For the prosperity of your business, it’s not enough to provide the best goods and services in the market. It’s crucial to remember that the customer collaboration process does not end after entering credit card details and clicking the “Buy” button on your website. Further customer support and your willingness to answer all the appeared questions is one of the main aspects determining whether a particular client will purchase from you in the future.
The purchased item may not operate the way a customer intended, and the terms of service your company provides may cause some confusion. However, in both scenarios, quick response and the ability to resolve a controversial issue can restore customer’s confidence in your brand and help your business reputation. The thing is that, without a proper approach, a constantly growing clientele may increase your costs for customer support and reduce productivity.
Customer service automation can become a magic wand allowing you to decrease the required human interaction without sacrificing the quality of customer support. With that ace up your sleeves, you can enable customers to receive quick responses to their questions, minimize human errors, and reduce costs per interaction. In this article, we’ll consider how a software system can help you solve customer’s issues and how your business can benefit from adopting one of them.
How AI-driven Systems Can Enforce Your Customer Support Department
First of all, let’s outline what customer support automation may look like. Nowadays, there’s no shortage of various technological means allowing companies to improve their customer support. For example, for that purpose, companies can rely on artificial intelligence, machine learning, or natural language processing. The primary purpose of applying these technologies in customer support is to free human personnel from the pressure and speed up processing clients’ requests.
It’s important to note that automation of customer support activities is not intended to replace human employees but provides a series of tools allowing them to improve the quality of services offered. In some cases, you can rely on software systems. In some others, a live person can do better. A balance between involving customer support workers in solving specific tasks and allowing automated systems to solve them is determined by the specifics of your business and the peculiarities of each particular request.
Multiple factors can explain the necessity to invest in customer support automation. First of all, nowadays, customers expect that their issues will be solved on any day of the week and at any time of the day or night. Besides, this service must be personalized and offer much more than providing a link to the FAQ page of your website. These factors have led to a wide variety of customer support solutions, among which you can find chatbots, interactive voice response systems, email automation tools, interactive customer portals, and many others.
How Customer Services Automation Can Improve Your Business Without Making Clients Feel Abandoned
First and foremost, the adoption of customer support automation systems can help you respond to clients’ requests quicker. Of course, you cannot say in advance at what point there may be an influx of clients with unresolved problems in the future. But we all can say for sure that there’s nothing more annoying than listening to the same melody on the phone over and over again while waiting until a customer support specialist advises you why your home Internet does not work or whether robotic vacuum cleaners are delivered to your country.
Speed of response is one of the key factors influencing customer service experience. With a proper approach to services automation, businesses can meet the most demanding customers’ requirements and decrease the time of response via the live chat to less than a minute. For example, email automation tools can analyze incoming messages and compose replies according to the previous responses from your customer support specialists. In addition, if you rely on social media, monitoring tools can automatically detect posts that may require special attention and inform the specialist responsible for solving specific kinds of problems.
Another frustrating experience with which your customers may face is the necessity to explain their issues to multiple people. The need to describe a problem caused by services or goods that your company offers can make your customers think that you are not well versed in the specifics of your own business. To minimize such risks and decrease possible customer dissatisfaction, you can invest in automation to ensure that correct information will be passed to the customer support specialist with relevant experience.
Your customers have their preferences for the choice of means of communication on the internet. Some prefer Facebook Messenger, while others cannot imagine a day of their life without Telegram. Such a variety may bring additional complexity in providing your customers with support services but can also become a source of new possibilities. If a customer prefers a specific messenger, there’s no need to force him or her to use another communication channel to solve a particular problem. Instead, you can rely on a chatbot to answer a specific question without forcing a customer to change the habitual communication method. Besides, such an approach allows expanding service hours since, with customer support tools in your possession, you can provide support with no breaks 24/7.
In addition to faster response times and availability of your services 24/7, you can also significantly reduce the cost per interaction thanks to the lower need for customer support specialists involvement. According to the McKinsey Digital report, you can reduce costs related to customer support by 20-40%, thanks to services automation. In addition, as your business grows, you can avoid the dramatic costs associated with scaling.
Customer support automation allows you to improve your relationship with the customers and can be a source of valuable information. You can analyze the customers’ requests and determine which topics require your special attention. This info can be used to write detailed guides on overcoming the most frequent issues and train your customer support department employees. Besides, you can enable centralized access to customer information gathered in the process via the CRM platform.
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Customer support automation can help your company to decrease the probability of human errors. Human interaction is irreplaceable when you want to show your customers that you care about them and there’s always somebody ready to help. Nevertheless, when it comes to dozens of repetitive actions that an employee has to perform over and over again during the day, there is a high chance that something might go wrong. On the other hand, artificial intelligence can help quickly determine the source of a customer’s problem and find a solution in your knowledge base. In addition, machine learning algorithms can help your customer support system learn from previous interactions to get better over time.
A Few Tips For Successful Customer Service Automation
If you decide to adopt custom enterprise software enabling customer support automation, you can entirely rely on your developer’s experience in everything related to cutting-edge technologies. However, you have to keep in mind that some essential aspects lay beyond the technology and can significantly impact your relationships with customers. For example, you should remember that automation tools can’t completely replace humans.
Think of your customer support software as a toolbox that can expand the possibilities of the customer support department employees. Angry customers, most probably, won’t be satisfied with soulless answers generated by the AI-driven chatbot and will require human attention. In such a case, the automated system can become handy and detect specific patterns in the initial customer’s message and decide if there’s the need for human involvement.
Even the most sophisticated system may interpret the customer’s request wrong due to the specifics of a human language. Therefore, you should always provide your customers with the possibility to request live help with a simple click. Furthermore, you should enable a smooth transition for a customer who thinks that the quality of services provided by the automated system is not up to par. For example, if the customer contacted you over the social network messenger, it won’t be the best option to offer them to use a phone call if a chatbot can’t solve the problem. Instead, you must quickly redirect the customer to the live chat with a customer support specialist.
If you don’t have any experience with customer support automation, most probably, making the “leap of faith” won’t be the best solution. Instead of entirely relying on the software in everything related to customer services, you may decide to start with something simple. Most probably, there are some questions that customers ask you more often than others. For example, “Does this dancing robot hamster include batteries?” or “Can you extend the warranty period for this laptop at an additional cost?” It can be a good idea to enable your chatbot to deal with those before you trust it with more complex tasks.
Even if you have the most advanced AI system in the market in your possession, there’s always room for improvement. That’s the reason why you should not underestimate customer feedback on automated services. A simple request to rate the quality of provided services from 1 to 5 stars most probably won’t require much time from a client. And you, in turn, will gain valuable insight into where improvements are needed.
Customer support is a sensitive topic both for small startups and large enterprises. If you’re making your first steps in the market, you must make a good impression on your first customers. If you have a broad clientele, supporting good relationships will guarantee you a good reputation and ensure the company’s future growth. However, the pace of growth brings additional costs, the significant part of which is related to customer services. Luckily, thanks to the evolution of technology, you can effortlessly shift the lion’s share of customer support activities to automated software solutions. If you want to benefit from customer support automation but don’t know where to start, please contact us.