Creating a positive customer experience in the digital age is critical for business sustainability. Digitalization is rapidly evolving the customer experience via automation. Customer service automation consists of a combination of software tools that improve the customer experience without human assistance. Nearly 30% of customers agree that ineffective customer service is their top pain point. This guide will uncover how customer service automation can quell customer service inefficiency.
- AI has conceived a host of tools that enhance the customer experience
- Customer service automation reduces overhead costs
- Automation should always serve the customer first
Customer Service Automation Tools
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the driving force behind customer service automation tools. These tools provide a host of benefits from facilitating communication with customers, improving the speed at which support teams respond, and increasing security measures that protect the customer’s sensitive information.
One of the most widely used forms of customer service automation is the chatbot. Last year, nearly 90% of customers had at least one conversation with a chatbot. A chatbot is a written interface that allows customers to obtain information from an automated machine. Typically, chatbots use Yes/No formatted questions to provide customers with information about a product or service.
Additionally, if a chatbot can’t solve a problem, it can collect data and pair the customer with the best-suited human customer service agent. If a human does take over, the chatbot can learn from human-to-human interaction. The more queries a chatbot receives, the more it learns, whether it directly solves an issue or not. Chatbots can work across various channels such as your website, social media platforms, SMS, and CRM software.
Virtual Customer Assistants
Virtual Customers Assistants (VCA) are chatbots taken a step further. They are intelligent, digitized agents designed to understand customer intent and provide multiple-choice answers to the customer. VCAs can understand natural speech patterns and communicate in multiple languages.
Agent Assist Technology
Co-pilot mode AI programs provide customer service agents with the necessary information to provide better support. They assist agents when they have conversations over the phone with customers. Co-pilot modes analyze customer information and provide feedback that customer service agents can relay to customers in real-time.
Authentication, as it pertains to customer service, comes in many forms. The most common is the ubiquitous form of identity authentication using an ID and a password. Other forms of authentication include voice and face recognition. With these methods, algorithms listen to the cadence, pitch, and tone of how the customer speaks or scans the customer’s facial structure. Next, the algorithms create a user profile for that customer based on those factors and use them as a form of authentication.
The Benefits of Customer Service Automation
The automation of customer service has numerous benefits. One of the primary benefits is the reduction of resource usage. Even as customer demand grows, an organization that has automated its customer service experience can reduce its overhead while improving efficiency.
Improve Response Rates
During times of high demand, human customer support agents are susceptible to slower first response rates. Customers may have to wait days for ticket-based customer service, and phone-based support could mean that customers will have to wait on hold for an undesirable amount of time.
However, automated customer service solutions allow customers to receive their first responses in seconds. Customer issues don’t take minutes or days to solve, providing the customer with instant value. Even if the AI can’t solve an issue immediately, faster response times provide customers with some reassurance that your company is actively working towards solving their problem.
Reduce Customer Service Costs
Staffing customer service employees comes with its own set of challenges. From a resource standpoint, not every business is created equally. Smaller businesses with finite resources may have a larger customer demand than they can afford to staff. By automating your customer service, you can improve the functionality of your customer service team while simultaneously reducing costs. The correct implementation of customer service automation reduces your average service cost per customer.
Source: OutRight Store
Minimize Human Error
Customer service automation shines when it comes to performing highly repetitive tasks. Humans are error-prone when it comes to such tasks and may have difficulty staying engaged. Automation is the most effective solution for simple and repetitive tasks as it can keep mistakes to a minimum and messages on-brand while allowing customer service personnel to focus on more nuanced issues.
Offer 24/7 Support
Your business can provide 24/7 customer service support without the need for a physical presence. Automating customer support at the basic level means you can service customers no matter their time zone. Chatbots on your website can solve queries and direct customers to the resources they need. If the chatbot cannot provide adequate support, tickets can be auto-generated. As soon as your business opens the next day, the appropriate agent can respond.
Customer Service Automation Best Practices
Today’s technology allows businesses to automate nearly every facet of customer service. However, it’s best to create a strategy to maximize the benefits of automation. A judicious approach should be employed when deciding how to utilize technology to improve or hinder customer service.
Use Automation to Serve Your Customer
You shouldn’t use automation solely as a measure to reduce overhead. First and foremost, businesses should view automation technology to enhance the customer experience. Chatbots may serve the customer by updating them on order status, inventory availability, or sale information depending on your type of business.
However, if you have a business with a high volume of customer service calls, implementing interactive voice response (IVR) technology may prove more harmful than helpful. For example, perhaps the customer service calls your business receives vary greatly in content and context. This could lead to frustrated customers who struggle to find the “perfect phrase” to say to the bot responsible for solving their issue.
Test Your System
Businesses should regularly test their customer automation systems to ensure they run smoothly and refine their automation strategy. If changes are needed, they can be implemented in phases and tested for efficiency. From there, customer service personnel can compare the system’s effectiveness against the sentiment of their customers. Testing and refining your automated customer service strategy can help reduce churn rates.
Leverage Automated Follow-Ups
Businesses need more than a stellar landing page to convert potential customers. Due to timing issues, they also need agents with superior follow-up skills, but this task is not always best suited for human agents. Businesses can leverage automated follow-ups to increase their conversion rates if human agents cannot follow up with leads in a timely fashion.
The Best Customer Service Automation Platform for Your Company
The MXTR automation platform boasts advanced features that enable your business to optimize the customer service experience, which will reduce your overhead and help you meet your customer service goals.
Schedule a demo and explore how our platform is your automated customer service solution.
Featured Image: istockphoto