McKinsey reports that 29% of customer support tasks can be automated. Automated customer service, if properly carried out, can alleviate the stress on human customer service agents. This solution can help these agents perform their jobs faster and more efficiently. By providing customers with the resolutions they need right away, it also grows customer satisfaction. Conversely, it can infuriate customers and sabotage your company brand if carried out poorly.
For digital consumers, phone calls are out and digital communication is in. And when you impress them with your services, they will come back, stay loyal to your business, and even recommend you to their family and friends.
Automated Customer Service, Explained
Automated customer service deals with a range of systems and tools that clear up customer concerns without direct human interaction from customer service agents. It is used by many businesses nowadays across various service channels to grow capacity, save money, and enhance customer satisfaction.
Customer service automation can entail multiple approaches. Many depend on more innovative solutions, such as AI. Yet, an exemplary customer service automation approach is the one that combines the use of lower-tech solutions with high-tech ones to make a coherent, customer-friendly service experience.
A Guide to Implementing Customer Service Automation
By this year, it is projected that only about 12% of service interactions will be conducted via phone while digital service will grow by 40%. Here are some of the most effective schemes to automate your customer service without compromising the quality of your services.
Make your contact service easily reachable.
When a customer reaches out to you for assistance, that means that your service has already put them at a disadvantage. Make it up to them by making your contact service easily accessible.
For instance, put chatbots on your website as they are available 24/7 and can answer customer questions instantly anytime.
Pick tools specifically created for your business type.
There is a vast array of customer service software out there, but not all of them are created equal or fit an automated customer service stream. Find one that meets your specific business needs.
Some crucial factors to consider when picking one are pricing, third-party integrations, available templates, add-on tools, intuitive analytics, and branding options.
Make your customer service automation hard to ignore.
Let your customers help themselves without human intervention by placing your automation everywhere, and make it hard for them to ignore.
For example, you can indicate on your Contact page all your services that do not need a human agent. These can be paying bills, order monitoring, and so on. You will want to showcase your FAQ section by linking it to as many sections in your website as possible. You can put widgets displaying the FAQ search bar all over your website as well.
Implement auto-reply emails.
Your customer service team may already start working with a customer concern upon receiving the email. But customers should also know that their concern is being addressed as soon as possible.
Auto-reply emails allow you to notify your customers that their emails have been received and that your team is already working on them. This gives assurance to customers that you really care for them.
Include your knowledge base in auto-reply emails.
Some customers in other time zones may contact you outside your office hours. To maintain good relationships with them, try redirecting them to applicable knowledge base articles.
Attach the knowledge base in the auto-reply email or link your knowledge base anywhere in the email.
Use a live chat software.
A live chat software is a cost-effective way of speeding up a customer’s response time. It can flawlessly mix automated scripts, chatbots, and human intervention.
For simple cases, a live chat software can fix issues without any human interaction. For more complicated cases, it can relay the raised concerns to a human agent.
Make proactive and reactive automations.
While businesses need customer service automation to react to the questions of the customers, they should also automate so that they can proactively reach out to their customers.
Distribute materials that your customers will be fond of, tools to help them, or promos to retain them for a longer period of time.
Use an automated customer service software that best caters to the customers’ needs.
Do not think of customer service automation as a budget-cutting means but as a customer service improvement method. Look for a tool that will truly serve your customers.
Chat pop-up is one of the best customer service automation examples. Here, customers can ask about the speed of delivery, shipping fees, order status, and more. These questions can be set up in a bot to answer in a matter of seconds or minutes.
Make macros, scripts, and templates.
Customer service automation can help human customer service agents perform more and faster jobs. To optimize their efforts, have macros, scripts, and templates handy at all times. They can then answer typical questions quickly by reading the pre-written dialogues.
At the same time, train your team to understand first what the problems of the customers are before reading a script—else, customers may find formulated responses senseless at all.
Make sure that your automation can relay complex issues to human agents whenever necessary.
Customers can easily express frustration when they feel trapped in an automation cycle. Automation cannot answer all questions or fix all problems. This is why it is vital to establish your automated systems so they can relay complex issues to human agents whenever necessary.
Arrange your support line.
Customers raise their concerns through different communication channels. If they all go in one queue, your agents are likely to take a lot of time in responding to them.
Having your team identify the right member to manage and relay questions to the concerned agent can still consume time. With automation, you can relay questions to the right agent in a few moments.
Make a flowchart to decide what kind of concerns will be assigned to an agent or team, and let automation handle the rest.
Consolidate your support channels.
Use tools that can be easily linked with other apps. Merging all your support channels will help you monitor all customer interactions, point out frictions, and act on problems faster.
Having a smooth flow of information and well-integrated support channels are just some of the advantages of automated customer service.
Pick a tool that can be used by nontechnical users too.
A customer service automation that demands extensive technical knowledge can be a challenging solution for some. Thankfully, many software providers are now creating CRM software tools suitable even to nontechnical users.
Search for low-code or no-code software that can be easily integrated with your current systems.
Humanize your customer service.
Despite the greatness of technology, people still want to have more human interactions. Customer service automation aims to lessen the burden of human agents, but customers should not feel that they are talking to robots. Whenever possible, make customer interaction enjoyable by imitating real-life human conversations.
Name your chatbots, use simple language, address a person by his or her name, and use emojis, among others.
Learn from customer feedback.
Gather feedback from your customers using your chatbots or other automated ways. Then, improve your customer service automation use cases based on their commonly raised concerns.
Gathering feedback through automation plays well because it is new and interactive. On top of that, they are gathered on the same platform where customers were purchasing, hence the responses are real-time. They will find it convenient to leave feedback because they no longer have to open their email to do so.
Think like your customers.
In terms of customer service automation, you should understand what your customers need to know and how they act on it.
The terminologies you use for your services and products might not appeal much to your customers. Figure out the actual words customers type in the search box as they navigate your automated system. Only then should you position the phrasing questions according to their language. If they find what they are looking for quickly, they will be satisfied with your system and offerings.
Start with your website analytics. Find out if customers come across your page through organic search, what do they search first upon landing on your page, what questions do they look for in the FAQ section, and so on.
Assess everything frequently.
Assess your chatbot features, knowledge base, phone menus, scripts, templates, and more. Business is ever-evolving, and what customers want and need change from time to time. If your automation is not keeping up with the rest of your business, you might lose your customers or see them transfer to your competitors.
Automated Customer Service Is the Way to Go
From human intervention to today’s automated interaction, digital communication innovations have significantly changed in the past ten years. This evolution has led to a switch in customer behaviours and communication leanings. A research from Forrester actually shows that 66% of customers agree that during interactions, the most essential thing a business can do for them is to value their time.
With this number in mind, many businesses are now recognizing the need to level up their customer service. How you interact with your customers can indeed make or break your business. Needless to say, automated customer service is a worthy investment that will certainly pay off in the end.
Published on: 28th March 2022
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