Introduction to Customer Service Automation
Automation technologies have revolutionized the world of business. Be it any industry, from healthcare to eCommerce, all sectors have benefitted from automating their workflows or processes through artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
These technologies are still evolving rapidly, introducing advancements and improvements in every area. Thus, it has endless possibilities and should be adopted by all companies to future-proof their business.
There is a high scope of automation in customer service tasks. Customer service automation can solve several underlying problems in customer care processes.
What Is Customer Service Automation?
Customer service automation refers to the integration of automated workflows or tasks in your customer service system. These can be anything from Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to AI chatbots that help process customer requests faster and without manual intervention.
With the help of virtual assistants, businesses can now achieve customer-oriented tasks quickly. Whether it is information about operation hours, opening and closing tickets, or answering common queries, automation can help optimize all tasks without relying on agents.
This is also beneficial in the present scenario, where most customers have moved to text- and voice-driven systems for basic issues. Studies say that customer service automation can lead to a 30% reduction in customer service costs, 14 times higher sales, and a 39% rise in customer satisfaction.
It is also estimated that 70% of all customer interactions will happen through chatbots and other automated tools in the year 2022. Thus, it is high time businesses upgrade their traditional call centers to include smarter ways of handling customers.
Automated Customer Service: Why and How
It has been often debated whether automation is beneficial in the customer service space. Many worries that it will make interactions impersonal and redundant. This may lead to customers seeking other businesses and switching to your competitors.
However, the reality has proved to be somewhat different. Most businesses have benefitted from automated customer service, and so have customers. Along with improving accessibility and availability for customers, automation also saves precious time and money for companies.
Overall, you can provide a smooth user experience which would make customers stick with your business longer. According to a PwC study, 86% of customers say that they are willing to pay more if you can ensure a good customer experience.
It has also been observed that 84% of customers consider user experience a key factor while making purchasing decisions. It also affects their loyalty to particular brands and their inclination to come back to them.
Let’s say one of your customers needs instructions on how to use your product. After getting the delivery, they find that the instruction manual is not clear enough. Thus, they visit your website to find more information.
As soon as they click “Contact Us”, a chat window opens, in which an AI chatbot asks them to describe their issue. Using input keywords, the chatbot directs the customer to relevant pages or articles in your knowledge base.
The customer reads the article and figures out how to get started with the product. Thus, their problem is solved without any manual intervention. Now, in another instance, suppose the customer reads all the information provided by the chatbot but is still unable to get the product working. They try to reach a customer support executive to help them proceed further.
There can be two possibilities here. One, the customer support executive helps the customer solve the issue or initiate returns or refunds in case of defects. Two, no agents are available to assist the customer at that particular time.
In the second scenario, the customer is instructed to send an email to the support team. After they do so, they receive a canned response saying their request has been registered and a team will look into it within a certain time frame. Someone from the customer support team then gets in touch to resolve the ticket.
In all these possibilities, there is automation software integrated into your support tasks. This can be the AI chatbot, the knowledge base redirects, or the canned response for a ticket. Thus, you can see how automation benefits both the business and customer in ensuring a smooth experience at all stages.
Advantages of Automated Customer Service
There are several advantages of automated customer service for any business. Automation optimizes all workflows in an organization, irrespective of its size, scale, or functions.
We can group the benefits of automation in customer service workflows under the following subheadings.
Faster Responses for Better Customer Experience
Customer experience is enhanced by speedy responses. Even if the issue is not resolved immediately, the customer finds solace in the fact that it has been registered and investigated.
In the present market, all customers want quick responses and immediate attention. Automation tools help you ensure faster responses, irrespective of when the customer has contacted support. They can reach a chatbot or get an automated message even in the middle of the night. This way, the business also saves money by cutting down on multiple shifts and reducing manpower at the workplace.
Convenient Channels to Reach Customers
Automation brings support to channels that the customer finds convenient. Whether it is through phone calls, chat boxes, or over social media, you can integrate automated customer support software into any platform to reach users.
Recognizing where most of your target audience is, is key to implementing effective automation. If you can automate tasks in a high-demand channel, you will find interactions and customer satisfaction increasing every day. And to ensure this happens, you do not need to employ manpower at each touchpoint to keep track of all interactions.
Autonomy in Solutions
Customers sometimes prefer it when you do not spoon-feed them the solution to an issue. Instead, some level of autonomy is always welcome. Automated customer service empowers end users to understand the product or service better through access to relevant information.
Rather than doing everything for them, a chatbot, for instance, can guide them to the right information that would solve the issue. This saves a lot of time and labor, along with removing unnecessary back and forth with an agent. It also instills a sense of ownership in the customer since they put in the effort to understand what is to be done.
Reduced Costs and Manual Labor
One of the most significant advantages of automated customer service is a reduction in costs and manual labor. The financial pressures on a business can be alleviated to a great extent by the introduction of automation tools in common processes. That is exactly why so many companies have been welcoming automated solutions recently.
Technologies like AI and ML help to improve standards of service while reducing costs drastically. You do not have to employ extra staff to keep operations up around the clock. This also saves costs in terms of recruitment, training, and pay packages.
Moreover, your existing customer support team does not have to be available at all hours just to attend to tickets. An automated system can take care of the initial stages of a request and guide customers in simple queries, also eliminating manual errors in the process.
This way, your staff is free to attend to complicated issues and queries that cannot be resolved without manual intervention. This will lead to major savings that can then be used to offer better rewards to your customer support representatives. Overall, automation ensures the following in terms of money and labor:
- Less stress on employees and customers
- No need to juggle multiple tasks
- Streamlined registration of all queries
- Highly efficient support for each ticket
- Reduced delays and waiting times
- Better rewards and incentives for employees
Centralization of Customer Information
Employing automation tools on multiple channels helps to centralize all customer information. This includes contact info, tickets, queries, feedback, and so on. For instance, if you have customer support channels on social media, on your website, and via email, automation software can help compile all the requests in one place for easy reference.
This way, you do not have to scramble for information if a customer asks for a follow-up. No matter which channel they have approached you through, you will get access to all relevant information on a single dashboard or data point. This also makes it easier for different agents to help a customer in case they have to contact multiple times to get an issue resolved.
Automation makes manual work faster, easier, and more accurate. In the customer support field, automation has revolutionized workflows by eliminating extra resources and creating a crisp and optimized support process. With more improvements in technology, automation channels are also expected to give better results and remove any concerns that business owners might have now.
AskSid is a global conversational solutions company that partners with retail brands to elevate shopping experiences by leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence. Our capabilities extend beyond support automation, extending to insight extraction, analysis, and business opportunity generation, all by leveraging the power of conversational data. We combine domain expertise and cutting-edge technology to build a Retail AI Brain for our clients, that mines insights from conversational data and becomes the basis of the business opportunity creation we offer. The power of actionable customer data has allowed us to create value and bring change to global brands including AkzoNobel, Danone, Wolford, Akris, and Himalaya. AskSid has live implementations in 23+ countries and supports 100+ international languages, managing millions of satisfied customers the world over.