Whether you realize it or not, we are always trying to automate things in our daily life – in our social life to the grocery stores. This is no exception to the customer service of a growing business. To sustain the needs of all clients, you have to invest in a customer service tool. In this article we will answer the following;
  • What is customer service automation?
  • What are the pros of customer service automation?
  • What are the cons of customer service automation?
  • The best practices of a firm in successfully using the automation programme.

What is Customer Service Automation?

Automated customer service is simply customer care that is run by artificial intelligence such as chatbox. The system does not necessarily eliminate human labor. It reduces the labour and supplements it.

Advantages of Automated Customer Service

Investing in customer service automation has several benefits. It increases accuracy by avoiding human errors.

This is because there is no monotony of doing the same thing all the time. It, therefore, boosts productivity in the organization.

Smoothen All the Processes

The most characteristic feature of the software is to automate several responses of the most recurring support action.

For example, after new subscribers sign in on your site, you may have an automated email thanking them for joining your team. The support, therefore, does not have to take time creating the same content every time a new subscriber signs in. The program also automates workflows and follows up the urgent tasks. It also follows up on problem-solving of certain customer situations. Although it may not seem like it is benefiting you as a business owner – you realize that the few minutes that the staff is not dealing with customer care service could add up to weeks of saved time in a year. Other automated solutions that help in reducing the staff’s workload is valuableFAQs. Do thorough research on the mundane things your consumers ask to ensure you include helpful content. By so doing, customers can solve some problems by themselves.

Cut On the Long Wait

Nothing is more frustrating than calling in customer service and have to wait online for hours before your issue is resolved.

Poor customer care is one of the main reasons why there are many abandoned carts, and inability to build customer loyalty. The two options for reducing customer friction is increasing the number of customer care staff or automate some services. One good example is the use of IVR (Interactive voice recognition). The latter is a system that allows clients to use a voice recognition service that directs them to the agent who will solve the issue. This wastes the time that would have otherwise been used to transfer the call. In some cases, the clients end up getting help from the instructions they get from the IVR. Customer office automation can also help you know exactly how customers are interacting with your products and services.

Reduced Costs

Every opportunity to reduce the input level in a business is a huge win. Adding labor can be costly, especially if the company is a start-up, or facing financial issues.

Also, no business should spend more if there is a chance to cut down on the costs. Customer service automation will work efficiently and allow you to work with a small team without overwhelming them. Fortunately, many automation services are offered through subscriptions, and you can pick a package that fits your needs.

Embrace Change

If you are rigid, you end up being the last one to implement the new thing in business. For example, we cannot deny that Generation Y is about to dominate the world in terms of population and subsequently purchasing power.

The Millennial generation will be the largest component of the market. Gen Y is seen as digital natives, lazy and entitled. They, therefore, prefer firms with automated services. A studyshowed that 70% of women millennials prefer to solve problems by themselves. 60% of Gen Y also feel great when they can solve an issue without support, as well as feel bonded to the firm. It is, therefore,the high time the company  embraces  the automated services to accommodate Gen Y.

The Cons of Customer Automation

Customer service automation has many positives, but it has a few pitfalls. Some of them include;

Lack of Human Connection

Although customer automation is excellent, it takes the chance to interact with your customers directly. 

Customers may not love the idea of communicating with a robot; they want empathy. Customers who have an emotional connection with a brand would bondwith the firm better and remain loyal. Also, even though Gen Y love automated services, they may find it as a turn off when they are looking for advice only to be hit by an IVR service.

Improper Configuration

If your IVR does not help solve the customers’ needs and it keeps instructing them to do one thing after another with no success, it is a big waste of time. They will experience the same delays that come with understaffed customer care service.

Also, if your customer service automation is not well designed to give you a report of how your clients interact with your products – you get zero benefits too.

Poor Reputation

If your service automation program keeps taking your customers in circles or has a poor configuration as discussed, then it will damage your brand.

Remember, ugly voices are always louder than contented voices.

Best Practices for Service Automation

What do you do to avoid the pitfalls discussed above and enjoy the benefits of a service automation tool?

Here are some suggestions;

Know the Sections You Need to Automate

How do you ensure your automation processes balance your needs and that of your customers without any conflicts?

The first thing is to make a list of all the activities that you should automate. This could be self-service resources, repetitive support cases, checkout pages, knowledge bases, usage monitoring, just to mention a few. Such tasks are better off automated and won’t affect your customers. Have a way that you can still help individuals who want human interaction on services that are automated.  For example, a customer who has been consistently buying your goods and services knows her way around your website. This means she prefers automated services. However, a new customer may prefer to help navigate the site.

Merge Your Service Automation to Human Customer Care

The most successful marketing automation tools are the ones that merge all marketing channels; this applies to service automation too.

Ensure that your customer service staff can see all the activities that clients are doing on your site. This helps in saving time when the problem escalates, and the customer reaches out to the staff. This is because they don’t have to explain what they tried or when to have the problem fixed.

Human Service is Still Important

You are now saving some money thanks to the automation process. Don’t just keep all that money for your personal use.

Invest in tools that make the work for human service easier, educate them, and train them on how to use the automation tools. The point of technology is not to replace human labor but to support it. You will need human labour to maintain the systems and run them for results. Also, some customers will still want to talk to a real person. We are trying to tap all markets by incorporating all systems together.

Ask for Feedback

How do you know if something is working if you don’t follow up? Ask your technical team to test and give you an update continuously. 

Remember an automation tool should be useful to you, your clients, and your staff. If it is not benefiting the three parties, it is not meeting the required standards. If there are any changes that you need to make, do them slowly so that you can observe the difference it makes. Also, actively engage your customers before introducing an automation service because they are the ones who will be using it. Including customers in decision making strengthens their bond with the brand as they feel valued. Take Away Change is inevitable; if you are rigid in today’s business world, you are bound to lose. Customers want to have their problems resolved in the least time possible.  Customer service automation is one of the tools that every firm should have, whether grown or upcoming. It saves time and reduces costs. It also prepares a firm on serving the upcoming Gen Y, which will make up the largest portion of the market.