The New Hybrid Customer Service – Is Human/Bot Support The Solution For Customer’s Problems?

Customer service divides in several categories. Depending on who is delivering the support service, we have two categories:

  • support offered by humans
  • support offered by bots

Both have their strong and weak points and manage to help customers with their problems. The question is which one can deliver the best support? The key is not to take them separately, but to combine them. This results in a new hybrid customer support.

Your customers can come across various problems with your offerings. As a business owner, you want offer them the best customer service and different support options to choose from (phone, email, live chat).

Some customers may prefer a direct communication, while others may want a short direct answer to a simple question. It’s important to understand the two sections of hybrid customer service, when your customer may want to speak with a representative and when with a bot. It may not seem hard, but it stands at the basis of establishing and delivering excellent hybrid customer service.

Bots vs human customer service

Before taking any action, it’s essential to understand your tools. Let’s look at the strengths of customer service bots and support representatives.

Customer service bots

  • deliver answers at a really fast pace
  • can deal with multiple customers at the same time without any problem
  • can access large amounts of data and information
  • can store important data about customers and access them easily in future conversations
  • can easily speak multiple languages
  • are programmed and can easily suffer changes
  • are cheap
  • 24-hour availability

Human customer service

  • show empathy to customers
  • can easily understand what customers are saying (understand their language, expressions, jargon)
  • have a more complex understanding of the context of the situation
  • can easily change from one communication channel to another
  • they are the key to a personal customer service

This doesn’t mean that bots’ characteristics cannot be found in humans and vice versa. Support representatives can speak multiple languages and deal with more than one customer at the same time. Also, bots can show a certain degree of empathy and understand different expressions used by customers.

The difference stands in how much can each party fulfill these actions. Although support representatives can speak on the phone with one customer and write an email for another one, they cannot deal with more than 2 or 3 customers at the same time. Bots can use certain expressions showing they understand their customers, but their empathy level is lower than the human one.

Why human/bot customer service is the solution

Combining bots and human customer service can lead to solving most of your customers’ problems. How? The two sides complement each other, filling the gaps they leave open. The key to building a strong and complex customer service is to:

  • offer customers multiple support options
  • be present on as many communication channels as possible
  • make your support services work together

Support representatives play an important role in customer understanding. In this case, we refer to 2 aspects: empathy and complex problems. Let’s take one at a time.

Empathy

There is no doubt that support representatives are the best when it comes to empathizing. They know exactly what to say and how to do it. A bot may use a few phrases such as “I’m sorry for this inconvenience!” or “I understand this must be very unpleasant for you!“, but they are rather limited. Your employees can adapt to situations or can offer personalized support, especially if they’ve gone through a similar episode.

Complex problems

Customers can detect new problems with your offerings. Especially if you released a new product or service, you may have to deal with new complex problems you may not be aware of. Support representatives can easily adapt to such situations, think of possible causes of the problem and ask new questions which can help them solve the issue.

Customer service bots play an important role as well. Automating certain processes can help not only your customers, but also your business.

Programmability

Bots can be programmed to do any action you want:

  • to speak specific foreign languages
  • to answer to customers’ questions in a certain way
  • to only deal with certain types of problems

It can be easier to program a customer service bot to speak fluent (tech) French than to teach a support representative. The process is time and cost efficient.

Also, due to the machine learning technology, bots are now able to understand more than just simple questions. They understand language and can adapt their answers according to the questions and topics discussed.

Efficiency

As mentioned above, support representatives may have to deal with complex issues. In those situations, they cannot help other customers who need help with simpler problems. Support bots intervene here and save the day!

Bots can deal with repetitive questions and tasks without feeling annoyed. They remain consistent in their answers and keep the same friendly tone.

Hybrid customer service can be really helpful if implemented correctly. It’s essential to understand how each service works, what its strengths are and how they to use them properly.

 

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