individual needs. This can render your CXA investment ineffective. 

Building a winning CXA strategy

Basic automation might come in handy to keep things from exploding but it is hardly capable of creating a stellar customer experience. What if you could use CXA to avoid meltdowns and keep your customers happy at all times? 

Key components of customer experience automation

Here’s how you can get started – 

1. Intelligent activation using data

CXA strategies run best when you can use data to identify the sweet spots for automation and the right times and channels for communication. Don't bombard folks with automated messages at random. Instead, use data to pinpoint the perfect moments – like a well-timed "review pending" reminder just as someone's about to forget that task they've been marked on for. Or a friendly welcome message for a new user right after they complete the signup process. That's the power of intelligent activation – sending the right message, at the right time, to the right person.  

2. Customer segmentation for targeted outreach

Grouping customers under broad definitions is not good enough these days. It’s important to divide your customer base into smaller segments based on shared characteristics like firmographics or product usage data and behavior patterns. Such micro-audiences are more likely to be receptive to your messages because your “conversations” with them will feel personal. Consider the case of a segment of users who have not logged into your platform in the last 3 months. Sending them emails about the latest upgrades and features that they have been missing out on has the potential to attract their attention and bring them back onto the platform. 

3. Personalized engagement 

Imagine receiving a birthday card with no reference to you, no mention of your name, and no personalized message. Wouldn’t it feel like someone sent it to you, just as a formality (and wouldn’t you hate it)? That’s what happens when you don’t personalize your customer engagements. CXA tools leverage insights to personalize everything – from email greetings to recommendations within the platform – there are a lot of moments to create a sense of connection. 

4. Automatic interactions

CXA doesn’t tire out, which means you can keep talking to your customers 24/7, come rain, come shine. You can deploy AI-powered chatbots to handle frequently asked questions, schedule consultations and even provide basic troubleshooting support. This frees up your customer experience managers and specialists to handle more complex issues. CXA can also leverage an online knowledge base (if you’ve built one) to empower customers to find answers and complete tasks independently by guiding them towards helpful articles and videos. This is quite convenient since it helps users get to the answers much faster on their own. 

Four ways in which CXA helps businesses

Image showing the benefits of customer experience automation

1. Better operations for a lesser cost

Personalized CXA automates repetitive tasks – which means human agents don’t have to be locked in an infinite loop of having to answer the same question over and over again. With streamlined operations, the cost of running the entire flow is reduced. Not only does CXA allow you to be always “awake” to answer the questions your customers have, but you also free up resources to focus on more high-impact initiatives like product development or marketing. 

2. Delighting customers with each interaction

It’s a given – when customers feel they are receiving attention and their queries are getting resolved quickly, they have a positive association with your business. Issues will crop up all the time and a customer service gap form – that’s unavoidable. What CXA lets you do is focus on making your customers feel valued and understood, something that boosts those customer satisfaction scores. It’s how you establish a strong bond of trust and mutual respect. By understanding their needs and delivering personalized support, you are building stronger relationships.  

3. Unlocking critical insights for growth

By analyzing customer data and interactions, CXA helps businesses get a peek into the customers’ brains and hearts – you can find out what your customers value, what they would love to see, what they would definitely not like to see, and how they behave on different days of the week. Such insights help the entire organization, not just the customer experience team. Your product managers can use this data to craft their product roadmap; product marketers can develop the kind of messaging that resonates with potential customers; sales and customer experience folks can identify who’s a likely candidate for an up-sell; marketing can identify the channels where prospects are likely to respond to campaigns – it’s a win-win all around. 

4. Using positive experiences to drive advocacy

Imagine a cycle where positive experiences lead to increased revenue. Personalized CXA fuels this cycle. By delivering exceptional customer experiences, you drive increased profitability. You don’t just sell once – satisfied customers are likely to spend more and keep renewing their subscriptions. They are also a lot more likely to recommend your business to others. And as long you keep listening to them, responding just in time and ensuring that everyone has a great experience – the cycle keeps running. 

Customer experience automation is more than about customer experience, it’s about business reputation and growth

The challenge with customer experience is that it is hard to scale. Humans only have 24 hours in a day, and not all those hours can be spent behind a screen attending to customer queries or issues. 

Yet, we know that customers want to be seen and heard. They are not going to wait around for long for your response and in fact, will let their friends, family, and business associates know if you keep them waiting. 

This is where businesses can use customer experience automation to scale as well as personalize their interactions with customers – especially when that customer base is growing. 

CXA lets businesses understand customer preferences and needs, responds to them to support routine queries and tasks, supplies them with content to help them operate independently, and triggers the right campaigns via in-app pop-ups, emails, and even recommendations, depending on where the customer is in their journey. 

It’s the CXA’s “job” to not only resolve issues but to guide customers on the path that helps them realize the most value from the platform. The effects of CXA reverberate throughout the business – you can avoid disgruntled customers, maintain your business’s reputation, and keep driving towards those revenue targets. 

Copy icon
X logo
LinkedIn logo

Zero fluff.

Our stories 🤝 your inbox

Email Icon

Up Next

How to create non-annoying user onboarding checklists

Never miss another
fabulous article.

Weekly digest in your inbox.

Email Icon
Continue Reading

Up Next

Does your product actually need dark mode?

Read Now

What's hot