Let’s start by setting the stage. Imagine you’re in the grocery store, you buy a replacement for your favorite coffee machine. But, when you get home, not everything is as it should be. 

In the simplest terms, automating customer service is the reduction of human intervention in the execution of frequently used tasks and processes. You’ll have a place to go with your incomplete coffee machine woes, and you’ll get real-time, solution-giving answers. 

Automating customer service saves your company time and streamlines the support process. And to learn more about how it helps your company, read this!

Automating Customer Service: The Basics

Automated customer processes are meant to save time and effort for the customer. By supplying processes and information in a structured, easy-to-use way.

These processes allow customers to engage and receive relevant information and answers speedily. The intention is to eliminate or at least, reduce the need for contact with a support agent.

The primary reason customer service automation is so effective, is the reduction of the number of process steps, for the customer to take when in search of a solution.

Effective automation is an entry point for customers who have queries or support requirements without the upfront engagement with an agent. Good automation is all about smoothing the customer experience.

This means that instant customer gratification is genuinely possible.

Automation in the form of chatbots is undoubtedly the future of brand engagement. Offering support via a chatbot is the ideal avenue for automated customer engagement and an excellent opportunity to improve support.

Benefits of Automated Customer Service

It does sound a bit ominous, much like a Sci-Fi movie where robots take over. But if you think of automation as what it is, simple streamlining, then the benefits just cannot be ignored.

The benefits of automating customer service can best be described as:

Empowering the Customer

Automated customer service puts preliminary support in the hands of the customer. Well-thought-out automation will get the customer to the correct answers smoothly.

The time-saving gained will be significant. It gets the correct information to the customer quicker at the exact moment they need it. 

Customers can also get information anytime and anyplace. Automation never sleeps suddenly support is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and 365 days per year.

Automated customer service means less agent intervention.

There is no doubt that great agent conversations can enhance customer satisfaction, but, forcing the customer to contact support for every snippet of information is tedious regardless of how pleasant or efficient the agent is.

Elevate Agent Productivity

As previously mentioned automation is all about repetition of frequently used tasks and processes.

Tedious, mundane tasks will inevitably lead to low job satisfaction. Support agents should be the point of contact for more complex interactions with the client – leave the simple, repetitive stuff for the automation tools.

Most support systems are ticket-driven; automation will reduce ticket volumes. Lower ticket volumes lead to cleaner shared inboxes. This means more valuable time to put use focusing on value-adds for your brand. You’ll be able to give the necessary focus and resources on more critical and complex support challenges. 

Lower Support Costs 

While automation is not meant as a replacement for human agents; setting up automated customer service will save your business both time and money.

There will be fewer salaries and wages and only simple outlay costs for the technology itself. 

Authenticate the Customer

Customers get frustrated when asked for the same information every time they request support automation can be used to authenticate the customers. In so doing, by the time the agent is required to intervene, all the information is ready to hand. 

On top of this authentication will now be completed at the user’s leisure and through their preferred channel. 

Reduce the Rate of Errors

Automation is less prone to making mistakes. Human error is practically eliminated for customer support.

Routing the customer to the correct agent first time dramatically improves the experience – customers don’t need to be placed in the frustrating position of repeating themselves.

Customer Follow-Up

Follow-up is not the same as feedback. Let the customer know that their request or product is moving through the process.

For example, if the customer has an item on for repair, let them know what stage it is at; maybe diagnostics, workshop, testing, etc.

Other Automation Opportunities

Automation is not only used for customer support, in fact, but any frequent task or process can also be automated.

Automation adds value – in fact, as long as it is not solely focused on eliminating human intervention. Automation is about making things more accessible and efficient. 

Here are some examples of automation that can add value to your company:

  • Sending reminders. If your company sends lots of reminders, these too can be automated. Peace of mind knowing that your customers are automatically advised when, for example, an invoice is due for payment.
  • Automated feedback. Once the customer has completed the engagement, ask for feedback. If the feedback is negative, request that an agent call the customer.
  • Onboarding new clients. When a new customer is taken on automating the process can add massive value.
  • Automated campaigns. When a new product or range of products is added to your inventory, why not have an automated process to let the customers know. Using some rules and possibly a little artificial intelligence (AI) can increase knowledge of the customer, for example, their purchasing patterns.
  • Manage leads. Automation is a great place to work on lead generation. Integrating a bot with your CRM system will save time and effort.
  • Event and Conference Management. Not only marketing the event but automating information delegates would most probably require quick access to. For example, Guest Speaker Bios, changes to venue information, meal and dietary requirements, and more.
  • Bookings. Have a bot manage booking for your holiday or travel.

All of the above examples will require support – automate that too!

To Infinity and Beyond! 

Your options are endless if you decide to go with automating customer service. The world is your oyster. 

Imagine all those forgotten tasks that you’ll be able to get your team to focus on now, prioritizing customer support is vital though. So before you launch your automation software, ensure that every box is checked and that your customers won’t be stuck in a vicious circle. 

Stick around and go through our resources if you need more tips on how to streamline internal processes in your business.