Most aspects of our life can be automated today, and customer service is no exception.
In fact, customer service automation is like a holy grail for business owners – it improves efficiency by reducing human involvement in solving customer queries. This inevitably leads to higher customer satisfaction and more business growth.
Customer service automation is becoming more and more popular. However, only some businesses know how to use it to maximize its benefits. This article answers all your questions about customer service automation and achieving stellar customer service.
What is customer service automation?
Automation gets people talking about robots replacing humans. However, automation in customer service is different. When used correctly, it helps people do their work more efficiently, not replace them. Customer service automation means quality customer support with little human involvement. But that doesn't mean people don't have a say in it.
Customer service automation tackles mundane customer service tasks. It solves simple problems such as organizing store hours, communicating delivery fees, or managing returns while your employees focus on more complicated inquiries. Self-service resources, proactive messaging, or simulated chat conversations help achieve automated customer service.
Companies traditionally resolve customer issues with a team of customer service representatives. Human support agents use inbound phone calls, emails, and other channels to manage customer interactions.
In situations where you expand rapidly, and your customer service teams cannot handle the influx of inquiries, customer service automation tools work best. This also saves you resources otherwise spent on mass hiring and managing support staff. Automation lets you focus on quality over quantity.
Why is customer service automation so crucial for businesses?
There are many reasons why customer service automation is such a game-changer for companies. Below are some of the most convincing ones.
Helps meet customer needs
According to Netomi's report, 47% of people expect fast, convenient support, while only one quarter (23%) expect personalized customer service. With automation tools, it’s easier to match those expectations. Of course, the human factor is still crucial in the whole process, but for more complicated inquiries.
Makes it easier to communicate and solve customers’ problems
The same study shows that when speaking to customer service, 61% of people had to repeat themselves to multiple agents at least once in order to resolve the issue. That’s precisely the problem with the human factor in customer support.
Customer service agents handle many customer requests simultaneously. In the midst of it all, they might forget about some customers, causing nervousness among them. These customers will reach out repeatedly to have their issues resolved. Automation can save your agents from forgetting and handling common requests and answer your customers' everyday concerns, giving both peace of mind.
Puts an end to unresponsive customer service
When customer service agents deal with many inquiries simultaneously. they take time to respond. Long wait times and queues can annoy customers.
Almost 79% of shoppers would only complete their order if the customer service were responsive. With customer service automation, you can address customer concerns timely and respond promptly. Set up a ticketing system to prioritize requests, send prompts to customers about expected wait times, or have a bot answer common concerns – voila, you're well on your way to winning customers!
Drives more sales
Good customer service changes buying behavior for 87% of customers and increases long-term revenue. Focusing on the quality of your support is key. With customer service software, you make yourself more responsive and accessible. When a potential customer decides between you and a competitor, easy access and quick replies can be the deciding factor, translating to more sales.
Makes customer service more proactive
Sixty-three percent of consumers expect businesses to know their unique needs and expectations. Customers love it when you anticipate their wants and needs. This shows that you care. How does automation fit in the picture? Customer service automation allows you to keep track of customer interactions and identify their needs and preferences.
The list of benefits is long enough to write an article about it. However, here are some key aspects to invest in customer service automation.
Reduces the cost of customer support
Costs are critical, and customer service costs are no exception. With artificial intelligence (AI), you simultaneously improve your service standards and cut costs.
It's a win-win situation since everyone knows how brutal the market can be and how the financial pressures are seemingly never-ending. What’s more, businesses can improve customer experience by automating customer service without hiring additional employees.
Having the right staff is essential, but hiring and training them is costly. This is another financial benefit for many businesses when implementing customer service automation.
Improves the well-being of your support staff
When a company grows fast, everyone works as tirelessly as possible. However, human support agents inadvertently have to put in more work than the other departments to support the growing customer base.
More new customers don’t just mean more money but also more requests, questions, concerns, and feedback. Partially automating the support you provide will reduce your customer service team's workload and allow them to grow without sacrificing their work-life balance.
Customer service automation doesn’t just reduce stress but also lets employees focus on more challenging tasks. Basic repetitive tasks like welcoming new customers, reminding them about their abandoned carts, or offering them discounts can be done smoothly with barely any human intervention. A chatbot can take care of this.
No more language barriers and time zone differences
Many customer service automation tools provide multilingual services, which can improve and change how your company communicates with customers.
Let's say 10% of your customers speak Spanish and don't speak much English. A multilingual automation tool would work best for them. This will resolve customer queries without you having to worry about the language barrier.
Additionally, customer support tools don't need to sleep and take breaks, unlike human employees. They're available 24/7, anywhere, and in any language you need. You don't have to put employees on night shifts or make them work weekends – automation will take care of it.
Every business should have a clear purpose for automating its services. Whether it's reducing costs or improving customer support quality, outline the precise purpose.
Once you sort your purpose, consider these essential aspects when choosing a support automation software:
User Interface (UI): The layouts should be clean and easy to navigate.
Usability: Is the software intuitive enough to learn how to use?
Integrations: Think about connecting the software to your third-party apps. Is it easy?
Value for $: Compare the software's possibilities to its price.
Here are some customer service automation solutions that will change the customer support you know.
Your business can benefit immensely from chatbots. Why? Chatbots can professionally handle basic customer interactions like greeting new visitors, saving abandoned carts, offering discounts, asking for feedback, and more. The chatbot market is constantly growing, and finding something that suits your business needs is pretty easy.
Chatbot pricing options vary widely, and many solutions offer a freemium version. Additionally, many chatbots don't require coding knowledge. You can customize chatbot UI and UX to match the unique look of your website, adding to the customer experience and overall business aesthetic.
A ticketing system is a management tool that processes and catalogs customer service requests. In addition to relevant user information, tickets, also called cases or issues, should be stored appropriately.
Managers, admins, and customer service representatives should be able to easily use the ticketing system. Ticketing systems offer segmentation, analytics, and prioritization capabilities.
Analytics and statistics gathering tools
Statistical analysis tools make your life easier and help you collect critical information to improve your service. You can save yourself and your employees from manually collecting statistics and data. Moreover, such a tool constantly collects and analyzes the data, providing you with fresh and relevant data at all times.
Social media and email management tools
Social media management and email management tools enable users to publish, monitor, and manage their social media profiles and email inboxes from a single interface. Share and schedule content to share on your social networks from one place and reply to customer comments or messages at the same time. Additionally, it can facilitate team collaboration in managing one or more social streams.
Customer service automation FAQs
Here are some commonly asked questions about automating customer service.
How do customers react to customer service automation?
Customers expect companies to offer 24/7 self-service and support, especially for more complicated requests. They respond positively if you provide quick and quality help.
Is customer service automation expensive?
It all depends on your approach. However, regardless of the starting price, automation saves you a lot of money in the long run. It also increases productivity and efficiency in your customer service department, which saves you from mass hiring. Another good thing is that today's automation market is huge, and there are solutions for every budget.
Will customer service automation replace humans one day?
When it comes to technology, everyone talks about robots replacing humans. While this can happen in some industries, people will always play a huge role in customer service for businesses to provide exceptional customer experiences.
Support agents can focus on working with crucial customers, tackling challenging tasks, and managing complex requests. At the same time, automation tools can take care of simple questions about opening times, returns policy, shipping details, and other information that can be answered quickly.
What to be aware of regarding customer service automation?
Understand what aspects to monitor when automating your customer support. If you have few customers and your specialists handle all inquiries smoothly, you may not need to invest in customer service automation.
However, if you’re already using automation software, you should look at two main aspects.
“In an automated system, vital customer information should be gathered from multiple channels. Customers contact the company’s customer service through various channels, so it is important to remember that you should not rely on only one of them. Also, remember not to use automation for complicated support issues because sometimes the problem is too complicated, and human interaction is essential to solve it.”
Automate your customer service when dealing with a huge influx of support inquiries you can't handle manually. Automation can also help your customer service team speed up their processes and allow them to focus on tasks essential to growing your business.
You can automate your customer support in many ways, such as adding chatbots to your website or automating your email communications to improve customer satisfaction.
When choosing automation software, ensure it has all the features to improve customer service. At the same time, monitor your software's performance, collect customer feedback, and listen to your customers' needs to gain loyalty and free up your customer service agents.
There’s nothing to be scared of. Customer service automation is designed to help both you and your customers have a great experience.
Even with automation, customers always look for a human touch. Learn how to humanize your chatbot and improve the customer experience.
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