How does your customer service team cope with thousands of support requests? Do you have a catch-all email address with a brimming inbox? Are replies getting lost in the shuffle? Find customer complaints go through the roof because emails aren’t answered on-time? It might be time to queue in customer support automation software.

Studies show US companies lose $1.6 trillion due to poor customer service. Conversely, 55% of satisfied customers are willing to spend more money. And most demand quick or instant reactions to their support queries.

Customer support automation software helps to manage the flood of incoming emails.

The inbox no longer remains a swamp of unanswered questions. Replies flow back and forth between teams. Software like shared inboxes lets businesses take back control of customer service.

We’ve gathered together 3 types of software to help you manage customer emails. Each brings its own benefits in battling the tide of support requests.

If your team is drowning in emails then read on to throw them a lifeline.

1. Shared Inbox

A shared inbox allows all your support agents to receive and send emails from the same address.

For example, say your shared customer support address is help@company.com. Emails are either forwarded to the right department or accessed by multiple agents.

That’s great for a limited amount of requests but what if you get hundreds per day? Who manages that? What about replies? Do they come from help@company.com or the agent’s address?

Shared inbox software manages things for you. You can share one inbox with all your support agents and still give great customer service.

We’ve broken down the main features of a shared inbox service and how it can benefit your business.

Distribute Workload

Even though there’s one address, shared inbox software makes use of your full team.

Email conversations are assigned to the right person or department. Delegation is a simple two-click process. Managers can track who’s sent what and when.

The team member is notified by only the emails that need their response. This reduces waste and improves customer response time.

Team Collaboration

Not all emails are easy to answer so teams should work together.

Good shared inbox software allows for real-time collaboration. Chat with other team members within an email thread and group conversations. See the progress of a support request together. Managers can view progress at any time.

Tagging emails allows easier searching for past responses so why reinvent the wheel? If someone else has a solution a quick tag search brings up the answer.

No more forwarding or blind carbon copies, just a managed workflow.

Unanswered Replies

A customer service survey by Microsoft found customers hated having to repeat requests. It was worse still if their requests weren’t answered to begin with!

In a shared inbox, unanswered emails are simple to flag. Managers can track late replies and highlight them as such. The end result is Inbox Zero

Shared Inbox Automation Rules

Redirect customer emails to the right department using automation rules. These can be as simple as if the email contains a keyword forward to Joe Bloggs.

Of course, the best software integrates with your existing CRM and eCommerce platforms. Our shared inbox connects with 1,500 different tools including Dropbox and Zendesk.

2. Email Bots and AI

Email bots offer an automated way to respond to incoming emails. They use Artificial Intelligence to deliver custom responses that you set up in advance.

They’re like a chatbot but instead of offering live chat, communications are handled through email. And like modern chatbots, customers don’t always know they’re talking to a computer.

The keys to a successful email bot are:

  • Good contextual analysis
  • Correct responses
  • Natural conversation

The AI software analyzes the support request, searching for keywords and phrases. These then trigger predetermined responses that are sent within seconds. The tone is natural and mimics a real email thread conversation.

The biggest advantage of an email bot is speed. The analysis takes microseconds and customers receive an automated reply.

But not everyone likes talking to a bot.

Although bots are becoming more human-like they’re not there yet. Customers often prefer to speak with a real human to solve their real problem. Incorrect responses based on a wrong email analysis do more harm than good.

Email bots are still a useful tool. Used in conjunction with a shared inbox and a ticketing system, they can help balance the workload.

3. Support Ticketing Automation

Email is still the most used digital customer service channel but costs can be prohibitive. The price to manually handle a help desk ticket is $22. That can be reduced significantly through automation.

Similar to shared inbox automation, support tickets can be redirected through a series of rules.

When a ticket arrives, the software analyses the contents and subject line. Predetermined actions then filter tickets and forward them to the right department for response.

If you offer a FAQ database, the software can tag related answers or attach them to replies. This is a great way to offer instant responses without human interaction. Many queries could be resolved if customers searched FAQs so this method does the hard work for them.

Ticketing systems seem like the best solution, however, not all customers agree.

Sixty-one percent of polled clients felt they’re being treated more like tickets than paying customers. If things become too automated then a business can lose the human touch. And if you lose a customer it’s almost impossible to rebuild that relationship.

Balance things out using an integrated system. Harness the power of ticketing with a human-led shared inbox to combine speed with real emotion.

Business Lifelines Through Customer Support Automation

Customers want their requests handled as soon as possible and now they can.

Customer support automation software makes sure queries are handled in an efficient way. Shared inboxes, chatbots, and ticketing systems mean messages no longer mount up.

Helpwise offers the best shared inbox solution for your business. Offering seamless team integration, your customers can be sure their queries are answered.

No more lost emails. No more failed replies.

Don’t let your support agents drown. Help them to float with Helpwise. Start your free trial and save 25 hours of savings per month per agent today.