Putting automation to work in your business releases you and your employees up to constantly move your business forward, while still keeping a level of support that your clients expect. But there is a proper way to use automation for customer engagement. Any wrong initiative can take away your client’s interest. This article lists 8 tips for the use of automation in customer communication.
On-Point Use of Automation
For some touchpoints, human-to-human interactions will always be the best choice. For example, customers who are exceptionally angry or frustrated are usually best handled by a human agent. But in other cases, automation makes more sense. For instance, a conversational self-service chatbot can hunt down an estimated delivery date by combing through the order management system just as well, if not better, than a human can. Automation is best suited to tasks when it’s unnecessary or inefficient for a human to do that work.
Automation as a Tool
When automating customer service, remember that automation is a tool, not a substitute for human support. This is perhaps the most important practice to remember when optimizing customer service with automation. Customers still need empathy, respect, and flexibility when they reach out to your team. Automation can’t provide that. What automation can do, however, is support your agents. It can do this by handling admin, processing customer information, and making sure the right agent is handling each query.
New Technologies On-Board
Biometrics is one possibility, and using things like biometric password recovery (utilizing fingerprints or facial recognition instead of old school methods like “mother’s maiden name) takes out the need for a call into your call center or a support chat to authenticate their identity. Other new technologies that might assist in the automation process are the use of mobile apps, like those which walk customers through common issues so they can fix problems themselves without the need for your involvement. Others might use SMS to text a code to a number to get information on their account, a balance due, or to automate the payment process.
Integrated Multichannel Communication Strategy
Whether serving more traditional customers that still read print or tech-savvy folks who live on their smartphones, it’s up to your business to meet your customer where they are. Investing in a multichannel communications platform is a necessity for any business that expects to offer the best in CX. CCM applications make it possible to cater to large volumes of customers with disparate interaction styles. Large-scale communications can be released via batch processing while individual responses, for example, to satisfy a self-service request from a web portal, can go out on an on-demand (event-based) basis. CCM software makes the process nimble and user-friendly enough to provide a smooth and satisfying CX.
Personalized Customer Service
Personalize your automated responses by developing basic templates to personalize and send. It’s low effort, and personalized emails can be that extra little detail that adds a friendly touch to your company. It will also increase the chances of your customers reading an automated email. It feels aimed at them, rather than spam for everyone and anyone.
Even the most well-configured, well-trained AI sometimes gets it wrong. No matter the interaction channel, always make live help available if your customers want it. When a customer asks to speak to a live person, smooth the transition by keeping them in the current channel whenever possible and passing any relevant context to the agent, so they can pick up where the chatbot left off.
Use of Built-In Customer Engagement Tool Set
While there are generic AI, machine learning, and RPA tools that can be used to automate customer service, it’s best practice to use a solution that already has automation built into their customer engagement toolset. There are so many challenges that are unique to customer service and consumer engagement, which makes working with a vendor with deep industry expertise a wiser choice.
Look for Feedbacks
Automation is a great way to optimize your customer service, but it isn’t perfect. Ask your customers for feedback on their experience with you after their issue has been solved. You can even use automation to field the responses.