It’s no secret that people expect great customer service wherever they go. A survey found that 95% of customers say that customer service is key for brand loyalty. More than 60% of those same customers say that they have deserted a brand and switched over to a rival company because of poor customer service.
However, any growing business is bound to face the difficulties of scaling their customer service operations, especially if they’re old-fashioned. Fixing this dilemma relies on customer service automation, and it’s no longer an optional solution.
Let’s explore what customer service automation is and some of the reasons why it’s essential for any business operating in the 21st century.
What Is Automated Customer Service?
Automated customer service is the usage of technology to perform various tasks that would otherwise be completed by a human agent. Tasks like responding to common questions and concerns, handling basic troubleshooting, and collecting customer feedback (both positive and negative.)
It’s important to note that automated customer service does not mean completely replacing your human agents. The goal is to use automation as a way to support your agents and improve the overall efficiency of your customer service department.
There are many different types of customer service automation, but some common examples include:
- Ticket Routing – assigning the ticket to the next possible agent based on the system analyzing the information then using business rules to send the ticket automatically.
- Round Robin – the task of automatically assigning tickets to agents one by one.
- Load Balancing – the ability to assign tickets based on the workload of others.
- Escalation – using service levels to monitor response to customers to ensure they are being dealt with within agreed timescales. If a service level is missed, escalate and inform others such as team readers so they can triage.
- Business Rules Engine – for complex workflows where multiple people might be assigned tasks, the business rules engine should allow administrators to map out workflows and automate the entire value chain.
All of these options make customer support available and accessible to your customers immediately.
Customer Service Automation Helps to Accelerate Response Times
In today’s fast-paced world, customers expect to receive a quick response when they reach out to a company. Nearly half of surveyed customers expect a response within 4 hours.
If you’re using automated customer service, you can program your system to provide an immediate response to common inquiries. This way, your customers won’t have to wait for a human agent to become available. They feel acceptance, that their ticket and concern has been received and is going to face resolution.
For example, let’s say a customer sends an email asking about your return policy. What automation can really do is optimize and use workflows, assign the ticket and set the response time. Using email templates as part of automation means you can provide that information to the customer. So right after they log a request, they get an email saying who is dealing with it and how long it should take to get an initial response.
Customer Service Automation Can Boost Team Productivity
If your customer service operations have too many bottlenecks to sort out, customer service automation is the answer.
For example, let’s say your shipping company receives repetitive questions about tracking, delivery times, and assorted issues. A boost in productivity is received by automatically assigning tickets to teams and agents, and setting priorities.
This in turn produces lists that show the priority and time left, which allows agents to focus on the things that are the highest priority, or have the most impact.
Your customer service representatives can then use their time to focus on more complex issues that require a human touch. This helps to make the most efficient use of your team’s time and resources.
Automation Reduces Customer Service Operation Costs
Customer service automation doesn’t just improve workplace productivity. Recent studies have shown that automation can help companies save up to 40% on service costs.
This is because automated systems are typically much cheaper to maintain than human-powered ones. In addition, automated systems can often handle a higher volume of inquiries without the need for additional staff. This is what sets quality CSM softwares apart, as lower-level products don’t provide this level of automation, thereby not providing anywhere near the same ROI even though they may cost less initially.
As a result, the extra investment into finding the perfect software to meet a business’s needs can end up saving much more than it costs in the long run. At the end of the day, this is the goal for any executive or manager looking to adopt new technology.
Customer Service Automation Saves Human Interaction for Key Touchpoints
While customer service automation can handle a lot of routine inquiries, it’s important to remember that humans are still an important part of the equation.
There will always be certain customer service issues that require a human touch. This is why it’s important to save human interaction for key touchpoints in the customer journey.
For example, automated systems can help screen customers and gather information about their issue. But when it comes time to provide a resolution, a human agent should step in. This way, customers can be assured that they’re getting the best possible service and that their issue will be resolved quickly and efficiently.
Take the Next Step With Vivantio
As you can see, customer service automation poses several key benefits for organizations that can impact productivity, efficiency, and their bottom line. Finding a customer service management platform to reduce manual customer services can support these benefits.
Find a customer service management platform that streamlines every aspect of customer service, such as handling requests and communicating across different touchpoints, all in one platform. Vivantio can help you create the tools and resources your team needs to make your customers happier.
For more than two decades, Vivantio
has been helping clients optimize their service organizations by leveraging a uniﬁed service management platform. To find out how Vivantio can help you leverage customer service automation, contact our team
today or register for a free demo