Customer service automation – Best practices

Today, everything is automated. Starting from social life, making payments, booking tickets to the cinema or making reservations in the restaurants. Customer service can’t be any different. Sometimes automated customer service has bad reputation, but if you make it smart you will make your employees and customers very happy!

There are two main reasons why customer service is being automated:

  • – Lower labor costs.
  • – Improve customer satisfaction and servicing speed.

To achieve this, please read those five best practices to automate your customer service and make no mistakes.

1. Choose smart – what to automate?

You have to select tasks and processes which should be automated in the first place. That includes repetitive support cases, knowledge bases, self-service, checkout pages etc. Automate these tasks that are rather thankless, so both your customers and your employees will be better if they’re automated. Customers will be pleased with the quick service, and employees will focus on other responsibilities and more complicated tasks instead of answering always the same, simple questions. This also grants customers access to service at all hours of the day, not just business hours.

Remember to always give your customer an option to talk to a human. Customer service automation is a valuable tool, so use it smartly. It is not a cure for poor agent engagement.

While preparing to automate your customer service think about who are your customers. If your customers are young adults who are tech savvy, you can be sure that they’re going to be comfortable with an online service. However, if your company is selling products to seniors, they probably want to be able to talk with a “real person” right away.

2. Be multichannel

These days most companies offer their customers service with more than one or two channels. Most companies have also developed professional, successful multichannel strategies to meet their customer’s demands. But remember – not all channels are equal when it comes to being automated. Don’t automate a channel if you are not sure it benefits your customers.
If your automated channels and processes aren’t mutually influenced and affected with your human representatives’ tasks, then collaboration and efficiency will take a hit.

3. Use tools

There are lots of tools you can use to automate customer service including:

  • – intelligent routing
  • – AI chat bots
  • – knowledge base
  • – canned responses
  • – customer self service portal
  • – workflow automation
  • – IVR

Keep in mind that automation shouldn’t be used to replace employees with technology. Don’t rely too heavily on automation, but instead utilize it as an accoutrement for genuine service.
Strike a balance between:

  • – Offering equal parts live and automated support
  • – Keep your audience in mind at all times (remember younger audiences are more likely to accept and use automation)
  • – Keep up with training your representatives

Test, test, test

Testing the systems should be done on a regular basis, otherwise you may not see a problem and react quickly. It is the best to have a technical team, who will be responsible for the upkeep of the automation software, as well as testing the system regularly for example once a week or even once a day. Testing will let you stay up to date with your software and keep it running smoothly. If you make changes in the system, introduce them slowly, and in small segments at first. This will let your gauge the effectiveness and popularity of these changes. By monitoring your system, you will also find out how your customers interact with the changes you implement, you’ll find out which are most welcome, and which do more harm than good.

Ask for feedback

When you start to automate your customer service processes, it is necessary to ask your customers for feedback. It is very important to your customer service strategy that your customers as well as your employees can give their opinion.
There will be some problems no matter how great your system is. Don’t try to please everyone, it is impossible. But if you see some trends in customer’s complaints, it’s time to take a closer look. If you don’t react fast on customer’s or employee’s concerns, that will lead to lost revenue as well as customers. To receive good feedback make it anonymous, dedicate one employee to manage feedback, always thank your customers for leaving feedback, so the person who send it will feel that his/her voice was important.It is a learning curve with automated customer service. Be sure your don’t force it and remember to introduce big changes slowly. Your customers will thank you for small steps approach rather than to push them into the deep.