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.
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.
3. Know the Value of Human Service
Human agents bring empathy and problem-solving skills that automated interactions aren’t built for. They have skills and expertise as well as understanding of how other humans work. When the automation removes the pressure of having to do repetitive tasks your agents can focus on interactions where their skills and empathy are especially important.
There are many who subscribe to the convention that service is a business cost, but superior service is an investment that can help drive business growth. Investing in quality talent and ensuring they have the skills, training, and tools that enable them to empathize and actively listen to customers are central to providing consistently excellent service experiences.
4. Listen to the Voice of the Customer
You should be automating parts of your business to bring value to your company, employees, and customers. Everyone can benefit from the switch to automation. To make sure that this happens, regularly test your automated solutions and collect feedback from your customers or stakeholders.
Testing will make sure everything is running properly. If you do not test it, there may be inefficiencies that are hampering the productivity of your customer journey. Furthermore, as technology advances, you will want to continue updating your customer experience. Continual upgrades and iterations will allow your customers and employees to learn your new systems organically and avoid steep learning curves that result from large system overhauls (not to mention cut down on the cost and time required for large implementations). Grow your CX as customer expectations grow and you will not need extensive customer and employee education programs every time your process changes. Evolution is better than revolution. Feedback should be continually sought out by you and your team members.
5. Implement A Knowledge Base
Your automated system should have the ability to answer common questions. This helps your customers because they don’t have to look through FAQ. They also don’t have to call customer service for simple questions. This way, the process is simple and seamless for them. Simple processes will resolve customer inquiries quickly, increasing customer satisfaction (CSAT), lowering average handle time (AHT), and easing pressure on your customer service team members to answer common questions.
When it comes to automating parts of your customer service, it’s important to know where it works best and where a human agent excels. A good rule of thumb is to implement automation wherever you see repetitive tasks and leave tasks requiring empathy or tasks that aren’t routine to your employees. One of the best examples are knowledge bases and FAQs, which can almost always be automated today. Keep in mind that all of these channels need to be merged into a consistent multichannel customer service system and present a seamless experience for maximum customers satisfaction. Know the importance of your human agents and support them in their work and make sure that you test and collect feedback on your automated customer service tools so that you can improve them and keep them accessible for your customers.
Ellie Cloverdale works as a career and marketing blogger at UK Writings and Academized. An avid rock climber, she enjoys researching North American lifestyle and work trends. Writing about digital nomad and flexible work arrangement, she also teaches writing skills at Boom Essays.