Looking for a simple way to improve your customer service and streamline operations? Customer service automation could be your magic wand to make that happen. Integrating technology into your business is the most basic way to enhance efficiency.
But what is customer service automation, and how can you make it accessible to your business without making it seem like a robot is running your operations?
Customer service automation is the process of minimizing human involvement in handling customer queries and requests. Simplifies customer-business interactions and enables customers to create a personalized experience using automated technologies.
Types of customer service automation
Delivering quality customer service at scale is difficult. Still, the following ways to automate customer service can help you overcome that obstacle.
Chatbots are AI-powered text tools designed to interact with customers in real-time. They are customizable, provide quick answers to basic queries, and direct customers to other resources or services within their reach.
Website chat also reduces typos and redundancy when handling multiple queries manually. Additionally, you can collect lead information from website visitors directly through a chatbot so you can follow up or nurture them through the funnel later.
Additionally, as customers use chatbots, you can use their interactions to improve the information you provide on your website, how you interact with customers, and your targeting.
Email and SMS automation
Email and SMS automation allows you to maintain direct and consistent communication with potential and existing customers. That is how:
- You can create an email list and segment your audience based on their touchpoints.
- You can schedule and send branded newsletters and personalized SMS text messages anytime.
- You can run email and SMS marketing campaigns targeting new or improved services.
- You can integrate email and SMS automation with your call center software to further communicate with customers based on the outcome of their call queries.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Automation
CRM automation collects, stores and organizes your customer data in one place that can be accessed by authorized personnel. Help your customer service representatives retrieve customer data and information when needed with little to no effort.
Most clients prefer to help themselves if given the right tools and information. They believe self-service is faster since they don’t have to use countless customer service protocols.
This is where a “Frequently Asked Questions” section and a solid knowledge base (with articles, tutorials, libraries, etc.) come into play. They provide customers with useful information about your business, reducing the need for interactions with a customer service agent.
Additionally, equipped with an AI-powered recommendation engine, the service can provide customers personalized experiences and improve engagement.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
This automated phone customer service (prerecorded voice) uses natural language processing to help customers when they contact your support line. Collects customer information, provides them with options based on their queries and transfers them (if necessary) to appropriate departments for further assistance.
The IVR service can also handle many calls simultaneously and help agents better manage their workloads.
Benefits of customer service automation for your company
Here are seven important ways customer service automation can help your business thrive amid the competition in your industry.
Customer service automation is an effective cost-reduction measure to improve customer experience without compromising quality. Because it reduces the need for human involvement, you can spend less on hiring, training, and managing customer service representatives or employees who handle customer inquiries. It also reduces the average cost of service per customer.
In fact, McKinsey research revealed that organizations that use technology (read: automation) to improve their customer experience save between 20% and 40% in service costs.
A report presented by Juniper Research also estimates that chatbots will save companies around $11 billion in annual costs by 2023.
More free time
Time is one of the most valuable assets of any company. Automating simple tasks gives you time to handle more complex customer interactions that require a human touch.
For example, if it traditionally takes one hour to respond to 10 customers, an automated customer service system will complete the job in less time.
This allows you to evaluate other trading operations. You can use the free time to rest and rethink strategies if there are none.
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Humans can only work for a limited amount of time each day. However, automated customer systems are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So whether it’s the dead of night or dawn, you can be sure that customers won’t be stranded at any point interacting with your brand.
Helps scale growth
Fast-growing companies have a broader customer base. Therefore, customer service automation helps you maintain and grow your consumer pool while staying on par with industry standards. It ensures that you continually deliver quality without being overwhelmed by increasing demand for your service.
Improving the quality and consistency of customer service levels.
When implemented strategically, customer service automation can be used throughout the customer journey to deliver consistent, quality customer service. You can use it to answer queries, onboard new customers, showcase new or improved services, and get customer feedback.
Customer service agents can only serve one customer at a time. Imagine that hundreds of customers call daily with similar problems, and you only have a customer service team of 15 people. Of course, this will result in chaotic customer service delivery, increased staff burnout, and poor work performance.
However, doing time-consuming tasks like sending messages and directing orders on autopilot allows you to optimize your workflow. When neither you nor your employees are overloaded with redundant tasks, there is a high probability of being efficient and productive.
Less margin of error
Every human being is susceptible to making mistakes. This is why automation is the best option to reduce the number of errors made in customer service, as it minimizes the need for human involvement.
For example, when you have any queries, customer service representatives may forget to answer some or miss customer details. And this can lead to bad customer experiences. On the contrary, when you use an automated customer service system, customers receive answers to their queries quickly and appropriately.
How to use customer service automation
You need to use it appropriately to get the most out of customer service automation. Here are some ways to do it:
Automate answers to questions.
Instead of manually answering redundant questions, you can use customer service automation to create an FAQ page or a centralized knowledge base that answers common questions about your business.
This makes it easier and faster for customers to access basic information, promoting a quality self-service experience.
Share customer refund information automatically.
Processing refunds involves dealing with different platforms and customer bank accounts. So, instead of doing it manually, you can use customer service automation to process refund requests and notify customers about the completion of the refund.
Collect comments from different channels.
Customer feedback helps you understand your services, products, and work culture. You can use customer service automation to send SMS surveys, get feedback, and create surveys on social media platforms.
Additionally, you can add chat to your website or integrate an automatic rating system to collect feedback on how customers feel about your content. Consider using emoji jis, thumbs up and down, or the five-star rating system.
Transmits customer data updates
Automated customer support can handle most data-related tasks, such as retrieving customer feedback and managing purchases. You can extract customer data from different business databases and make updates quickly and without errors.
Help customer service representatives.
Automated customer service is much more than simply facilitating conversations with customers. You can use it to gather information for your customer service representatives to help them understand customer expectations and needs.
You can provide details about a customer (such as who they are, previous complaints, demographics, and purchases) and send them to customer service agents beforehand for proper processing.
It’s also a great way to collect your own data.