In the mind of a customer, customer support automation is associated with impersonal responses, a conversation with a bot which doesn’t know all the answers to a problem and the great possibility to receive exactly what you ask for. Let’s develop a little the last two aspects.
Communicating with a support bot about a problem related to a product or a service can be a difficult task. Bots may have limited knowledge about certain topics and customers’ questions may fall out of their area of expertise. Such a situation may end in the bot delivering a “I don’t understand your question” message and a dissatisfied customer.
The second issue, we’ve named it the “what you ask is what you get” problem. When discussing with a bot, customers need to give it specific information in order to understand their problem. If they confuse the name of the product with one that is not sold by the company, the bot will simply tell them “I’m sorry, we do not have this product.” There is no room for interpretation.
Now let’s look at automation from the other perspective. As a business owner, you understand automating some customer support processes makes you more efficient. You manage to offer answers to all of your customers and your response time decreases.
Customer support automation is a two-sided subject, presenting both advantages and drawbacks. It can bring your customer support service to a whole different level and grow your business. Yet, automating the wrong processes can damage your reputation and affect your business.
Automation is accused of killing your personal touch and it is important to highlight it cannot replace a real person. Although technology is advancing at a fast pace, we are still not in the point where a bot has the abilities of a human to deal with complex problems and understand everything the customer is saying, Support representatives have a crucial role in helping customers with these issues.
At this point, automation complements certain customer support processes, by filling in the gaps these actions cannot. Basically, it does things representatives can’t or allows them to focus more on important issues.
Answering repetitive questions
A great number of customers may send you the same questions. Instead of representatives having to deal with them, let a bot handle them. A predefined answer is time-efficient for you and your customers. They receive the answers they need and you are free to focus on more complex issues.
Increased degree of responsiveness
While support representatives manage to help many customers, it is physically impossible for them to respond to as many customers as automation can. Also, an automation system can offer you live updates about your website traffic and the possibility for you to react in real time.
Again, it manages to cover areas not available to your employees and offers you valuable information and feedback.
Encourages proactive customer service
If you know about issues some of your customers have dealt with and consider others should know about them, automation can help you distribute useful resources such as links, documents, tutorials. Also, it may be able to distinguish, based on the information from your conversations, which customers did not encounter these problems.
Improves customer retention
Implemented correctly, automation can help you deliver excellent customer service. This translates in satisfied customers most likely to remain loyal to your business, improving your customer retention rate.
Although we have seen automation can bring you great benefits, it is essential to understand not everything can be automated. Automation is for processes, not relationships (between you and your customers). It helps you be more efficient and obtain better results in customer support. You should not use it to avoid direct communication and interaction with your customers.
Contact customers regarding popular support resources
As we mentioned above, having an automation system can help you see your website traffic in real time. This means you see how many visitors you have, what they are looking for and what website sections are the most visited. It can help you see if there is a pattern and if they are looking for answers to a particular question.
This can be the subject of your next email campaign. Providing your customers the necessary resources to find the information to a problem can help them avoid unpleasant experiences. Also, it can make them feel you care about their needs.
Here are a few questions which can help you structure your emails:
The great thing about these emails is you focus more on providing useful solutions, making them feel really personal in the eyes of your customers.
Automate critical support requests
This goes well especially if your customer offer priority support, a system in which you respond first to customers who are considered a priority for you.
When such a customer contacts you, the program detects and immediately notifies a support representative. It helps you have an efficient response time when dealing with these customers and offer them the service they are expecting.
Automate support follow-ups
Sending follow-ups show you care if your answers helped your customers and if they encountered any other problems. It is a great technique used in customer retention strategies and requires attention when developing it.
Creating an automated follow-up and personalizing it by including specific information about the customers (name, the issue they contacted you for) is a great way to check on them. It is an efficient technique and it will help you leave a good impression.
Used properly, customer support automation can bring several benefits for your business. It is important to understand it and decide which processes you can automate based on your business objectives.