Thanks to shortening attention spans, every second that a customer waits for your response becomes more annoying. Time is money, after all, especially when it comes to customer care.
59% of customers expect to receive a response within the first 5 seconds. That’s essentially impossible for a human. But that’s where customer service automation comes into play.
The market and its customers are becoming more demanding by the day. So, take advantage of automation and modern technology to give people what they want, whenever and wherever they want it.
- What is Automated Customer Service?
- 6 Benefits of Automated Customer Service
- 5 Tips to Automate Customer Service
What is Automated Customer Service?
Even though you may not be aware, you’ve experienced automated customer service before.
Whenever you open an online chat to get in touch with a customer support agent and receive a reply immediately, that’s it. It lets your customers know your business is attentive to their needs, making them feel heard and appreciated.
Human-to-human interactions are important, but there are many situations you can automate.
Automated customer service has the potential to help you avoid human errors and save a lot of time for yourself and your customers. Your customer service team will be less stressed and have more time to focus on what’s truly important for your business.
But enough theory, let’s look at a use-case from real life. Take, for example, a ticketing system that creates a customer service “ticket” every time a customer interacts with you via form or chat.
The system can tag, categorize, and assign tickets to appropriate people within your company. Each ticket contains relevant information regarding the customer and helps you keep track of data like response time and other metrics. And did we mention that this system works 24/7?
Sounds pretty handy, right? And that’s just one of the many ways customer service automation can help your business!
6 Benefits of Automated Customer Service
The first step in benefiting from automated customer service is actually understanding all the things it can do for you.
Reduced Customer Service Costs
Automate repetitive tasks and prepare for different scenarios to lower the demands on your support team. Not only does this save a lot of time, but it also eliminates the need for hiring more employees to perform administrative tasks. This helps you get the most value out of your team.
A reliable and well-developed system comes with a price, but it’s still a great investment compared to what hiring will cost you.
The efficiency of your operations will be improved dramatically, saving you a lot of money. Even with some possible extra costs for starting out, automation will save you money in the long term.
Improved Efficiency and Speed
Response time is one of the most important metrics in customer service. Everyone values their time the most, so any unnecessary waiting can be incredibly frustrating.
With automation, you won’t have to spend time on processes like forwarding the ticket to the right person, following up with a client, or getting back to them with a solution.
More Closed Tickets
When it comes to customer care, quality over quantity should always apply.
The main goal of your customer support department should never be to close as many tickets as quickly as possible. This will lead to lower-quality support in every possible case. But with automation, you can provide both quality customer service and fast replies.
Support that is available 24/7 is a great advantage in any competitive market. Every customer will be happy to hear back from you whenever they contact you. Automated customer service will make you available during off-hours. By the time you get to the ticket, it might as well be solved already.
reduced human error is another good reason to choose automation.
As we are all well aware, humans are prone to make mistakes. Even when we do our best, we can’t avoid the consequences of tiredness and loss of attention.
By automating tedious tasks, you can avoid the many small errors that come from working with data and various tools.
Agent and Customer Satisfaction
Everything we’ve mentioned so far goes to serve and satisfy your customers. But they’re not the only ones. Your agents are sure to appreciate the reduced repetition and perform better when they’re allowed to focus on the high-value parts of their job – like listening to customers and genuinely solving their problems.
5 Tips to Automate Customer Service
Having a well-defined customer service strategy and understanding all your needs for a relevant tool is a solid start. Make sure to collect some feedback from your team as well.
They will most certainly have some good points to share. But remember that customer service automation can’t solve everything, so be sure to temper expectations.
So, how do you leverage automation to improve your business? Try these 5 steps.
1. Add Live Chat and Chatbots
The first step that will bring you the highest value in the shortest time is adding a live chat with chatbots to your website. Chatbots can reply to customers automatically, provide information, ask for further details, and even transfer the conversation to an agent if it can’t help the person directly. So, all in all, it makes everyone’s lives easier.
Chatbots allow immediate engagement, which keeps customers from contacting you multiple times via social media or other channels. And according to the stats, more than 87% of users are satisfied with chatbot-only chats.
2. Reduce Response Time with Canned Responses
Pre-written replies play a huge role in the workflow automation of customer service. They leave no space for human errors and long waiting times and are also a great opportunity for providing value.
Your customers will most definitely appreciate shorter response times, especially when your agents multitask. There are multiple situations in which you can use canned responses.
Such examples are:
- Sharing a specific tutorial
- Asking for further details
- Explaining complicated situations and outages
- Talking about features
Canned responses are also very helpful to your employees, especially when just starting at your company.
3. Provide Self-Service Options
Implementing a knowledge base into your customer services workflow is a must. As you might have noticed in some cases already, the best tools are those replying to a question with a list of possible solutions.
Frequently asked questions are a great example. This should be one of the first pieces of information you share with your users before someone starts working on it.
Your customers will be able to get a quick response to their issues or questions without contacting an agent directly. Your service agents should have all related articles on hand. And if not, the customer service software can analyze the request and offer some options that might be helpful.
4. Set Up Automated Routing
Ticket routing is a way of assigning a ticket to the most appropriate agent or department. Skills-based routing is one of the best examples of automation. Your live agents won’t have to spend time analyzing different queries and forwarding them, and your customers won’t have to wait until your agents even get to them.
Set up triggers and rules to decide if a ticket should be forwarded to someone based on the language, location, question, or other filters. Such automation will also detect spam or unrelated messages and save you a lot of time by processing them.
Remember, this will have a huge impact on the customer experience.
5. Automate Workflows
Using a solid tool for customer service will let you automate the workflow of your live agents in so many ways. Depending on your needs and priorities, you’ll be able to send a follow-up message, chat transcript, or even collect some customer feedback. You can even close inactive chats and avoid the mess related to them.
Another great perk of workflow automation is reminders. They are valuable in cases when you need to get back to an issue in a few days or months. The risk of forgetting it is just too high. The customer service automation tool will reopen the ticket and let you know.
Should You Automate Customer Service?
Considering all the pros we’ve laid out above, the answer should be obvious – absolutely! However, this is just the first of many decisions ahead of you if you choose to invest in automation.
You still need to choose a suitable automation solution for your business and create informative content that will help, engage, and satisfy your customers. It’s best not to forget the personal touch, either. But those are all topics for another day.
For now, we’ll leave you off with some final tips and tricks on succeeding with automated customer service:
- Scale and optimize your service based on analytics
- Streamline your internal and external discussions.
- Remember Quality Over Quantity. Start small and develop your automation in time.
Just keep these basic rules we outlined in the previous section in mind, and you should be able to reach your business’s full potential. Add live chat capabilities to your site, incorporate canned responses, provide self-service options, set up automated routing, and automate your workflows. Finally, don’t worry too much, and let the magic work.