Customer Service Automation: Five Tips for Success

by | Dec 12, 2019

Automation is ushering in a new era of customer service and CX excellence. Here are a few tips for modernizing established processes and completing a successful digital transformation.

In the technology era, automation is becoming a mainstay when it comes to lowering costs. Switching to automation is beneficial to customer experience but it can be difficult to implement properly. Here are five tips for successful customer service automation. To stay relevant in the On-Demand Economy, business process outsourcers must deliver the kinds of mobile, engaging experiences consumers demand and BPO customers are looking for.

Switching to automation is beneficial to customer experience but it can be difficult to implement properly.”

1. Automate for Simplicity & Leave Empathy to the Humans

Automation is very beneficial in certain elements of the customer service process. Of course, some parts of the customer journey are still better left to the humans. Having some self-checkout options as well as a more automated process for customers that are already familiar with how you operate works well. You can also automate some elements of customer service problem solving — for instance, chatbots that can answer simple queries. However, when it comes to bigger issues, or when human empathy or expertise is required, it’s always best to have a live agent talk to your customers and solve those issues.

2. Merge Your Service Channels

Merging channels brings formerly disparate paths to successful resolution under one unified multichannel experience. For example, when customer service channels are merged into a multichannel solution, customer information isn’t lost when they bounce from an online web chat to a call to your contact center.

How To Provide Self-Service Options While Your Customers Are Waiting On Hold

Merging your service channels is one strategy to make your automated customer service more collaborative. When you remove a siloed CX structure and implement a merged channel approach, your customers and employees benefit. Seamlessly switching between automated channels and human agents creates better communication for everyone. With a consistent multichannel structure your agents are informed by automated services about what customers are calling for or concerned with. This helps them make decisions more quickly and accurately.

2. Merge Your Service Channels

Merging channels brings formerly disparate paths to successful resolution under one unified multichannel experience. For example, when customer service channels are merged into a multichannel solution, customer information isn’t lost when they bounce from an online web chat to a call to your contact center.

It’s hard to plan for a global pandemic like COVID-19, but other less extreme incidents can drive up call volume unexpectedly as well.”

Why Now?

Maximum Impact, Minimum Cost

For years, automated solutions required large overhauls of customer service processes, cumbersome integrations to the CX systems businesses already utilized, and expensive emerging technology. In 2020, the automation landscape has radically shifted. Robotic Process Automation (RPA), digital tools that transform structured inputs into business actions, open API integrations, and digital interfaces like Visual IVR, have combined to make automated self-service quick to implement, easy to maintain, and create virtually zero impact on well-established business processes. RPA and modern automated solutions keep costs low and have made self-service viable for the energy industry.

Rising Expectations

Customer service has quickly become the primary battleground for businesses in every industry, but especially energy providers. According to J.D. Power studies, delivering excellent customer service as well as reliable power drives customer loyalty and plays a critical role in “gaining satisfaction and building customer trust.” In today’s modern, digital society, automated self-service solutions for common customer service calls are necessary. A vast majority of customers prefer a do-it-yourself method for customer service and expect brands they interact with to deliver the best CX.

Energy industry customers want self-service because they prioritize three aspects of customer service: time, convenience, and value. According to a study by Accenture, they spend an average of 9.2 minutes per year interacting with utilities via digital channels and 11 minutes per year interacting via non-digital channels. Self-service tools deliver the results customers are looking for as fast as possible. Automated solutions like Visual IVR are available 24/7, through whatever channel customers prefer — solutions whenever and wherever customers need them. The ability of self-service to solve problems quickly and easily has earned customer loyalty and respect. Six out of ten energy industry customers say they value the comfort and convenience of automation.

How To Provide Self-Service Options While Your Customers Are Waiting On Hold

So What?

Cost-effective self-service solutions like RPA and Visual IVR will make 2020 the year the energy industry experiences the shift in CX already shaping other industries. E-commerce, insurance, hospitality, and other businesses have already transitioned to fast, convenient, and customer-centric self-service solutions. Now energy providers will deliver the same benefits to their customers with little disruption to their business processes thanks to light, flexible API integrations and excellent modern automation. These self-service solutions will complement live agents and call centers, handling recurring, mundane, repetitive calls and allowing the agents to handle the complex calls where their expertise shines and empathy is required.