Customer service is getting a technology make-over thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI). According to Forbes, roughly 85% of customer support interactions will be handled without the intervention of a human agent by 2020 - and with good reason. AI systems, and the automated solutions they power, have the ability to streamline operations, speed up processes, and augment activities that used to require additional manpower, including customer support.
Here are some of the ways that automation can help your company provide a better customer experience:
Proactive Customer Service
Automation provides an opportunity for your company's customer service to become more proactive. Aside from automated messages that your company can send when triggered by specific actions like automatically sending out an email confirming a customer order or reminding customers that they did not complete the checkout process, customer service can also be automated to send messages as certain events occur. This way, you can let your customers know when an item is on backorder or if their order will be delayed. You could also configure your automated customer service system to let previous customers know when items they have ordered in the past are now available in a different color or have gone on sale.
Customer service automation can also help pre-empt customer service issues. Modern systems have bots that can screen social media, on-site reviews, and blog posts for mentions about your company and its products or services. They can look for complaints, concerns, and compliments. These programs can then automatically post a response and flag the issue so that someone in your organization can review it. This way, you can be proactive and your customers can feel confident that you have everything under control.
In the end, automated customer service is about helping your customers feel like their buying experience is personalized. Going into 2019, 96% of marketers believe that personalization is the key to customer satisfaction.
From product recommendations to websites that tailor the shopping experience to a user's browsing habits, automation enables personalization and drives all the benefits that come with it, like increased repeat sales, enhanced customer loyalty, and improved sales conversion. Personalization helps to humanize the shopping process so that your customers are not simply consumers of goods, but they are individuals with their own specific tastes and preferences - and your website, marketing messages, and more reflect that uniqueness. In many ways, automation helps you deliver a concierge-like shopping experience, without the concierge.
Self-Service is in Demand
While your customers want a personalized experience, most of them do not want to deal with an actual person. 72% of millennials believe that a phone support is not the best communication channel for customer service and prefer to have self-service options available. They would rather look at FAQs, ask questions in forums, or interact with a chatbot. Younger generations are even more insistent on these self-service options, possibly even to the extent that they may choose to patron one company over another based on the self-service options they present. For these customers, having automation in place is critical to attracting and retaining their business.
With automation, customer service is not limited to business hours. Your customers will be able to ask questions and get answers at any time of the day or night, even on major holidays. Some companies see resolution time go from an average of 28 hours to just 5 minutes because automated customer service is able to provide resolutions to simple queries almost instantaneously. Invariably, customer satisfaction increases in proportion to response time as well as customer loyalty.
One of the ways that automation can really shine is also one of its most simple applications - automated messaging. One example of this is when a customer emails you a question and they receive an immediate response that lets them know that you received the message. This type of confirmation helps your customers feel like their complaint, praise, or issue is being heard and that your company will be responsive to their needs. It also gives you a chance to inform your customers about any reasons why your response may be delayed and what to expect, such as that your company is closed for a holiday, that your customer service hours are 8 to 5 EST, or that they should expect to wait 1-2 business days for your reply.
As technology evolves, it carries with it some important consequences. It changes the way people do business and the expectations consumers have about the quality of the customer service they receive.
Learn how TaskUs built and implemented automation technology that enabled our client’s support team to focus their attention on more complex issues while customers experienced quicker resolution times by reading this short case study.