Businesses of all sizes are automating customer support to scale and improve consumer interactions. The benefits are plenty and bearing fruits already.
In 2020, companies saw a rise in customer service queries. Customers wanted clarity as there was a lot of confusion regarding what was going to happen next. Businesses of all sizes automated support to solve this and improve consumer interactions.
Digitalisation was welcomed with open arms.
Companies took to automation and conversational AI to make it easier for themselves and their customers to interact and solve issues. By all means, automated support saw through the surge in tickets, made processes efficient and improved customer experience, without compromising on personalisation or costs.
So What is Automation?
Customer support automation uses technology to replace repetitive tasks and streamline processes to reduce human involvement, assist agents and customers and reduce operational costs and time taken to complete a task. Companies can use various technologies (for example chatbots, voice assistants, and other AI-powered tools) to accomplish this.
Benefits of Automating Support
As companies grow, giving attention to each customer gets laborious. Enterprise businesses usually outsource their support to call centres and contact centres, however, it is expensive and outdated. On the other hand, startups don’t have the right resources and end up with unsatisfied customers as well.
Implementing automation in customer service has many perks. To start with, it reduces an agent’s workload by automating redundant and mundane tasks. This in itself reduces operational costs and improves employee satisfaction. Other than this, it increases customer touchpoints, provides omnichannel experience, personalises conversations, sheds light on customer behaviour, scales support and brings down first contact time drastically.
Automating Support Rewards Customers
A point often overlooked is that support automation gives customers unique experiences. Conversational AI hyper-personalises a customer’s interaction depending on the channel/page they start the conversation, demographic and geographic information and customer’s buying journey stage. Every conversation is one-of-it’s kind.
Then there are other benefits like empowering customers with hassle-free self-service. According to a Forrester study, two-thirds of customers want self-service. By automating frequently asked questions, consumers can solve straightforward issues by themselves, at their convenience. Notably, it drives engagement and increases customer satisfaction level.
Customers can also reach out to companies on a platform of their choice. By integrating WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, website or the mobile app with the customer support platform, companies can extend their services to these platforms. As a result, companies can get closer to their consumer through automated service support.
Suggested Reading: Automation Is The Next Big Thing In Customer Support
Agents Perform Better with Support Automation
And while customers are happy with self-service, the load on support agents reduces. Consequently, they can shift focus on complex queries that require extra attention and skill. For example, AbhiBus deflected 96% of queries coming to agents and improved their productivity by 33%.
Moreover, customer support automation platforms provide agents with a 360-degree view of consumer information. Due to this, they get a high ground to quickly and accurately resolve tickets. Automation platforms allow integration with most CRMs and other tools to fetch relevant customer data and show them in one screen.
Likewise, customer support automation platforms make inter-team communication easy. It updates data in real-time and directs the query to the right department. Automated processes reduce human errors and let the business function smoothly.
Automate Support with AI to Enrich Customer Experience
Steve Jobs once famously said ‘People don’t know what they want unless you give it to them.” And this couldn’t be more true in customer service. If you could understand customer behaviour and give the customer exactly what they want even before they could ask, wouldn’t it be great?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) with deep learning models can do just that for you.
A smart AI software can record every interaction a customer has with your brand, identify trends and highlight patterns in their behaviour. Based on these patterns, you can show them the right ad or send the right message at the right time.
Suggested Reading: Faster, Smarter, Better — AI Is Improving Customer Service
On the other hand, if there is any deviation from the pattern, AI can flag it and you can take action as required to provide a seamless customer experience.
Startups Increase Engagement
When a company starts out, they don’t have resources or budget to compete with bigger companies. Startups can leverage automation software to provide consistent, personalised support. They can scale it with their growth and interact on customer’s preferred channels.
Small companies can connect faster with their customers on platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. The customers get a 24×7 instant response, the agents get notified immediately and the overall experience improves overall.
A smart, conversational, automated support platform can be the one-stop place for everything support for a startup. From answering questions to getting feedback, from assisting customers in decision-making to purchasing products on the chatbot. All this at a fraction of the cost of outsourcing this service to call centres.
Suggested Reading: Call Centre is Dead. Automated Customer Support is the Future.
Enterprise Enhancing Customer Experience
Big corporations have their own challenges when it comes to customer support. Customers are left waiting on the line for a long duration before they get connected with an agent. And when they do, they are transferred to different departments, having to repeat themselves again and again. Plus, the process isn’t personalised, leaving the customer dejected.
Enterprises can benefit greatly from customer service automation. For one, they can personalise interactions on different levels. But more importantly, they can reduce first contact time and the average resolution time for tickets. On average, chatbots can deflect up to 80% of questions, bypassing the need for an agent. And for the remaining 20%, it can handover the query to an agent who is online, thereby reducing the wait time.
One of the biggest advantages of customer support automation is the amount of time and capital companies can save. Big companies spend a lot on hiring and training support agents and yet they see a high attrition rate. In fact, the agent’s frustration often shows in their customer interaction, which isn’t good for the brand image or customer experience.
Customer service automation can solve this problem in two ways. First, it can improve employee happiness by reducing their amount of work on monotonous tasks and increasing meaningful work. Second, automation software is a one-time investment and reduces additional expenses. It also makes customer interactions consistent.
Suggested Reading: Save Money By Switching to Customer Support Automation
Automated Customer Service Yielding Results
By and large, companies are already seeing the benefits of adding a chatbot to their website and automating support. In 2017, Microsoft reported that 77% of consumers reported having used a self-service support portal and 40% of adults in the US use voice search at least once per day.
Likewise, almost one-third of businesses already use AI as part of their customer service strategy, as per a Tata Consultancy Services survey. Furthermore, Juniper Research said that as automated customer experiences increase, Banks can save up to $7.3 billion by 2023 from chatbots alone. And to be honest, it’s not just limited to Banks.
Our research on 1.8 million queries from 35 eCommerce brands across the Middle East, South East Asia and India showed us how chatbots brought down the average ticket handling time by 50 minutes and increased the average CSAT for companies during the COVID-19 times. Companies like Nykaa engaged 99.7% of all its customers in under 1 minute using Live Chat.
It’s safe to say that companies are benefitting aplenty with customer support automation.
How to automate your customer support?