Customer Service Automation - A Tool That Helps Employees Do More, Not Less
The COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed the way consumers interact with businesses. At a time when human interaction was at its lowest, businesses had to find a new way to reach consumers efficiently and effectively. In order to do this, many companies began to adopt artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and the rate at which machines took on human jobs accelerated. This trend alone has transformed the customer support industry in an entirely new way.
Today, businesses are utilizing customer support automation tools as a means to provide a seamless customer journey and improve productivity in an all digital environment. As more businesses recognize the value of automation, its adoption will become even more prevalent. In fact, the adoption rate of robotization has tripled in the past 20 years and is expected to account for up to 20 million manufacturing jobs by 2030. In addition to the pandemic government incentives are also creating strong motivation for companies to automate simple tasks. According to Daron Acemoglu, an MIT economist who studies automation, the US government incentivizes companies to automate by giving tax breaks for buying machinery and software. So much so that a business who spends $100 on equipment pays approximately $3 in taxes, while a business who pays an employee $100 pays $30 in taxes.
Still, it is important to note that while AI is transforming customer service, these technologies should not be considered as a replacement for humans. Although workforce reduction is considered a potential benefit of AI, human agents remain necessary components for providing optimal customer experience.
What is Customer Service Automation?
Customer service automation, or customer support automation, is a process that aims to reduce the need for human involvement in customer service related tasks. In other words, automated customer service refers to the utilization of help centers, chatbots, and other AI related technologies to carry out customer support tasks such as tagging tickets, routing queries, and responding to customer requests automatically.
Customer service automation tools minimize human to human touch points which ultimately decreases the risk for human error and saves time for both customer support agents and clients. In addition, businesses that have implemented AI and automation as a means to improve operational quality and customer experience, have also reduced costs and increased margins. There are many reasons why businesses have opted to automate their customer support, but according to MonkeyLearn, the two main reasons are to reduce costs in the longer term and to improve customer satisfaction.
Below, we will discuss the advantages of automating customer support in order to understand how customer service automation helps businesses to achieve these goals.
Advantages of Customer Service Automation
Provide Personalized Experiences for Customers
Demands and expectations of customers to receive a more personalized experience are higher than ever before. Today, consumers expect real-time, customized experiences across all touchpoints from the brands they choose to engage with. Fortunately, customer service automation can help businesses deliver highly personalized and cultivated experiences, resulting in more efficient customer support and improved customer engagement.
When done correctly, personalization can provide lasting impressions and increase customer loyalty as well as growth. In fact, according to a survey conducted by BCG that focused on companies’ personalization practices, capabilities, and value delivery, brands that created personalized experiences by implementing advanced digital technologies and proprietary data are seeing revenues increase by 6 percent to 10 percent which is two to three times faster than those who have not integrated advanced digital technologies.
One way customer service automation can help provide personalized experiences for customers is by facilitating a better understanding of the customer. For example, businesses are able to gain a much more accurate understanding of their customers due to the combination of AI and machine learning for gathering and analyzing social, historical, and behavioral data. Unlike traditional data analytics software, AI technology is constantly learning and evolving from the data it analyzes. This allows AI to anticipate customer behavior resulting in businesses being able to provide highly relevant and personalized content. In addition, when combined with real-time data, customer service automation can help provide personalized experiences with hyper-personalization. Hyper-personalization combines AI and real-time data to deliver personalized content that is relevant to a customer.
A great example of this is conversational AI because it provides personalized experiences that are much quicker and convenient than traditional ways of interacting with businesses. Lastly, customer service automation can help provide more personalized experiences by eliminating pain points in the customer's journey. For example, AI technology can predict the customer’s degree of emotion based on their incoming written communication. This is also known as sentiment analysis. Sentiment analysis, or opinion mining, is an NLP technique that refers to the study of subjective information to identify whether data is positive, negative, or neutral. By analyzing customer feedback, businesses can allocate more attention to issues that are upsetting customers the most. Thus, providing a more seamless, personalized, and consistent customer experience. This is especially important because the use of automation technologies allows businesses to garner value from subjective data that they otherwise would not be able to utilize.
According to Sven Feurer, the senior director of engineering and operations at SAP Customer Experience, businesses should utilize the exponential growth in data and AI to improve everyday experiences for customers. In addition, Feurer believes that in order to truly deliver excellent customer experiences, employees from all customer-focused businesses roles - like sales, customer service, and marketing - should work together to leverage AI tools to help brands connect with customers on a more personal level.
The primary advantage of personalization is the ability to provide a positive customer experience and garner loyal customers. In fact, 80 percent of customers are more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand who provides personalized experiences. And, businesses have noticed. According to a study conducted by BCG, many companies have recognized the value of personalization and are making significant investments in it. For example, half of the survey respondents reported having more than 25 employees dedicated to personalization programs and are spending more than 5 million USD annually on personalization campaigns. Thus, it is important for businesses to utilize customer support automation as a tool to gain insights into customer preferences through data in their efforts to provide tailored experiences.
Shorten Times to Resolution on Customers Issues
In today's fast paced environment, customers expect quick resolutions to their problems. In fact, according to a study conducted by SuperOffice and Jeff Toister which asked 3,200 people how quickly they expect businesses to respond to an email, 88 percent of respondents said they expected a response within 60 minutes while 30 percent said they expected a response within 15 minutes or less. In addition, according to Statista, 24 percent of respondents from the United States said they expected social media messages to be answered within the hour while 20 percent said they expected a response immediately.
Customer service automation has the capability to help businesses provide faster, more reliable solutions without demanding more from agents or recruiting more staff to compensate for overflow. Instead of agents having to access multiple systems for information and manually sifting through large amounts of data themselves, automation technology can do this on its own. Since most internal processes are completed with automation, response times are much quicker. In addition, customer service automation can track client behavior and generate metrics in real time. This is why enterprises around the world have started to invest in powerful customer support automation solutions to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
Finally, customer service automation operates 24/7. Without automation, the only time customers can reach support teams is during business hours. By automating customer service, businesses are able to provide support at the customer’s convenience.
Without the use of AI technologies, customer service teams spend most of their time researching and gathering information from multiple systems. And, although this information is an important component of customer support, the time agents spend gathering it takes away from the primary purpose of the support team which is to provide an excellent customer experience. In fact, in a 6 minute customer support call, only 25 percent of the call time is devoted to customer interaction while 75 percent of the call time is consumed by agents doing manual research.
Customer service automation can help businesses optimize resources by empowering support agents. For example, by automating simple yet time consuming tasks, customer support agents are able to devote more time to complex issues. In addition, automation empowers agents by providing them with relevant information for more enriched messages.
Ultimately, customer service automation makes support agents’ jobs easier. Instead of having to spend time on mindless, draining tasks, customer service agents are able to assert their human qualities where they are most needed. Thus, customer service automation helps businesses allocate their resources more strategically resulting in better customer experiences.
As businesses grow, their number of incoming support tickets increases. When this happens, businesses are faced with the dilemma of hiring more employees or pushing their agents harder to compensate for the increase in workload. Either way, the result can be costly because when businesses choose not to hire more help, customer service agents become overwhelmed and their performance suffers.
Customer service automation can help businesses scale effectively. Instead of hiring more agents or pushing service teams harder, AI technology can help businesses accommodate increasing demand while saving money. In fact, automation makes scalability much more achievable by providing more service to customers without increasing the need for human resources.
Less Human Errors
There are three primary types of human errors. These include slips, lapses and mistakes. Slips and lapses are skill based errors that occur in familiar tasks that do not require significant attention. A slip refers to a frequently performed physical action that goes wrong. For example, performing an action too soon in a procedure or doing the right thing but on the wrong object. Lapses refer to short term memory lapses or forgetting to perform a required action such as missing a crucial step in a procedure. Lastly, mistakes are decision making failures. They arise when we do the wrong thing, believing it to be right.
Fortunately, customer service automation reduces the risk of all 3 types of human errors by decreasing human involvement in business processes which lowers the possibility for human errors. This is most often accomplished by automating time consuming, repetitive tasks. In fact, repetitive tasks are generally easy to automate because they are often simple tasks that people can easily perform. However, because the tasks are repetitive, the agent doing them often becomes complacent resulting in slips or lapses. Thus, customer service automation is a great benefit to businesses. Customer service automation not only reduces the risk for human error but also increases productivity by eliminating the need for customer service teams to compensate for human errors.
Y Meadows’ Customer Service Automation Solution
Are you interested in taking advantage of the benefits of automating your customer support?
Fortunately, Y Meadows, a company dedicated to empowering customer support agents, has launched their customer support automation solution. The enterprise software solution utilizes machine learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies to deliver high quality customer experiences.
Y Meadows’ customer service automation solution is able to deliver personalized experiences for customers across all touchpoints, reduce resolution times by providing customers with accurate information efficiently and effectively, help businesses optimize resources by allowing agents to focus on more complex tasks, help scale great customer service without sacrificing money or quality, and minimize the risk of human error by automating mundane tasks.
For more information on Y Meadows’ customer service automation solution, visit www.ymeadows.com!
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