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Balancing Automation and Personalization with Nicole Kyle

The Benefits of Self-Directed Customer Experiences (CX) for Customers and Agents

Shep Hyken interviews Nicole Kyle, Managing Director and co-founder of CMP Research. She discusses the evolution of self-service and digital customer service and the importance of personalization and customer control in self-service interactions. 

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Top Takeaways:

  • Self-service is becoming more than just enabling customers to attempt to resolve their own issues. Customers want a self-directed experience where they have control over how they are served and can resolve their issues in the way they want.  
  • The pandemic has accelerated the normalization of digital experiences and digital tools. The lockdown has changed our customers’ perspective on how they want to spend their time. Customers want to be more self-sufficient and spend less time interacting with customer support if they can get answers faster on their own. 
  • Generative AI, like ChatGPT, is expected to grow in customer contact organizations to support agents. AI will remove low-value, repeatable tasks and help with employee burnout.  
  • Generative AI will improve agent experience by making them more self-sufficient. For example, for whatever reason, they can’t reach their manager or peers, they can interact with the AI-enabled knowledge base and get the answers they need.  
  • Organizations need to focus on personalization and customer control in self-service experiences. Customers want a personalized experience that makes them feel valued and have the ability to resolve their issues in a way that suits them. 
  • Plus, Nicole share stats from Self-Service CX: Executive Priorities & Technology Adoptions. Tune in! 


“Generative AI might reduce frontline workers in the future, but the good news is it will create jobs internally for people to monitor those tools and extract and analyze data.” 

“Customers with a poor self-service experience are less likely to return to self-service again. We need to offer the type of self-serve experience they want, which is easy, fast, and personalized.” 

“The Amazon effect is when other organizations train our customers on the type of experience that they expect. They no longer compare us to other companies in our industry. They are comparing us to the best experiences they’ve had anywhere.” 

“Digital dexterity is improving. Most customers can tell whether they are talking to an AI-driven chatbot or a human. But, customers are willing to use these digital tools if the results are good.” 

“Improving self-service for people who want to use self-service will result in better live support. The adoption of self-service is not about replacing jobs or cost reduction. It’s about the ultimate end goal of a better customer experience.” 


Nicole Kyle is the Managing Director and co-founder of CMP Research. Nicole joined CMP in November 2021 from Gartner, where she spent eight years leading research and advisory. 

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and host of Amazing Business Radio.   

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions and more:   

  1. How has self-service evolved over the past three years? 
  2. What are customers’ preferences when it comes to self-service and digital customer service? 
  3. How do customers want to control their self-service experience? 
  4. How is generative AI used to support customer service agents? 
  5. Will the increased use of self-service and AI technology lead to job cuts in the customer support industry?  

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