Next-Best-Action – The Secret to CX Success

When it comes to CX, one-size-fits-all just doesn’t cut it. People expect to feel heard and understood when they interact with a brand, and they want an experience that’s tailored to them and gives them exactly what they need. In this article, we look at how technologies with next-best-action are supporting these demands and explore real-world applications and strategies that will help you incorporate next-best-action into your own business.

Understanding the power of next-best-action recommendations

In simple terms, next-best-action is a data-backed, technology-driven approach that enables brands to deliver the right message, content, or recommended action to each customer in real-time. It’s an essential component to any best-in-class customer experience strategy.

Through the power of AI, real-time CX platforms work to predict the outcome of multiple possible recommended actions and decide what action should be served up to each specific customer to help them continue the journey that’s right for them. Every decision that is made and action served is tailored to that customer and based on their preferences, purchasing history, behaviors, and more. This technology also allows businesses to deliver truly individualized experiences at scale, in real-time. It’s the ultimate form of individualization.

Incorporating next-best-action into your own CX strategy not only improves customer journeys, but it also significantly improves loyalty, sales, revenue, and customer satisfaction. For example, EY found that next-best-action in the financial services industry “…has shown increases in client response rates, known to reduce client churn and result in NPS (net promoter score) improvements”.

How does next-best-action work?

There are three key steps involved in this process: collecting data; data analysis; and real-time recommendations. Leading platforms such as Alterian’s Real-Time CX with Customer Journey Analytics and Customer Journey Orchestration gather mass volumes of data from all available channels and sources and use the power of AI to rapidly analyze it and decide what the next-best-action should be for that specific individual to enable them to take the journey that’s right for them.

3 examples of next-best-action in practice

Next-best-action recommendations are already supercharging customer experiences and boosting business performance across many industries. Here we look at three common scenarios in which next-best-action recommendations are utilized to deliver positive results.


Industry: Financial
Example: A bank implements Customer Journey Orchestration so that any time a customer logs into their banking app a next-best-action is delivered as a real-time notification warning of unusual account activity.
Benefit: Improved customer sentiment and strengthened security and trust.

Reducing costs

Industry: Telco
Example: A telco group has next-best-action working to continuously learn from customer support interactions across its different digital channels. Using a Real-Time CX Platform the telco is able to identify behaviors of common customer issues and use this to deliver a next-best-action that recommends a digital self-serve resolution. This enables customers to resolve their issues without needing to engage with a high-cost channel like a call center.
Benefit: Reduced call volume, reduced costs, increased customer satisfaction.

Individualization and improved cross-sell/upsell

Industry: Travel
Example: A travel company utilizes next-best-action to boost individualization and overall customer satisfaction. By drawing on travelers’ previous booking history and preferences, next-best-action enables the business to deliver individualized holiday destinations and travel packages recommendations, as well as recommend complementary products and services they may be interested in.
Benefit: Improved booking experiences, improved customer satisfaction and ratings, more repeat visits and loyalty.

4 things to remember when implementing next-best-action

There are a few best practice strategies to keep in mind when implementing technology that enables next-best-action recommendations.

1 Always champion a customer-centric approach. This means implementing strategies that always consider the customer, as well as providing employees with the support, tools and technology they need to be customer-centric advocates too.
2 Measure the impact by establishing clear objectives that can be used to evaluate the impact and success of next-best-action strategies. Measuring the return on investment and effectiveness of next-best-action recommendations allows you to identify what is and isn’t working as well as gain insights into the actions that are delivering the best results so you can continually adapt and improve the customer experience.

Recommended key metrics to track include:

    • Revenue generation
    • Cost reduction
    • Customer lifetime value
    • Abandonment rate
    • Customer satisfaction.
3 Assemble a cross-functional team to prioritize solving specific customer problems, this ensures your business will deliver a customer-centric approach across all departments and eliminate working in silos.
4 Do your due diligence when researching and selecting technology that enables you to deliver next-best-action recommendations, considering what solution will most seamlessly integrate into your business. Points to consider about the platform include:

  • Data integrations
  • AI and advanced analytic capabilities
  • Real-time processing
  • Multi-channel delivery, testing and optimization capabilities
  • Privacy and security
  • Scalability

Alterian’s Real-Time CX Platform is a recognized leader in Customer Journey Orchestration and Customer Journey Analytics, with proven experience helping businesses implement next-best-action technology.

Alex Thompson, Alterian’s Product Director, says “If you’re ready to implement technology that allows you to deliver next-best-action recommendations, we recommend you do this in a staged approach. At Alterian, we recommend starting out small, focusing on one specific problem. Once you’re able to demonstrate the success of that first use case to the business, you can then scale next-best-action recommendations more broadly.

Once you have the tech in place to determine what your customers want and are able to deliver that to them, you have a major advantage. You can create truly consistent cross-channel experiences, which means happier customers, greater engagement and loyalty, and more conversions.”

Ensuring you have technology in place that allows you to deliver next-best-action recommendations is critical to giving your customers the best experience. Leading brands are already relying on next-best-actions recommendations to fuel their business growth. Now more than ever, individualized CX is critical. If you’re yet to adopt this revolutionary approach, it’s time to take the leap and discover the benefits.

Ready to deliver next-best-action recommendations and optimize your customer experiences? Get in touch with the Alterian team.


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