This week we feature an article by Jason Grills, Customer Support Expert at ProProfs, a company that provides software that empowers organizations to deliver happiness to their customers and employees. He writes about what automated customer service can do for your business. Customer service automation isn’t a new deal for businesses. It has built a […]
This week we feature an article by Jason Grills, Customer Support Expert at ProProfs, a company that provides software that empowers organizations to deliver happiness to their customers and employees. He writes about what automated customer service can do for your business.
Customer service automation isn’t a new deal for businesses. It has built a stable reputation for itself in the past decade.
Yet we see only 33% of contact centers investing in automation tech systems and robotics.
One of the possible reasons for such lower adoption rates is not exploring what automation systems can do for their business. And those who might be interested in investing in such technologies are still lagging due to serious contemplation.
Understanding the possible dilemma, we’ve curated a quick guide for businesses. This guide briefly touches upon the concept of service automation, why it is so popular, why your business needs it now, and the best ways to implement it in your business.
Without further delay, let’s dive in!
To overcome your doubts on whether customer service automation is truly meant for your business or not, you need to start from the basics.
In simple words, customer service automation is an alternative to traditional customer service. You no longer need to make your customers and prospects wait in queues to get an answer to their questions.
Automated customer service systems like IVR, chatbots and even knowledge management systems can help you assist customers even when your agents aren’t online.
It helps your business to become a 24×7 service provider. The set of technologies to automate customer service enables your business to reduce agent involvement at every support stage. This helps them focus on more crucial tasks and avoid burnout.
If you ask us what makes customer service automation popular among businesses, then here’s what we’ll say.
It is one of the best ways to avoid human errors!
As humans, we are prone to making mistakes. However, we can’t give that excuse as a business to customers. With automation tools like IVR and chatbot, you can help customers reach the right agent, therefore helping them avoid repeating themselves multiple times. You can send error-free messages during an ongoing live chat conversation as well. It is also a great way to maintain a consistent tone with all the customers.
It makes 24×7 support a reality for your business.
Let’s not deny that support automation also helps your business meet target audience and existing customers at their preferred timings. Yes, some customers can have support needs at odd hours. And just because they wish to reach out at your non-working hours shouldn’t mean they should leave without a solution. Tools like a knowledge base and chatbot help you provide instant answers to customers and ensure they return to your brand the next time.
On top of that, customer service automation also reduces multiple touchpoints in the support process!
There are times (often frequently) when customers want an immediate answer to their questions. That’s one time they wouldn’t like to be sent from one customer support agent to another. However, automation tools can help your customers avoid annoying elevator music during wait times. They will route your customers to the right agent immediately. What’s more, automation tools will also help them resolve their questions if they are frequently asked questions.
Due to these factors, we strongly believe that automated customer service has increasingly become popular among business owners and is here to stay. Such benefits not only help them skyrocket customer satisfaction but also retain these satisfied customers in the long run.
If popular reasons haven’t strengthened your decision on whether to switch to an automated customer service approach or not, then these three rational grounds should.
You need to save time.
And this isn’t just applicable to your business. Your customers are people who take time out of their busy schedules to get in touch with your business. With automated customer support tools in place, you can make sure you save your customers time and yours too by helping them reach the right department for support. It would allow you to close a ticket, chat, or even a call faster and help your agents move on to the next customer.
Your agents save multiple efforts.
With the right support automation system, your agents can avoid typing the same answers for commonly asked questions. Their effort to manually route customers to the right agent can also be saved. And let’s not skip over the fact that automation improves response time effortlessly. Your agents can become more productive and handle more customers satisfactorily.
You save money, period.
Saving time and effort does not necessarily equate to saving money. But agents get to focus and resolve complex situations as commonly asked questions are taken care of by automated tools like chatbots and knowledge base. This helps you reduce your efforts to hire more agents for your support process. This way, you get to reduce your efforts on the hiring process and save money.
These three grounds are crucial to any business owner. And if automated customer service tools help you benefit on all grounds, then this is the right fit for your business. Hoping that these convince you to venture into automated customer service, we now proceed to explore the best ways it can be adopted by your business and reap the best benefits.
When you see implementation suggestions for automated tools, you realize the type of tool you need to add to your service stack in the first place. While that’s one of the prominent motives, we also intend to help you learn how automated tools can be implemented the right way. Here’s a list of five suggestions that we hope helps you out.
Who said a chatbot can’t be empathetic. True, a chatbot needs to be more direct when it comes to order status or simply generating a ticket. But adding a tone of empathy or gratitude towards the customer can leave a good impression on them.
But how do you go about this?
If your chatbot builder is based on drag and drop technology, then you need to add phrases like “I’m sorry for the inconvenience caused” or “Let me route you to an agent” or even better “I hope you have a great day!”. These phrases will reduce the robotic tone and make the conversational experience more delightful.
But in case your chatbot software works on AI technology, then you can improve its response quality after testing it several times.
A knowledge base is all your business needs to answer frequently asked questions. Simply work on building a well-thought-out knowledge repository. Understand the frequent queries your support agents receive via call, live chat, or even via a support ticket and make a list. It will help you get a head start to build quality self-help articles for your knowledge center.
You may ask – How to make them visible on our website?
You can start by adding your knowledge repository in the primary navigation as ‘Help’. Integrating it into your live chat and showcasing relevant articles for the page is another way to help customers get instant answers. Other than that, you can also add relevant help article links related to a page in your page footer. With these tactics, you can bring your customers one step closer to the solution.
From building team efficiency to never missing out on support requests, a help desk ticketing system does it all. However, merely adding it to your customer service stack won’t help you automate your support process. You need to set up advanced ticket routing settings to make sure no ticket goes unanswered.
Here’s what you can do.
To assign tickets to agents, you can enable the round-robin system that automates this process without asking the admin to get involved. Other than that, you can also opt for skill-based routing. This will enable you to answer tickets faster and improve customer experience as well.
It can be difficult to automate conversations for your agents when it comes to repetitive questions and phrases. It becomes more challenging to type the same responses when they are managing multiple conversations simultaneously.
To tackle such situations, you can create canned responses that help you automate the conversation experience for your agents. They can help agents while responding to a ticket or a question during an ongoing chat. This will assist them in reducing their response time and make sure that a conversation is closed faster with satisfied customers.
Businesses heavily rely on phone support for interaction with customers. But when you face situations like the pandemic, you are likely to come across more panicked customers. It becomes challenging to manage all the incoming calls efficiently because your customers will have more questions to ask than ever before!
Harvard Business Review, in one of their reports, shares how an AI analysis of more than 1 million customer service calls showed a dramatic increase in customer anxiety and frustrations, and reps struggle to respond effectively.
But when you bring the right IVR system into the picture, you can ensure that customer support agents get ample time to process and respond to customer questions. This technology helps you capture a good amount of information on customers and what help they need. Call center owners can find this even more fruitful and enable them to streamline incoming support calls and assist customers in reaching the right agent who can offer a solution to them faster.
Customer service automation is one of the best ways to ensure your business improves in terms of response time and provides a faster solution. However, not all businesses have integrated tools that could help them automate their customer service process.
To help them understand what automated customer service can do for them and how it can be implemented for their business, we created this beginner’s guide. We hope this guide helps businesses understand the worth of customer service automation, how it can help them, and the best way to implement it in the most efficient way possible.
Jason Grills is a Sr. Technical Writer currently associated with ProProfs Chat. He enjoys writing about emerging customer support products, trends in the customer support industry, and the financial impacts of using such tools. In his spare time, Jason likes traveling extensively to learn about new cultures and traditions.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes article: You’re Terminated: Why Customers Stop Doing Business With You
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