Customer support is a vital part of your business. Ensuring your internal team can get the answers they need can make a huge difference in happy customers and productive employees.
As Gloria Masri from FitSmallBusiness.com explains, “responding to your customers in a timely manner (and with accurate information) is crucial for your business’ customer service.”
However, with so many different tasks related to the job of customer support, it is easy feel as though there is never enough time in the day to help everyone.
Fortunately, advances in automation are applicable for customer support teams. Automating certain tasks can streamline customer service processes, deliver a higher response time to customer and make the entire team more efficient.
Speeding up Support
Time is the most valuable resource to a company, especially the customer service team. However, every time a call gets redirected or a question needs to be answered more than once, a little bit of time gets lost.
Though there are many ways to make a company more efficient, the following four examples are automations that specifically create better customer service teams.
1. Email Templates
One of the most time-consuming tasks for any company is dealing with mass emails and yet, customers expect emails to be answered within one hour. Having to constantly rewrite the same note over and over not only takes time, but it is largely unnecessary in a modern world.
Email templates fix that by allowing your customer service team to respond to inquiries in a few easy clicks. To create email templates first look at what questions your customer service team is most often asked. Then, have the customer service team create detailed emailed that answer these questions. Finally, save each email response as a template with a specific title so it is easy to find.
Then, share the templates with all customer service members. When the common questions arise, you can rest assured that the questions will be answered quickly and consistently across all team members.
Ensuring the team doesn’t have to write the same or similar email over and over can save hundreds upon hundreds of hours.
Another email automation tip that can save hours a week are to use email rules. Rules are an automated email process that helps customer service teams manage personalized emails at scale.
When using email rules, customer service teams can automatically send certain emails based on the recipient’s actions or status. To set up rules up, a member inputs a trigger (such as a certain email keyword), condition that must be met (potentially an extra phrase in that email), and then an action that will happen once the trigger occurs. For example, if customer service wanted to email everyone who had sent in a complaint about a new uploader feature, they could create a rule around it.
A team member would create a rule that identifies emails that have the keyword “uploader”, a condition that identiyed emails that also included “broken,” “not working,” or “freezing”. Then they could send an email to all at once stating they are aware of the issue and planning to release a fix soon.
By identifying these emails quickly and responding with a single email, customer service teams can maintain a high first-response time. Customer will appreciate the quick response to their inquiry.
When creating the email, it is also helpful to know how best to share bad news. While you may want to start with the fix, a study by UC-Riverside says addressing the problem first, may make customers feel better. The researchers found that when customers were given the bad news first, they were more likely to feel better about what they were told than those who were given bad news last. When given the bad news last, these customer were more likely to act on the bad news and tell others.
Auto response emails are another great tool towards more efficient customer support.
In customer service, quick replies are important. However, they also require a team member to sit down and manually answer an email. Autoresponders save that time by sending out an email to customers, letting them know their inquiry has been heard.
One simple way to create an autoresponder, is to automatically send an email once a customer has submitted a request. A simple email stating, “thank you for your email, we will get back to you shortly,” will help customers feel confident that their email went to a working inbox and will set the expectation that customer service will respond to their email. With the auto response out, customer service can then take their time and provide a detailed response.
Autoresponders can do more than just acknowledge an email. These can even be customized to answer specific questions, such as when something will be delivered, or they can direct customers to a specific part of the site so they can help themselves.
4. Automatic Ticket Priorities
The final way to make customer support more efficient is the use of automatic ticket priorities. Automatic ticket priorities give a priority number (such as 1-5) to each incoming ticket and can prevent analysis paralysis or not knowing where to start.
By automatically deciding which tickets are a top priority, the customer service team doesn’t need to go through and make priority decisions. These time savers help cut down on switching costs by enabling customer service agents to prioritize certain conversations over others.
Rather than guessing which inquiries to answer, a computer program that uses natural processing language can properly points out which customers need the most urgent attention. That then allows the team to tackle questions in the most efficient way possible.
Getting the Most Time Possible
Customer service is vital to every company, which is why it is so important to streamline processes. Though a few wasted minutes may not seem like a big deal, they add up quite quickly over the course of a month or year.
The above automations help shave off those wasted minutes in different ways. For that reason, putting all of them together will give you the hardest-working customer service team out there.