Customer Support Automation. This term has been the talk of the business world for the past few months, where companies are rushing to incorporate their own customer support solutions.
So, let’s dig into what it exactly is and why has it become so important.
There’s a great quote by Jack Ma that goes “Forget about your competitors, just focus on your customers.” Rightly so, customers are the true drivers of any business, and you can “shoot for the stars” when you know what your customers want or how they feel about the current services offered by your company.
And to do just that, companies introduced their own customer support teams, who would gauge customer’s needs, provide them with the necessary information, help them with any and every issue, and provide a solution quickly.
But with the growing size of the customers, it became difficult to respond to them on time or even get back with the appropriate response. Plus, the idea of providing proactive support started to grow distant.
This is where customer support automation steps in.
The need for change
A couple of statistics that make us understand the true importance of customer support and why and how they propel a business forward:
One-third of consumers say they would consider switching companies after just one instance of bad customer service.
67% of customer churn is preventable if firms resolve issues the first time they occur.
52% of consumers say they have made an additional purchase from a company after a positive customer service experience.
Over time, the value of providing top-notch customer service reduced due to the following drawbacks:
- A huge backlog of tickets: This is a common problem. As customers reach out to the company as soon as they have an issue or need advice. In most cases, it’s outside the working hours, because of which the agent is greeted with a pile of fresh tickets every morning. And it becomes difficult to resolve all of them quickly and efficiently.
- Low-resolution rate: A huge influx of tickets and more customers, affects the resolution rate massively. Plus, agents typically use emails and calls to reach the customer. But with the average open rate of emails being ~21.33% and how everyone considers phone calls spammy, even when they do reach out to them, it becomes futile.
- Irregular lookout for feedback: As we mentioned earlier, customers drive a business. Hence it’s essential to get as much feedback from them as possible and plan your next steps for the business accordingly. But with a vast array of customers, it becomes impossible to keep an eye out and collect their views on time.
- Inability to provide stage-wise information: This is understanding the information a customer might need at a certain stage in the buying process. Eg: Mr. X purchased a shirt from an online store and he wants to know how far the package is. Faltering at that point and not having that information handy affects the satisfaction level of the customer.
To combat the above issues companies reached out to their friend in need – customer support automation (CSA).
Suggested Reading: Automation Is The Next Big Thing In Customer Support
Coming to what is customer support automation?
CSA is a form of customer support that is provided to the customers using automated technology such as voice assistants, AI-chatbots, etc.
It’s basically a streamlined process that reduces or eliminates the amount of human involvement while delivering advice or assistance. Such as booking a ticket, general queries,refund-related questions, etc.
For example, a customer wants to inquire if a shoe they like is available in a certain size. Instead of waiting on the customer support agent, they get an automated response in minutes on let’s say a chatbot saying that “The shoe is available in Size 9.”
This solved three things-
- Agent productivity; As they didn’t have to focus on a repetitive ask like the above mentioned. And instead got to focus on their other KPIs.
- Quick resolution; As the customer didn’t have to wait further to get the required response.
- Customer satisfaction; With the prompt and accurate responses, it leaves the customer very happy, increasing the NPS and CSAT scores.
With Machine Learning algorithms you can understand what the customer wants and how to respond.
Moreover, the idea of customer support automation is not to replace humans but to make their life simpler and easier.
To be noted that, automated customer support can be provided 24/7 and used to both assist and reduce the cost of human support representatives.
Explore: Customer Support Automation eBooks
How can automation make customer support better?
Customer support solutions are picking up speed and people are realizing the number of things they can be used for. Mainly, how they can enhance customer support.
Here’s how customer support automation makes things easier:
- Provide personalization during the customer journey by collecting customer data such as page visits, past purchases, etc. Thus understanding your customer better to recommend better.
- Many customers associate quick resolution time to good customer experience. Thus, with automation, agents can get real-time data to assist the customers quickly.
- Innovative technology like CSA is available 24*7, 365 days a year. It can help deliver A-grade services at a fraction of the cost. As surplus staffing and outsourcing support to call centers are additional overhead costs that can be avoided.
- Provide proactive support by understanding what the customer needs and what they’re looking for before they come to you with the problem. This could significantly lower cart-abandonment rates and increase the satisfaction level.
- It allows businesses to scale rapidly by including various features in the support platform. Like, incorporating the Arabic language within your AI bots, will help you expand your customer base, thus help you grow.
Suggested Reading: Customer Support Automation: Benefits and Results
What does the future look like?
It’s estimated that by 2021, 85% of customer service interactions will be automated.
The main idea of incorporating a platform is to automate simple tasks and give more time to the agents to focus on selective and productive tasks.
Also, messaging applications are a new trend to provide CSA, as millions of people are available on messaging channels such as WhatsApp. This makes it easier to communicate with the agents for everything in a one-stop platform.
Moreover, users are inching more towards self-service platforms, and parting ways with emails and phone calls. So, companies will have to tend to their requirements and provide platforms with FAQ bases, interactive diagnostics, virtual assistants, etc,. This is also to ensure that companies are up to date with the latest trends and user requirements.
Also, real-time responses will soon become an expectation. This can be achieved with CSA platforms, where customers can expect on-time and quick responses.
So, we can see how automation platforms are the way to go to maintain a balance between agent productivity and customer satisfaction.