4 Mistakes to Avoid When Deploying Customer Service Automation
Automation and self-service solutions are the latest trend in customer service technology. Customers love using well-built and seamlessly integrated self-service solutions, but not every technology implementation is built the same. For customer service leaders looking to deploy the right automation the right way, here are four key mistakes to avoid on the road to success:
“Customers love using well-built and seamlessly integrated self-service solutions, but not every technology implementation is built the same.”
1. Leaving Agents Out of the Loop
Forrester has identified an “automation paradox” when AI and automation handle higher volumes of straight forward customer service inquiries, increasing the percentage of complex tasks assigned to agents. This reduction of simple conversations and increase in complex interactions can challenge agents that haven’t been properly prepared or warned about new self-service automation implementations.
Customer service leaders must make sure to involve agents in both the planning and execution of new self-service initiatives to guarantee agents help identify possible unforeseen challenges in the process, properly prepare for the change in call types, and know how they can take advantage of customer self-service options during their calls. By empowering agents throughout the process, businesses can also help show how automation won’t be taking their jobs and is being implemented to help, rather than harm.
2. Automating for the Sake of Automation
Not every customer service call should be automated or sent to self-service channels. Some calls are simply handled better by a live interaction. Avoid trying to “boil the ocean” when it comes to automation — when you’re implementing a new solution, start with a few high volume use cases then grow after finding success.
Sometimes even the same question might be best answered by a live agent interaction if the customer calling in is especially angry. Business leaders can’t afford to get carried away automating processes unnecessarily. Just because a customer service process can be automated doesn’t mean it should be immediately.
3. Abandoning Callers in Self-Service Solutions
The best, most well implemented automation solutions sometimes deliver unsatisfactory solutions. Even “successful” resolutions can lead to customer service escalation. If a customer uses self-service automation to look up their order status and is surprised to see their delivery delayed by a week, they will likely want to speak with an agent even though their initial call was successfully (and accurately) resolved by automation.
Automation can improve customer satisfaction and deliver great customer experiences, but businesses should always provide a quick path to live agent interactions throughout the automated experience. The transition from automation to live agent should be smooth too. When a customer shifts to speaking with a live representative, look for solutions that can keep them in the current channel whenever possible and pass any relevant context to the agent so the interaction can pick up where the automated solution left off.
4. A “One and Done” Mentality
Automated customer service is not a one time event. With any cutting edge technology, today’s self-service capabilities are always changing and improving. As you add more sophisticated automation to your customer service processes, think about who on your current team should be dedicated to implementing, monitoring, and enhancing its performance over time.
Another benefit of working with third party vendors like Zappix is that they can help suggest improvements and techniques that have succeeded with other businesses as well. Third party vendors can be a big boost to your automation success and help you get the most value from self-service solutions.
“Third party vendors can be a big boost to your automation success and help you get the most value from self-service solutions.”
In a post COVID-19 world, it’s understandable why every business is looking to add automation to their customer service journey. With the plethora of options out there, deploying the right automation the right way can be a little complicated. If business leaders and contact center managers keep these four key points in mind, however, the road to automation ROI will be smoother.