Think automation will rob your business of the personal touch?
Your customer service team relies on delivering personalized services to clients exactly when they need them. Modern automation tools can improve customer experiences with speed and accuracy, offer cost-savings to your business, and help you prioritize the most important human interactions.
Customer Service Automation Strategies in 2019
It’s been a dramatic few years for CS automation in the market. Gartner predicts that by 2020, automated assistants or chatbots will account for 25% of all customer service support. This is a major shift from 2017, which saw bots operating less than two percent of customer service experiences. Why the immense change?
New technologies and strategies elevate the potential of your CS teams far beyond phone trees and Interactive Voice Response systems. Today’s most effective automated customer service tools include:
SMS and Text Messages
Interactive and automated email
Automated helpdesk systems
What may have been a lethargic market just a few years ago is now brimming with potential, and not just for your customers. Your business can save money by automating repetitive, everyday processes, and prioritizing human effort where it’s needed most. This will translate to providing customers at critical touch points with the attention they need to keep doing business with you.
It’s Time to Move Automated Phone Menus
One of the biggest reasons automated customer service has a bad reputation is automated phone menus. . Not surprisingly, only 10% of customers are satisfied with virtual assistance and automated phone menus. These experiences often present customers with long menus of unnecessary options, creating a pain point that can lead to disengagement.
But, even if customers could dial straight to a CS representative, research demonstrates that people still prefer to get what they need without making a phone call. Only 28% of customers prefer phone calls over website interactions for services. The key to striking this balance is supporting customers with automated CS tools for the right jobs (and providing the human experience for the rest).
The Role of Customer Service Teams in the Age of Automation
If automated systems and chatbots become industry standard (as predicted by Gartner), what does that mean for the role of human customer service teams? Actually, your CS teams will be doing much of the same work – but they’ll be more effective.
Successful CS automation has a lot to do with knowing what to automate – and what not to automate. Typical tasks like updating the phone number on an account or tracking an order are ideal for a chatbot or automated helpdesk. These everyday CS experiences rely on speed and accuracy, both of which are better suited for modern CS automation software than a human representative. Automating these simple tasks can provide a costs-savings of up to 80% vs. traditional call centers.
For distressed customers, it’s time to send in your human CS teams.
This can include situations involving customer complaints or complicated issues. Automation should enable your team to prioritize time and energy on these customers at these critical points, serving as a more effective use of your resources (and helping maintain lucrative relationships with customers). The right automations allow your CS teams to do more of what they are best at- delighting customers before and after the sale.
Customer Service and the Importance of Choice
Automation isn’t about forcing all your customers to engage with your business in a new way. It’s about prioritizing resources and meeting a variety of needs.
Some consumers will sign up for every SMS or text message option and communicate exclusively with your automated helpdesk. This gives you the bandwidth to provide quality human service to those who prefer a phone call. By meeting the needs of different customers with a balance of automation and human customer service, your CS teams will be more effective for everyone.